HIIT Me Up Buttercup!
You have probably heard of the term HIIT but do you know what it is exactly? Well, I'm here to help explain and give you some advice on how to perform this workout in mid-life without causing harm to your body in later life!
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it is focuses on short high intensity intervals of intense cardio followed by rest periods. It involves using powerful explosive movements for the body to create the maximum amount of force in the shortest amount of time.
Your body is working at a much higher intensity resulting in an increase to your heart rate and therefore there's no denying it is a great fat loss burner! That's not to say it is easy - it really isn't for the faint hearted and for those of you over 40 in particular who are new to fitness, I would not recommend starting with this form of training. It can result in extreme overload, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), injury and heart problems. So don't say I didn't warn you!
So my first piece of advice is start slow! For those less fit or newbies, by all means add interval and resistance training to your workouts but until you have been training for some time I would avoid participating in a true form of HIIT.
If you are reasonably fit already I would recommend performing HIIT once a week thereafter gradually building up to two to three times per week. Three sessions is more than enough per week so please bear this in mind!
The rate of intensity recommended for HIIT and raising your heart rate is 85-90% provided your recovery heart rate returns to 65-70%. So another piece of advice is to please ensure you are giving yourself enough recovery time in between exercises. In this day and age thanks to modern technology a wonderful way to track your heart rate is by either using a heart rate monitor or alternatively a Apple / Fitbit watch or alike to help you track.
HIIT workouts are generally done within 15-20 minutes (this does not include a warm up or cool down) and if the workout is going for longer, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough, thus not reaping the rewards. So keep it short and intense and do not prolong for fear it may become counter-productive. In addition, please take care, more than 40 minutes of high intensity exercise may increase your risk of injury.
And finally, a HIIT programme can be tailored by varying the work-to-rest ratio for example,1:2 ratio would be training all out for say 60 seconds but resting for twice as long. As you improve and progress you can begin to shorten the work periods to reach a higher intensity because you do not have to sustain the work period for as long.
Example 15-20 Minute HIIT Workout:-
40 Seconds Rest Between each Exercise
20 x Squats or Squat Jumps
20 x Lunges (each leg) or Plyo Lunges
10 x Burpees
10 x Modified Push Ups or Push Ups
30 x Mountain Climbers
40 x Steps of High Running Knees
20 x Star Jumps
For those who are feeling brave, may the force be with you! HIIT It with Kain It !