HIIT it like Beckham: what is HIIT training, and why should you be doing it?
Ever wondered how David Beckham maintains the underwear-model worthy body? Mr. Beckham does HIIT training, and if you want to get/stay/improve fitness in 2015, you should give it a go.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is an interval training protocol that involves longer intervals of intense effort (i.e. 1-5 minutes), followed by relatively shorter rest periods (1/2 the time of the work period). It is a very time efficient way to improve fitness, improve blood pressure and decrease abdominal fat…and that’s just three of the many reasons to include it in your training.
Why HIIT is beneficial?
The nature of the workout is that your maximum efforts are just that, maximum outlay of effort and therefore energy. Because you are pushing yourself to maximum effort during the work interval you are more efficiently using you.
Post-session calorie burning
In addition to the energy outlay during the session, you will continue to burn calories up to 15% longer after your workout then through a regular training session. This is because HIIT training increases your resting metabolic heart rate for up to 24 hours post training. Therefore, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
No equipment required
Body weight exercises that use multiple muscle groups are ideal for HIIT, meaning no weights are necessary (although depending on the session, they can be added)
HIIT sessions can be modified for all fitness levels or special conditions, I.e. Diabetes, obesity, etc. HIIT has been shown to improve:
- Aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular health
- Insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
- Cholesterol profiles
- Abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass
Who should be HIIT Training?
Whether you are new to fitness or a seasoned veteran, HIIT is an excellent option to include in your regime. It can be adjusted to suit any level of fitness, with the caveat that when doing HIIT sessions don’t allow yourself to get used to one level of intensity (translation: if it becomes easy, push harder until its not).
People with busy schedules
One of the common complaints made by people who are new to exercise is that they either don’t have the time to commit, or simply don’t want to commit large amounts of time to gym training.
HIIT provides an efficient alternative to slaving away on a treadmill or other cardio apparatus at a steady pace, and in addition to the challenging nature of the session (to get the most of HIIT sessions, you need to challenge yourself), you will actually accomplish more positive benefits in less time.
If you are experienced in training, HIIT training is a very effective way to get past plateaus and establish new benchmarks. It’s also an excellent variable to add into that stale routine that you’ve been doing for months, and presents a new challenge that will keep your body adapting, leading to better results.
To learn more about healthy exercise and eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.
Nines, Emma: ‘It might be painful, but it does work: High intensity interval training benefits women’, www.dailymail.co.uk
Dr. Mercola: ‘High Intensity Interval Training 101’, http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/06/21/interval-training.aspx
Andersen, Charlotte Hilton: ‘Benefits of HIIT: Efficiency – 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)’, http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit
Kravitz, Len: ‘ACSM Information on High-Intensity Interval Training’, www.acsm.org