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HIIT : High Intensity Interval Training

Categories: Exercise
Tags: Tabata, HIIT

Gone are the days of slogging for hours on a treadmill in order to lose weight. If you're looking for a much more effective way to lose those extra pounds, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is for you. It's all about maximum effort in minimum time and it really produces results!

What are the benefits of HIIT?

  • It’s quick to do
  • You can do it anywhere
  • No equipment is necessary
  • It’s great for burning fat
  • It’s suitable for all fitness levels

High intensity interval training requires a lot of effort for a very short amount of time, which is actually easier than it sounds. You can make your body do so much more if you're counting down the seconds, rather than minutes!

What is HIIT?

During a HIIT session you perform a short, intense burst of exercise and then have a brief rest. This is repeated several times and each period of exercise and rest is usually no more than 1-2 minutes long. The idea is that you don't let your heart rate drop as this ensures that you're using more oxygen and burning more fat, while the regular recovery time reduces your fatigue and means you can push harder for longer.

One of the most famous HIIT protocols is called Tabata, and we use this a lot at Kristy Ellis Personal Training. The idea is to perform just 20 seconds of 100% effort work, followed by 10 seconds’ rest, 8 times through. That's only 4 minutes of exercise, and just one round on its own can do wonders for your fitness. How difficult is it to find 4 minutes in your day?

HIIT and Tabata can be performed using one exercise 8 times, 2 exercises 4 times, 4 exercises twice or even 8 different exercises, depending on what you're looking to achieve. A good all-round option is 4 exercises, and a really intense round would use just one. Read on for some example workouts below.

HIIT requires no equipment so can be done anywhere. We used to have some clients who would get together in their break room and do a set of Tabata during their working day.

You can use exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, push ups, jump squats, jumping jacks, jumping lunges and sprinting (to name but a few). If you have equipment available there are plenty of additional exercises you can do too: pull ups, wall balls, rowing, battle ropes, etc.

It’s worth remembering that these short intervals are only effective because you're putting all your effort in. If you're able to have a nice chat while you're training, then you aren't training hard enough. Give it your all, just for a few minutes, and you will see the results, both in your general fitness and in weight loss.

At Kristy Ellis Personal Training, we incorporate HIIT into our personal training sessions and group fitness classes all the time because it is one of the best ways of burning fat. We also have dedicated HIIT classes at our Chelmsford studio on Monday and Wednesday mornings.

Here is an example of a HIIT circuit session we might do during our group exercise classes in Nottingham and Chelmsford:

30 seconds per exercise with 10 seconds’ rest after each:

Squat jumps
Kettlebell swings
Mountain climbers
Overhead presses
Step ups

Below is a great little Tabata we often use as well. 

20 seconds per exercise followed by 10 seconds’ rest:

Squat jumps
Press ups
Squat jumps
Press ups
Squat jumps
Press ups
Squat jumps
Press ups

We would love to talk to you some more about the benefits of HIIT and how we can get you burning fat more effectively so book a free consultation to learn more!