Here at Hoops we’re committed to bringing you the most informative and motivational content possible – after all, we want you to love sport as much as we do! But we don’t know everything. So we’re going to be enlisting the help of regular columnists to help us fill in the gaps.
This week, personal trainer and fitness model Brigita Bonas tells us all about the benefits of High Intensity Interval training, or HIIT for short.
As I was walking into the gym this morning I noticed that more than half of cardio machines were vacant.
Then it occurred to me that it’s actually been quite some time since I last went for a chilled cardio session on those dusty machines.
And that made me realise that it’s only after I started really getting into HIIT that I’ve abandoned cardio machines.
They’re nice and chilled and comfortable, especially for gym newbies, but in the long run I think they get boring – too boring really.
And that’s why HIIT ticks my boxes.
What is HIIT?
Basically, it’s a training method which alternates short bursts of high intensity exercise with low intensity periods.
It is a popular method of burning fat – and that popularity is growing all the time!
It can prove more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher, and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance simultaneously.
Not only that, but as you’re changing your activity constantly, it keeps your mind stimulated as well.
A big improvement on pounding away on a treadmill!
How and when should you use it?
HIIT routines are great exercise in their own right – try and really push yourself, but for no longer than 20 or 30 minutes.
But how I like to use them is as a warm-up before weight-lifting. As I mentioned above, they are great for shedding weight fast, but as that’s not what I’m going for with my training it’s important I keep my routines balanced.
One way you can counteract that is to work weights into your HIIT routine – that way you build size and stay lean at the same time!
HIIT is way more fun, you can target different muscles in a short period of time and it warms me up so much faster than good old cardio machines.
And the best thing is, as I show you below, you can easily tweak any exercise to fit it to your ability level.
So there you have it, that’s why I think HIIT work-outs are so much better for you than your regular cardio exercises.
But don’t just take my word for it, check out some of my favourite routines below, try them out and work out what’s best for you!
Other exercises you could do
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