At Duality in Sloan Lake, we teach classes that incorporate high intensity interval training so that you’re making the most out of your cardio and strength workouts. You may have heard of the term before or perhaps the acronym HIIT, but it’s important to understand what a HIIT workout is and how it’s the most effective way to burn calories and fat while building muscle.

Intent On Intensity

They key to high intensity interval training is it’s just that — intense. The good news is that HIIT is done is short bursts of cardio, like sprints, rather than just performing an exercise for a long time without stopping, like long distance running. These bursts range from 20 to 90 seconds and require you to push as hard as possible in that time to achieve maximum results.

These bursts are effective because your body needs to be working its hardest in order to increase endurance, boost metabolism, and lose body fat. This is the exact opposite of long distance running where you need to ration your energy.

Build With Bodyweight

Another key factor of a HIIT workout is the fact that you’re getting a workout using your body weight or adding weight to a move where you need more. Workouts like push ups use your body weight to strengthen your muscles, while moves like squats and lunges can have kettlebells or dumbbells added to increase the weight resistance and even add an upper body move to the workout. By weight training while doing cardio, you’re toning muscle while also increasing your heart rate and metabolic rate.

Give It All, Then Give It Nothing

When you’re working during the “intense” interval, it’s important to really give everything you’ve got, and know that it isn’t going to last forever. You only have 90 seconds to give it your all and then it’s over. That’s another great part of high intensity interval training — resting is as important to the training as the intensity. Resting gives your body time to recover from each move, but it also improves your cardiovascular endurance most effectively because your body has to adapt to the two different states quickly. At Duality, we like to call it recovering in the effort.

The After Effects

When you practice high intensity interval training, you aren’t just improving your body while you’re working out, you’re also improving it afterward. When you work out harder, you increase your oxygen intake, which creates a higher calorie burn both during and after a workout. When you do high intensity cardio that leaves you out of breath, it increases your metabolic rate overall, and you can burn 6 to 15 percent more calories while you’re at rest.

Do It Right

How do you make sure your workout is high intensity interval training, though? You can have a high intensity workout and you can do interval training, but how do you make sure it’s both? The basis is that you work really hard,  actively recover, then work really hard again. For beginners, a good ratio for intense workout-to- active rest is 1:2. If you’re working for 30 seconds, then recover for 60. When you’re better at it, you can adjust the ratio to 1:1. Your session overall, including working and recovery, should last 20-45 minutes.

If this workout sounds like what you’re looking for, sign up for a fitness class with Duality. We work HIIT into our classes!