We have all heard of HITT (High Intensity Training) but does anyone actually know what it is and how to do it? Surely doing exercise for a shorter time but getting more from it must be a myth?

HITT is ‘shown to improve aerobic capacity, skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, exercise tolerance and markers of disease risk after only a few weeks‘ (NIH).

 

To do HITT you can perform various exercises such as bodyweight, cycle, ski erg, jump rope, sprints and so on. A typical HITT workout should last between 10-30 mins involving short bursts of high intensity exercise (which will speed your heart rate up), with recovery periods in between. The timings will depend on what exercise you are doing and your individual fitness level. For instance, if you are a beginner try 30 seconds of HITT followed by 90 seconds rest. For the fit people amongst us try 3 minutes of HITT followed by 1 minute rest.

Benefits of HITT

1. Time

We are so busy living in a hectic world and alot of us find that we don’t have time to exercise. Doing HITT can only take 10 mins but be equal in burning calories to a long run. An example of a quick body weight HITT is using a Tabata style exercise routine:

Press Ups 20 sec on 10 sec off – 8 rounds

Squats 20 on 10 sec off – 8 rounds

Sit Ups 20 sec on 10 sec off – 8 rounds

Total time spent:12 mins. All you need is a timer (seconds app is very good link here) and a little of your time ie get up 12 mins earlier!

2. Reduces Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

A study into The Effect of Low Volume Interval Training on Resting Blood Pressure in Pre-hypertensive Subject found that eight weeks of HIIT on a stationary bike decreased blood pressure as much as traditional continuous endurance training in adults with high blood pressure. In this study, the endurance training group exercised four days per week for 30 minutes per day. The HIIT group only exercised three times per week for 20 minutes per day.

If your blood pressure is high, being trained and monitored by a Personal Trainer to do HITT is great.

3. Great for reducing Blood Sugar

HITT has been proven to be hugely beneficial for sufferers of type 2 diabetes (diabetes.co.uk). It has been found to reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance alot better than traditional longer term exercise (results here). Great news for all type 2 diabetes sufferers!

4. Increase fat loss

High Intensity workouts show that it significantly lowers insulin resistance and results in a number of skeletal muscle adaptations that result in enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation.

For example, Tremblay et al. compared HIIT and steady state aerobic exercise. He found that after 24 weeks subjects in the HIIT group lost more subcutaneous fat, as measured by skin folds, compared to a steady state exercise group when exercise volume was taken into account.

Glycogen (all our clients know about our fat burning buddy!) is used massively in HITT training. HITT also releases human growth hormone and testosterone which both metabolise fat!

Winner winner chicken dinner if you want to lose fat quick (and I think we all do!)

5. You will burn calories long after the workout

Studies have shown that you will on average, burn calories up to three hours post HITT workout! If you wanted to take full advantage of this, do a HITT session in the morning before work. That way you remain active afterwards, burning more!

So what are you waiting for, get out there and give it a go! FitAgain do HITT training at the end of every personal training session and even bring it into our bootcamps! To find out more check out our personal training click this link or check out our bootcamps at this link.