High-intensity interval training also known as HIIT is not a particular form of exercise but an exercise protocol that involves short intervals of high-intensity exercise alternated with periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. Typically an exercise interval can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 1 minute with a total workout session lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. Here's why you should give it a try.
Linsay D'Souza, AGM Gold's Gym India, says "As a general rule; the higher the intensity of the interval, the shorter its duration, and the longer the recovery period."
HIIT can be performed in a short interval of time. It is an effective form of exercise for those with time constraints. If done correctly HIIT mainly targets burning fat and keeps the metabolic rate high during and post-workout, therefore increasing the after-burn. HIIT can be performed with any form of exercise like sprinting, kettlebells training etc. which allows flexibility in terms of location.
"Wherein we work for several hours of the day and also rest for a stipulated time, which is the natural way to sustain. Working out in an interval form helps us improve our VO2, i.e. the maximum volume of oxygen utilised by the body which is a common measurement for understanding endurance. This eventually helps us perform our daily activities more effectively and efficiently," says D'Souza.
Most gyms typically cater to just strength training or cardio, but only a select few have designated zones that cater specially to HIIT. This also includes providing appropriate trainers for the specified training. These HIIT trainers give you a personalised workout or in a small group of 3-5 individuals. It is designed keeping in mind your health limitations and endurance levels.
Like any other exercise program, HIIT will certainly cause the necessary stimuli for either weight loss or muscle building but to achieve any result one would need to follow a healthy nutrition plan. People new to HIIT may benefit from a slightly higher carb-rich meal a few hours before working out. Make sure that the post-workout out meal is high in protein.
HIIT puts a lot of stress on the body and hence before starting a HIIT session it is important to perform warm-up exercises to prevent injury. During working out, it is important to maintain good form and stay hydrated. Having a qualified trainer, who will guide you through the warm-ups, correct posture and most of all push and motivate you to give your 100 per cent of your intensity which is what HIIT is all about. However, if you are just starting and wish to train without an instructor you should perform shorter intervals of exercise and take longer rest periods to ensure that your body doesn't face unexpected injuries.