HOW HIIT WORKS - GETTING STARTED & UNDERSTANDING HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training (2015)

HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training (2015)



HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which is also referred to as high-intensity intermittent exercise, and also sometimes called fast training. This method of training can be applied to any form of fitness, from cycling or swimming to home circuits, and the beauty of it is that it is simple and gets amazing results quickly, saving you time. As intensity is key, the first thing we should look at is a chart you can use to guide and assess your intensity levels known as the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale (or RPE scale). This is one of the best tools you can use for fitness, and we will use this scale throughout the book.

It is based on a scale of 1-10. A rating of 1 would be how you feel when you are sitting, so relaxed and not exerted at all! The other end of the scale would be a level 10, feeling physically exerted to your maximum.

Using this chart allows you to continually assess if you are working out at the right level. We will mainly be working between levels 4 through 7 in the book and will venture to level 8 in only a couple of the workouts. Each workout will reference the RPE level you should be exercising in.


Workout 1: 45-Minute Power Walk

This workout is basically a brisk walk, which, based on the scale of intensity, would be at level 4 (moderate intensity—see chart on p. 33). This pace is maintained for the entire 45 minutes. This is still a very valuable workout with health and fitness benefits.

Workout 2: 15-Minute HIIT Power Walk

This workout would consist of 2 minutes walking at a brisk pace, which on the scale of intensity chart would measure 4.5, then 1 minute walking as fast as you can, pushing the intensity up to level 6 to 7.5. The intensity would be feeling very hard. You repeat this ratio a total of five times, and the benefits are massive. For those short 1-minute intervals you will have pushed yourself to the maximum, and this is how the body gets fitter and stronger, producing amazing results. The other effect of this workout is that you create an EPOC effect, whereas workout 1 does not. More details on EPOC in the next section. So out of the 2 workouts, the one that will burn more fat and have a much bigger impact is workout 2.

Burn more fat in less time

If your goal is to burn fat and increase your fitness, then intervals should always be part of your program. Besides being a quick method to getting in a great workout, intervals are extremely effective for transforming your physique. Incorporating intense bursts of high intensity with short recovery segments allows you to keep the workout intensity high while still maintaining good form. The magic of high-intensity interval training lies in its ability to keep you burning fat even after you leave the gym. In short, your body isn’t able to bring in enough oxygen during periods of hard work; therefore, you accumulate a “debt” of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to get back to normal. The result—your metabolism is revved up for hours after you have done your workout. Fitness specialists refer to this phenomenon as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. The great news is that it‘s very doable to slot these highly effective quick workouts into any busy lifestyle, and this book gives you plenty workouts to choose from. So those days when you are super busy, you can still fit in the quick 5-minute HIIT workout. No matter how booked your diary gets, you can always find the time.