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What You Never Knew About High Intensity Interval Training

High intencity training

Every year the fitness & wellness industry makes a list of its 10 current trends to look out for in that year – see what you never knew about High Intensity Fitness Training and what the latest trend is for this year.

 We have some loose ends to tie up around the 40-day challenge. For those who have been in contact, thank you for your stories and to those who picked up on the challenge a little later, don’t give up! Remember, you can go to many lengths to get the body you want but you will never be satisfied until you are able to love what you have now.

This year HIIT (high intensity interval training) was still at the top, as it was for 2013, with online training making an entry alongside mobility, stability and corrective training. You might have heard of LES MILLS® and Crossfit, which are the two forms of HIIT that is getting the most attention in 2014. But what is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training centres on alternating between intense bursts of exercise and low intensity exercise or rest. This includes both cardio and strength workouts in the high intensity burst with either active recovery exercise (which is less intense) or passive rest in between. For example, you could sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds and repeat it for 20 minutes.

What are the benefits of HIIT?
You will burn more fat than by taking a long, slow jog. You are able to train longer at high intensities because of the active rest in between and best of all, you have excess-post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC or the afterburn effect) that causes an increase in metabolism, burning more calories for up to 24 hours after interval training. To put that into perspective, after a jog, there are very few calories burnt. And let’s be honest, a short, intense workout sounds a lot more doable in our busy schedules than an hour or more slaving it on the treadmill, doesn’t it?

A sample workout will look something like this:
For 20min, as many rounds as possible of the following:
Run 200m
10 ring rows (TRX)
15 squats
Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes:
5 rows
10 push ups
15 squats
Rest for the remainder of the minute.

Feel free to try it; you’ll be super tired and super amped to do it again to see if you can better your score. Next time we’ll look at some of the trends inside the HIIT umbrella, so until then, hit the afterburn!

Izanne Reichert is a personal trainer and lecturer at the Exercise Teacher’s Academy in Randburg. To contact her, email fitprimer@gmail.com

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