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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a training regimen that involves short, very intense bursts of physical activity combined with periods or intervals of quick rests. This type of intense training can be quite efficient in terms of the time commitment involved versus the calories burned so is great for losing weight. Calories continue to be burned post workout as the body uses energy to recover. It can also produce faster gains in endurance levels than steady state cardio training and can be an effective way to build fast twitch muscle.

High Intensity Interval Training can be done virtually anywhere and equipment is optional rather than necessary. Workouts can be modified for people of varying fitness levels as well as those with certain medical conditions. The body has to heal after this type of training so, in most situations, it’s not recommended that you perform it every day – 2 to 3 days per week is enough to get reasonable results.

What does a typical HIIT workout look like?

HIIT involves intense work periods that are performed at 80-95% of a person’s estimated maximum heart rate (as a rough guide, max heart rate or beats per minute, is usually calculated as 220 minus your age). Rest periods are often about the same length as the period of high intensity activity with the aim of getting the heart rate back down to around 40-50% of maximum. The period of rest is then followed by another period of high intensity activity and then the process repeats. A typical workout will go for 30-45 mins.

Workouts can be performed using various methods of exercise including bodyweight exercises, strength exercises, cycling, walking, swimming, or running. Many gyms in Australia provide high intensity interval training classes with qualified instructors and these are a great and easy way to get a varied workout using the proper techniques and interval timing.

What are the benefits?

There are a range of potential benefits by using this form of training. Always ensure you check with your doctor before starting a training program to make sure you don’t have any health issues preventing you from benefiting from this type of workout.

  • Short workouts for people who are time poor
  • It is an efficient way of burning calories in a short period of time and calories continue to be burned post workout as your body uses energy to recover
  • Great for endurance training by keeping your heart rate close to maximum for a good period of the workout
  • Convenient as you don’t need equipment and can be performed anywhere
  • Great training method for small to medium sized groups which can be a lot of fun
  • Perfect for a huge range of people with differing fitness levels and ages
  • Relatively safe form of training as it doesn’t require the use of heavy weights so is less prone to injury

Where do I find gyms that provide HIIT classes?

A huge number of facilities located all across Australia provide classes or programs that incorporate high intensity interval training. To find the ones closest to you, enter your address or suburb in our search page and then filter for HIIT. You can also read about CrossFit or Functional Training which are other programs that incorporate many high intensity interval principles. It’s so easy to suss out gyms that provide HIIT!

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