If you’ve so much as hit up a new workout studio in the past several years, you’ve undoubtedly become well acquainted with a popular acronym: HIIT. Also known as high-intensity interval training, HIIT was designed to help you complete a blood-pumping workout in a short period of time.
Not only is HIIT a highly effective and productive workout — it often takes 30 minutes or less to complete — but it’s also loaded with benefits, ranging from fat burn to helping you build muscle, to achieving the ever-elusive afterburn, also known as EPOC.
But now it turns out that those classes and workouts we’ve seen labeled as HIIT might not be exactly how the workout has come to be defined.
While a HIIT workout has you working at maximum capacity for one full minute and having a full three minutes to recover, that’s not what classes tend to be.
“This ratio is designed keeping in mind the way the human body’s muscles perform at maximum effort and the duration it takes for them to adequately recover before placing a maximum demand upon them again,” Corey Phelps, a NASM-certified trainer, tells POPSUGAR.
Instead, what we’re really doing is HVIT: high-volume interval training. In a HVIT class, you work at about 60 to 75 percent effort, and you can go much longer than the 60 seconds in HIIT. If you feel like those working intervals have been much longer than the rest intervals, then chances are you’re doing HVIT.
In a HVIT class, you can work out for a much longer period of time, and have shorter breaks, because you’re not exerting as much energy as in proper HIIT. Another benefit? Lower risk of injury. According to experts, since HIIT is, by definition, high-impact, it can work some damage on your joints, but the lower-intensity of HVIT, in smaller exertions of effort, mean that your body won’t be as prone to sprains and injuries as it otherwise might be.
Just increase the amount you’re lifting or how many reps you do in a set to see differences over time. Better calorie burn, lower risk for injury, and less time? That’s a win-win-win.