What is High Intensity Interval Training Workouts?

HIIT workouts
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT Workout) can improve heart health, increase fat loss, and strengthen and tone your muscle.

Vibrating belt machines. Jazzercise. Barefoot running. Zumba. What do all of these things have in common? They've been popular fitness fads over the past half-century. While some have stuck around, others have gone the way of the dinosaur. Which naturally leads to questions about the staying power of the latest fitness trend, High-Intensity Interval Training, AKA "HIIT training." Let's take a closer look at this well-touted workout, along with research indicating why it's here to stay.

The Basics of HIIT Training

The American College of Sports Medicine defines HIIT training as "repeated bouts of high-intensity effort followed by varied recovery times."

What, exactly, does this mean? Typical HIIT workouts alternate five to eight minutes of intense workout periods with equivalent recovery periods. During the former, heart rates should remain between 80 and 90 percent of maximum while, during the latter, heart rates should drop to 40 to 50 percent. HIIT workouts can be as short as 20 minutes and usually cap out around 60 minutes.

One of the primary benefits of HIIT training is that it can be modified for anyone -- regardless of current level of fitness. HIIT training can also incorporate a number of different types of exercise, such as walking, running, cycling and swimming.

The Research on HIIT Training

With scientists constantly striving to learn how to help people lead healthier lives, HIIT training is emerging as a particularly successful form of exercise.

Consider research published in the American Journal of Physical and Medical Rehabilitations, determining that a nine-month fitness program combining HIIT workouts, resistance training, and nutritional counseling was linked with fewer incidences of metabolic syndrome, reduced BMI, and decreased insulin resistance. The research further revealed HIIT training to be effective at boosting resting metabolic rates -- a key to accelerated weight loss.

Obviously, these attributes make HIIT training an invaluable tool for personal trainers aiming to help their clients achieve both fitness and weight management goals. Meanwhile, HIIT training has also been determined to be one of the best workouts for altering body composition and targeting abdominal fat.

But being fit isn't just about weight loss. Research also shows that HIIT training may be a key component in promoting better cardiovascular health. An article published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease deemed HIIT training to be "superior" to other exercise routines for preventing and managing hypertension.

When it comes to enhancing performance, HIIT training is a proven winner. Take a recent Journal of Applied Physiology article which revealed that cyclists who used sprint interval training not only doubled their endurance capacity but also beat other methods, including aerobic-based training. The best part? Results were achieved with remarkable expedience. In fact, it took less than six weeks for HIIT training to improve performance.

HIIT training has also proven to be an invaluable defense against something all fitness enthusiasts dread: training plateaus. How does HIIT training circumvent this common and frustrating issue? Mixing things up with intervals keeps the body working at its most efficient in terms of everything from oxygen consumption to power output to fat oxidation.

The takeaway for fitness trainers? Learning about HIIT and transferring this knowledge to your personal training practice can lead to optimized results. Whether you're just thinking about becoming a personal trainer or you're already working in the profession but looking for enrichment, SOCHI's fitness training courses offer everything you're looking for and more. Request information today to learn more about SOCHi's high-quality healthcare programs.