HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is one of the most popular and efficient exercise styles. Perfect for those with limited free time or minimum access to a gym, this fitness plan optimizes performance for a rewarding and effective workout.
Avoiding the need for expensive machines, HIIT represents a straightforward, affordable way to break a sweat and burn some fat. Designed for people who like variety and a challenge, HIIT workouts can help you have fun, push your body and see results.
What is HIIT?
High-Intensity Interval Training relies on brief, vigorous exercise sessions broken up by purposeful periods of rest.
Put simply, a HIIT workout consists of up to two minutes of maximum effort in a particular exercise, such as burpees or crunches, followed by an extended rest (typically double the length of your exercise). Naturally, this pattern is repeated for sets of multiple different exercises.
For many people, this kind of workout can last as little as 20 minutes or as long as an hour. Typically, the type of exercises you do will dictate how long you rest and the length of your workout.
A popular way of structuring HIIT is to alternate cardio and strength exercises so that you can involve your entire body. This style can help you hit more of your goals in a short amount of time and maximize your output.
Sample HIIT Workout:
- One Minute of Jumping Jacks
- Two Minutes of Rest
- One Minute of Crunches
- Two Minutes of Rest
- One Minute of Air Squats
- Two Minutes of Rest
- One Minute of Chair Dips
- Two Minutes of Rest
Note: This group of exercises is repeatable for multiple sets. We recommend repeating 2-3 times for your first workout, then gauging your comfort level from there.
How Can HIIT Help Me?
According to research from the National Institute of Health, HIIT is “an efficient exercise protocol” that can be more effective than moderate, continuous exercise (such as a typical gym routine).
By breaking up your exercise into intervals, HIIT can provide multiple health benefits:
Additionally, people noticed HIIT workouts can increase endurance, improve physical performance and even help add muscle. Without hiring a trainer or joining a gym, you can expect to see lasting results without sacrificing time or money.
Note: While scientists continue to observe these benefits in larger studies, the consensus is that HIIT can provide many of the advantages of a standard workout in as little as half the time.
HIIT Workouts for Beginners
For someone used to working out with lots of equipment, or beginning to exercise for the first time, adjusting to the HIIT style can take time.
As the name suggests, High-Intensity Interval Training can be exhausting -- but for a good reason. Combining aerobic and anaerobic workouts, HIIT pushes your body to the limit so that you can get the most out of yourself in a short period.
So, how can you embark on your own HIIT?
Identify Your Goals
Like any fitness plan, HIIT requires you to identify the type of exercise you need to reach your targets.
For people looking to burn calories and shed pounds, we recommend a routine consisting of cardio exercises such as jumping jacks, air sprints, high knees, mountain climbers and burpees.
If strength is your goal, you’ll need to base your HIIT around exercises that emphasize this. While some of these exercises may require free weights, many others rely on your body weight. We suggest chair dips, squats, push-ups, bicep curls, pullups and full-body crunches
Find Times That Work For You
Once you know the type of HIIT that targets your needs, it’s time to incorporate this workout style into your daily life.
Fortunately, High-Intensity Interval Training doesn’t force you to go to the gym, or even leave your house. Plus, it can take up significantly less of your time than a normal workout.
With that being said, it’s still crucial that you spend time picking the optimal timing of your HIIT. Timing your HIIT properly is key to getting the best results, and the most fun, from your training.
If you’re an early riser who likes a fast start to the morning, your workout can be the kick-in-the-butt you need to jumpstart your day.
Conversely, if you are a night owl who thrives after dark, training can be the perfect way to tire you out and release some endorphins before bed.
Pick A Length For Your Workout
It’s also important you decide the length of your interval training, particularly when first starting out.
If your workout is too short, you might be left feeling unsatisfied. If it’s too long, you might need to spend unwanted time recovering.
At ATAQ, we always recommend taking a slow, sensible approach to a new fitness regimen. For newbies, try a 15-minute HIIT session. Since this style relies on very intense sets, you’ll quickly know how much, or little, you can handle.
Once you learn how your body reacts, it’s easy to increase or cut back on your HIIT.
Find What Works For You
Combining the above tips, our last suggestion is to focus on how your training can work for you -- not the other way around.
If your goals change, that’s okay. If your chosen time of day actually isn’t ideal, switch it up. Other than its basic premise (intense workouts in a short period of time), there are no “rules” for crafting your ideal routine.
As long as you listen to your body, which means taking your full rest periods, you can avoid injury and quickly start to improve your physical fitness.
HIIT Workouts From Home
As we’ve all learned during this pandemic, finding fun ways to accomplish tasks at home can be difficult. Here’s some great news for you: this doesn’t have to apply to your HIIT exercises!
Arguably the best type of at-home exercise, interval training allows you to optimize your body and any amount of limited space around you.
Making the best of your at-home HIIT workout will require you to find the ideal space to exercise, get any (minimal) equipment you might need and focus fully on your training.
This last step can be especially challenging, particularly for the majority of us working from home. Whether it’s a conference call, a significant other or stir-craziness, there can be many sources of distraction in our home.
In order to break free from this, we recommend quieting your mind using meditation or a digital detox prior to your HIIT. Since your body must be fully engaged in intense motion during training, it’s essential that you allow your mind to focus on the task at hand.
At ATAQ, we are all about finding efficient ways to improve your physical health and get the most out of your workout and diet.
In addition to helping you find a fitness regime that works for you, we also offer a number of plant-based health supplements that give your body the fuel it needs for optimal performance.
From our delicious protein powders to our invigorating raw-energy bars, we can provide you the nutritional support you need to get through your workout and your day. Whether your goal is fat burning or strength training, we have your health, fitness and happiness in mind.
If you want to take an extra step to protect your health, also check out our RTD Booster Shots, which help strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation and promote recovery.
Join team ATAQ today and learn to #kickbuttnaturally!