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Workout Wednesday: What is a HIIT Interval Workout?

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HIIT

I don’t think I can count how many times I’ve heard someone say they’re no longer making progress at the gym and that they want to give up. It’s frustrating, I know. I’ve been there a number of times myself.

The question that sticks at the forefront of your mind is always “How do I get past this?” and the answer is surprisingly simple.

If you’ve been involved in the fitness world or gym scene for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard about HIIT workouts. You might’ve even participated in one without realizing it, and if so, that’s okay.

HIIT workouts could be the answer to that nagging question above, and I’ll explain why a little later on. For now, let’s talk about the basic idea of this ever-popular workout routine.

What Exactly is a HIIT Workout?

HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training,” and is characterized by “intervals that are set for a short period of high intensity training with just below maximum effort, followed by a recovery period of low intensity” (Source). Your heart rate is kept elevated through nearly all of your workout—even the low intensity intervals. Sweat_Life Extension

There is typically no set number of repetitions, and the main idea is to work out at high intensity until that interval is over and you drop to a low interval. With HIIT workouts, you determine how much you get out of the workout. The harder you work, the greater the benefit. With this type of workout, you have the perfect way to burn a high number of calories in a short amount of time.

Other Benefits

Aside from the massive calorie-burn that can occur, depending on your level of intensity, there are a few other great benefits of HIIT workouts.

  • They’re incredibly convenient. With HIIT workouts, you have no excuse to skip a workout. Along with the short time it takes to complete one (less than 30 minutes), there is also the convenience of being able to do it anywhere, whether you’re at home, in a park, or at the gym.
  • Your metabolism gets a healthy boost. A longer HIIT workout (one that nears 30 minutes) may “boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours after you complete it,” (Source) and who doesn’t like the idea of still being able to burn after the workout has ended?
  • HIIT workouts are equipment-free. Lending even more convenience to these workouts is the fact that they require no gym equipment of any kind (unless, of course, you want to use some). Exercises like jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and sit-ups are all incredibly effective choices for a great workout.
  • They’ll help get you past that stubborn plateau. Because HIIT workouts can be so varied, they can help you get past that feeling of being stuck in your weight loss/fitness journey. Rather than repetitive motions on weight machines at the gym, you can do a little of everything if you want to.

Routine Ideas

One of my favorite things about using HIIT workout is the total freedom to design your own routine, but if you’re not quite sure where to begin, check out some of our HIIT workouts and related articles below:

Have you been using HIIT workouts? What are they doing to help you move forward on your fitness journey? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Featured Image Credit: Tim Jordan via Flickr.com.

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One Response to Workout Wednesday: What is a HIIT Interval Workout?

  1. Anna April 13, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    I love doing HIIT! However, for the last 3 months that I have been trying to eat healthy and do HIIT, I’m not really losing weight. I am seeing some muscles and feel very good, also no more breakouts, but I’m just not losing weight. What could be my problem?

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