What is HIIT Training

Firstly “HIIT” stands for: High Intensity Interval Training. It is the new BUZZ word in fitness, and rightly so.

There is no rule of what HIIT Training is, and what exercises you need to do in a HIIT workout. HIIT Workouts are known to be more effective than your normal cardio workouts, this is because you get your heart rate higher for shorter periods. As the name suggests the workouts are of a higher intensity. HIIT Workouts generally require you to do a number of exercises, an not just running, or cycling as you would with normal cardio training.

“In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently.” It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.(www.musclemedia.com)

Benefits of HIIT Training

  1. Shorter workouts
  2. Increases your matobilsm
  3. Burn more calories throughout the day
  4. Requires less equipment than traditional training

HIIT Training improves both energy systems for endurance:

bodybuilding.com explains these two energy systems quite well

Anaerobic Energy System

The anaerobic energy system is what provides energy in all out efforts of up to 1 minute. For the first 10-15 seconds, the phosphate pool is used up and after that, glycolysis and lactic acid are involved in the effort.

During 10-15 second bursts, there is a very small amount of lactic acid produced. Rest periods of 30 seconds to a minute will provide complete recovery of the Adenosine Triphosphate-Creatine Phosphate (ATP-CP) system. During efforts of more than 10-15 seconds, a large amount of lactic acid is produced and such efforts are extremely taxing on both the athlete’s muscles and their Central Nervous System (CNS).

Aerobic Energy System

Aerobic literally means “with oxygen.” This energy system is utilized during prolonged exercise over a period of at least 3-4 minutes. As long as there is enough oxygen to provide energy, the fatigue that you experience will remain at a low level.

This is the reason why many track and field athletes train at higher altitudes where there is less oxygen. By training at high altitudes, they can increase the number of red blood cells which will help them to perform for a longer period of time with little to no fatigue throughout.