What’s the deal with H.I.I.T training?

High Intensity Interval training has become increasingly popular over the last few years due to its time efficient structure and fast acting benefits. H.I.I.T comes in many forms and has been adopted by fitness facilities and trainers all over the world. However H.I.I.T is not a new concept, athletes have been using interval training for over 100 years to build endurance and increase aerobic capacity.

What is H.I.I.T?

H.I.IT workouts involve bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower intensity activity. Often formulated in a circuit and frequently combining aerobic exercise and strength training.

The H.I.I.T effect

The high intensity component of H.I.I.T can be defined as a burst of exercise where the individuals heart rate reaches at least 80% of their maximum capacity. These periods of heart pounding intensity result in more blood being pumped to the muscles and more oxygen being taken in. With consistent training this creates improvements in heart health and respiratory function.

Research has repeatedly found that H.I.I.T is a time efficient way to burn calories and increase cardiovascular fitness when compared to continuous modes of exercise. This makes it appealing to people who are looking for a quick result or have less time to exercise. However, there is little evidence to suggest that interval training is any better for weight loss than your regular gym session.

Why the hype then?

H.I.I.T workout’s that combine strength training and body weight exercise are proving to be a popular way of ‘toning up’ (fat loss), as well as boosting fitness. This is the style of exercise that has become so popular, F45 anyone?

This style of training burns calories but also creates lean muscle mass which contributes to a higher resting metabolism and of course more energy burned throughout the day.

I would recommend H.I.I.T training to any and all healthy individuals, of course it may not be appropriate for your grandma if she has a heart condition or osteoporosis.. But for the general population high intensity interval training has many benefits and does not require any equipment to do.

Never done it? Give this circuit a go 

  • 15 X Squats or Squat Jumps
  • 15 X Push-ups
  • 15 X Jumping Jacks
  • 15 X Burpees
  • 100M Sprint 


 Michael J. Joyner, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Ricardo. B. Viana Faculty of Physical Education and Dance,


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