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What is HIIT?

What is HiiT

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of training modality used in exercise to get maximum bang for your buck.

HIIT is a type of workout using short bursts of exercise that get the heart rate elevated, followed by a short rest period, and then repeated multiple times to match the fitness level of the individual.

The benefits of HIIT

HIIT training has been used by athletes for many years but the benefits for individuals of all ability levels is now being realised.

8 Benefits of HIIT Workouts


HIIT is time efficient

One of the main advantages of HIIT is you can get equivalent and often better health benefits from a short interval training session than consistent activities such as walking, jogging or cycling activities over a longer time.

HIIT can burn more calories and improve your metabolism

A study completed by Falcon et al. (2015) measured energy expenditure in three different forms of exercise: aerobic, resistance, and HIIT training and found HIIT training burned 25-30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.

The type of exercise session used focused on 20 secs at a maximal effort followed by 40 secs rest. Once finished Interval training the body also continues to burn energy above your normal metabolism as repairing and recovering is needed to take place.

Recovery will happen during rest which results in more energy being expended for the day. Therefore the harder the session the more energy is burned up when resting.

HIIT can help reduce blood pressure

HIIT can be great for those who have high blood pressure, as immediately following exercise your blood pressure and heart rate will reduce.

Heart rate can become lower at rest due to HIIT improving a person’s aerobic fitness (Coilac, et. Al, 2010).

A reduction in heart rate, results in the heart not having to work as hard, which is beneficial for those with cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure also drops due to exercise making the heart stronger and being able to pump blood with less effort.


How can you do HIIT

A few simple workouts you can try are:

  • Cycling (30 seconds hard followed by 2 min easy).
  • Try this for 15-20 mins. Walking / jogging (5 mins followed by 1 min easy).
  • Try this for 30mins. Sitting to standing up.
  • Try 10-20 reps continuous followed by 2 mins rest.
  • Try 3-4 rounds of this.

How to Avoid Injury with HIIT

With any form of exercise it is really important to avoid injury. HIIT can involve fast paced and high impact movements, so knowing how to prevent injury is crucial.

Some tips to help you remain injury free are:

  • Start with seeking professional advice and supervision
  • Warm up and cool down
  • Mix up your choice of interval mode
  • Mix up muscle use and change direction
  • Listen to your body
  • Rest and nutrition

Join a class For more fun and variety, joining an exercise class or doing some 1:1 training with an Exercise Physiologist will help to plan and give you a workout that best matches your fitness level.

Matt Werner

Contact our Exercise Physiologist Matt, at Lilyfield Physio for more information about group/class sessions and 1:1 HIIT training.


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