Maximum results, minimum time. In this super busy world it’s what everyone wants, right? However, while we don’t believe in quick diet fixes (nothing beats nourishing your body with healthy foods), when it comes to exercise we’re all for training smarter not longer. Which is why we’re loving the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) trend.
HIIT is basically just a technical name for short but intense bursts of exercise, followed by brief periods of rest. HIIT is loved by trainers because of the incredible results it delivers. It’s also been named the number one fitness trend for 2014 by the American College of Sports Medicine’s worldwide annual exercise survey.
Most of the moves you’ll do in HIIT are total body exercises. A typical HIIT session might include a combination of squats, rowing, battle ropes, jumping lunges, skipping or everyone’s least favourite move, burpees. The idea is to go all out doing each exercise for around 45 seconds to a minute before progressing to the next move. Sounds simple but trust us, it’s hard work. Expect to be beetroot red and out of breath by the end of a 20 to 30 minute session!
Rob Hale, head of fitness at Fitness First, is a big fan of HIIT. Fitness First have started introducing HIIT-style classes into their clubs and Hale believes HIIT will keep gaining popularity with gym goers and exercise devotees once they realise what an awesome workout it is. “HIIT breaks the myth that effective training requires a lot of time,” says Hale. “HIIT requires you to work hard for a shorter period and gives you results quicker. Doing total body exercises at a high intensity allows you to build muscle mass and work in the anaerobic zone. Research also shows that HIIT gives you this great after burn as well, so your metabolism stays higher and continues to burn energy. That’s why HIIT is so good, because you train harder during the workout and get a longer effect afterwards.” So if you’re up for a fitness challenge that will get your heart pumping, burn fat, build muscle and increase your metabolism get ready to HIIT it baby!