All about HIIT: What is it and why is it so effective?

Posted August 5, 2017

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Chances are if you’ve taken a class at Rival Fitness, you’ve probably done some HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training – a training principle based around exerting maximum effort through short bursts followed by short active recovery periods, which are then repeated in rounds of three to six. Our classes such as Triple Threat, Bootcamp, Tabata, and Rival Row – all incorporate elements of HIIT which have participants sweating bullets and crushing calories.

While churning out an hour on a stationary bike or treadmill might burn a few hundred calories and satisfy your cardio quota, the body can grow accustomed to one type of cardiovascular stress after a certain amount time has passed. HIIT, on the other hand, puts the body into a more stressed state for a shorter amount of time. Your heart-rate should hit its peak from the onset and remain elevated throughout the duration of a HIIT session.

In short, HIIT workouts can feel brutal at first. HIIT is designed to put your body to the test, but what makes this type of training so effective is called the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption effect. Or in other words, an after burn. These demanding routines create an oxygen deficit which causes more oxygen to be delivered during the recovery period, meaning your metabolism remains elevated for sometimes hours after you complete a HIIT session. And a raised metabolism means more calories burned, which leads to fat loss.

Another benefit of HIIT is how it can be applied across a variety of equipment types – whether it’s sprinting intervals on a treadmill or spin bike, jumping rope, banging out pull-ups and push-ups, tossing around a sandbag, pushing a sled, hammering some battle ropes, or a combination or any of these – as long as it pushes your heart-rate to its max, you can HIIT with it.

Since HIIT workouts require you to go all-out within a relatively short amount of time, some sessions can last just 15 minutes – making HIIT optimal for folks with busy life schedules. We recommend that folks new to HIIT test the waters first in one of our classes so the instructor can lead you through pre-workout stretches to prevent risk of injury and help you build a familiarity with HIIT principles and form.

If taking to the Rival Field on your own is more of your thing, here’s a HIIT session for you to toss into your schedule once a week:

First and foremost, stretch out and get nice and limber before executing this workout. Make sure you have a fluid range of motion to perform each movement without pain or possible injury. Grab a pair of dumbbells weighing about half of your max curl weight so you can safely execute high-reps. For each movement, perform as many reps as possible (AMRAP) within the allotted time.

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

45 seconds hollow body hold with tricep extensions

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

45 seconds curl to overhead press

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

45 seconds weighted lunges

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

45 seconds squat and press

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

45 seconds renegade rows

30 seconds burpees

30 seconds rest

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