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HIIT - What Is It, Benefits & How To Do It

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

HIIT has been the recent buzzword around town. But what is HIIT?

What is HIIT workout?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, which as the name suggests, involves a routine with multiple high-intensity exercises (think high burst/power!) for a short period of time. And this summarises the idea of what is HIIT training.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

Through exercising, you are able to build strength, muscle endurance, and lose weight.

But as supported by Active Health, what is HIIT good for, is the fact that you can burn lots of calories and achieve above, in a short amount of time and your metabolism will also increase on that day.

According to WebMD, some health benefits of HIIT include reduced blood pressure and blood sugar immediately too, benefitting people with these conditions. Lastly, you will burn fats from doing HIIT! As for the physiological benefits of HIIT training, one’s agility and coordination are sure to improve with those fast-paced workouts.

We will say HIIT is suitable for anybody who is physically fit, but conditioning will be needed before going into it.

Getting started on HIIT

Here are some HIIT tips for beginners. 1-3 times of HIIT a week may be ideal. Try to keep your heart rate at 85% throughout your HIIT. Now you might be thinking, how do I know if my heart rate is at 85%?

A rough guide for 20-30 years old, your heart rate should be maintained at around 170-175 beats per minute and for 30-50 years old group, try to maintain it at around 150-170 beats per minute throughout your HIIT. Devices like Fitbit/Apple watch may be helpful to track heart rate while working out.

How long should each HIIT last?

We recommend that you finish your HIIT within 40 mins. 30 mins will be ideal. Minimize your rest time and choose the correct exercises! All of us has got different goals and fitness level. So it's really important to pick the right exercises for HIIT.

How often should I do HIIT?

A total of one to two days per week is good. Of course, the length and frequency of the workout should depend on your personal fitness levels currently. Usually, we recommend that you start with workouts that are at your current fitness level or slightly higher than it. So common exercises such as squat jumps, mountain climbers, and burpees.

It is usual for you to experience some muscle soreness, especially if you are new to HIIT. Nothing to worry about! However, if you are consistently experiencing sharp pains, at your joints, in particular, it could be signs of overtraining or an error when performing the exercises. Please stop immediately and seek professional eyes to help you ascertain the issue. Remember, do not overexert.

To ensure your body is in tip top condition for the intense workout, a light meal two hours before the exercise is recommended. After which, you can also opt for a post workout snack to reward your body for its burn, with something extra nutritious! If you need more tips on diet, please refer to our post.

Apart from HIIT, do try to add in long distance jog and weights training into your routine as well. Always remember, that our body needs variety and it's good to be an all rounder! And any exercise is always better than no exercise.

Some Recommended HIIT Workouts

HIIT workout (Beginner) 💪🏽

40 secs Work & 20 secs Rest per exercise X 5 Exercises = 1 set

After each set Rest 1 min

Go for 5 sets

  • Jumping Jack

  • High Knees

  • Butt kick

  • Squats

  • Rotational Twist

HIIT workout (Intermediate) - Full Legs 🔥

40 secs Work & 20 secs Rest per exercise X 5 Exercises = 1 set

After each set Rest 1 min

Go for 5 sets

  • Squat jump

  • Sprinting on the spot

  • Sumo Squat jump

  • Narrow squat + calf raises

  • Burpees

HIIT workout (Advanced) - 🔥🔥🔥

40 secs Work & 20 secs Rest per exercise X 5 Exercises = 1 set

After each set Rest 1 min

Go for 5 sets

  • Burpees with push ups

  • Squat + high jump

  • Sumo squat jump

  • Criss Cross Squats

  • Star jump

In summary…

Top three things for you (tldr):

  1. HIIT is a short but intense workout for maximum calorie gain

  2. Anyone can do HIIT but some conditioning may be required – but trust us, it will get tired with time

  3. Don’t just do HIIT, a variety of exercises (e.g. strength/weights training or cardio) is recommended for a whole suite of benefits!

When in doubt, feel free to reach out to us - We are certified personal trainers who can help you achieve your fitness goals!

Together, Let us Witness your Fitness!

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