If you’re into training and exercise then it’s likely you have heard about HIIT or high-intensity interval training. HIIT is a great way to get into shape, as well as challenge yourself in both strength and cardio-based exercises. HIIT really is a style of training that can work for any skill or fitness level, you just need to know where to start. To better understand where to start with high-intensity interval training, consider these simple tips.
Learn the methodology
Getting something right starts with learning as much as you can about how it started, and high-intensity interval training is no different. HIIT training is all about getting your heart rate into optimal ranges for fat burning and muscle maintenance. These ranges are created by exercising in intervals at high intensities. HIIT training is all about raising your heart rate to its optimal range for the active component of the interval and then allowing it to lower for the active rest component of the training. Don’t be fooled though, the active rest doesn’t mean laying down or stopping, it’s simply a different movement at a slightly slower pace. HIIT is a great way to burn fat in a targeted routine.
It’s not one or the other
True HIIT takes on elements of both strength and cardio-based workouts. Whether you are pushing hard on a bicep curl or going warp speed on jumping jacks, HIIT is all about the balance between cardio and strength work. Despite what many believe, both cardio and strength work play a role in burning fat and helping to create lean muscle mass. Before you start any HIIT routine, be sure to learn about balance and how you can strike the perfect level between strength-based exercises and fast feet cardio work.
Rest is crucial
As we discussed above, resting in high-intensity interval training doesn’t mean you get to stop moving or take a seat. The active rest in HIIT is all about keeping your heart rate elevated but at a comfortable level. This will require you to move in your rest periods, and this is where movements such as squats, push-ups or dips are a great solution. Before starting on your HIIT journey, learn all about active rests and be sure to find the exercises that work best for your specific needs.
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Know your range
High-intensity interval training is exactly as it seems, it’s about high intensity. That doesn’t mean running until you can feel your heart pumping out of your chest. HIIT is about finding the right range for you, your fitness level and overlaying any existing conditions which may impact your training. One of the first things to do before starting a HIIT routine is to determine your max heart rate for safety purposes. No matter what your goals are, you want to avoid getting near that. The easiest way to assess your ideal range is to work with a trainer or use a specifically developed tool online.
Once you understand your heart rate ranges you can better track, measure and identify which exercises get you in the optimal zone. With these ranges, you can get better at understanding what your intervals need to be, whether it’s 30’seconds on and 30 seconds off or perhaps a little lower or higher.
High-intensity interval training is a great way to challenge not only your body but your mind as well. Pushing yourself for short sharp bursts of high effort and then taking a short period for an active rest is a fantastic way to get fit and burn fat. If you are looking for where to start your high-intensity interval training then try using these tips now.