What is a HIIT Workout?

by CHWB Team
July 24, 2023

In our latest Fitness blog, Five Ways to Make This Your Summer of Fitness, we talked about how to accommodate your health and fitness goals while the bustling schedule of summer continues to change. This included using equipment around the house when you can’t make it to the gym, adding in different activities the entire family can enjoy, and leveraging the trending workout method, HIIT, to shorten your workout while increasing the intensity.  

HIIT has claimed a spot in the top 10 fitness trends since 2014 as surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine. But what is a HIIT workout? HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The first form of HIIT comes from the 1950s when an exercise type named Sprint Interval Training allowed athletes to reach 100% maximum heart rate and was used to improve the performance of elite Olympic athletes. HIIT incorporates repeated rounds of high-intensity movements that increase the heart rate to at least 80% of an athlete’s maximum heart rate followed by a short period of lower intensity sets. Body weight can be used as the main form of resistance, so other resistance forms like free weights, exercise bands, and medicine balls are not needed during a HIIT session. Today, athletes can complete a full HIIT workout in 15 to 30 minutes compared to a regular workout session that can take on average 60 to 90 minutes.  

While the timeframe of a HIIT workout is definitely a benefit, there are many others that keep HIIT in the top 10 fitness trends. HIIT improves your stamina, increases strength, burns fat, maintains a healthy heart, can help regulate blood sugar levels, and eases muscle stiffness. Since HIIT works on pushing the body into a heart performance zone of 80-90% of its maximum rate, the heart and lungs learn to adapt to the challenge. The more your body performs a HIIT exercise, the easier it becomes to perform more rigorous forms of exercise that increase your stamina and strength. Research conducted in Denmark showed that people with type 2 diabetes had better controlled blood sugar levels after 3 months of HIIT.  

A full beginner HIIT workout may look something like this: 20 seconds of high knees, 20 seconds of mountain climbers, a 20 second plank, 20 seconds of jumping jacks, 20 seconds of squat jumps, and 15 burpees. Take a two-minute rest between each set and depending on your difficulty level, repeat this three, five, or seven times. That is a complete HIIT workout that lasts between 15 – 35 minutes depending on your level of difficulty.  

Discover how CHWB can support your journey to health and wellbeing by scheduling a tour of our state-of-the-art facility that includes the membership-based Crosby Wellness Center fitness facility, HERE.  

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