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What is HIIT Training and Why is It Good For Me?

In case you didn’t know, HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training”, and this type of exercise is highly praised for its ability to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. In fact, it was recently voted one of the top worldwide fitness trends for 2020. Check out our ultimate HIIT Kitchen lowdown on this amazing type of training.

by Alicia Drewnicki

Hiit exercise

So What Exactly is HIIT?
HIIT Training is a fast-paced workout that consists of short bursts of intense exercise, followed by lower intensity exercises or quick rest periods. Trust us, HIIT training can be tough, but it’s worth it.

How long should I do HIIT training for?
This is down to personal preference (and stamina!) but you can get an effective full-body workout in only 20 minutes. Just remember to warm-up, and cool-down afterwards.

Is it hard?
The short answer is: yes! It’s a workout designed to push you to your limits, and really challenge you. You’ll be so proud when you finish though.

What are the benefits of HIIT Training?
There are so many! From improved stamina, to better sleep, increased fat burn, increased metabolism, and it can also improve your heart health. Scientists believe that VO2 max (which is the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use) is one of the best ways to predict someone’s overall health, and HIIT helps increase this.
One research study found that doing HIIT for three days a week for a two-week period doubled the aerobic capacity of those taking part from 25 minutes to 51 minutes (Source).

Does it burn more calories than other forms of exercise?
Naturally it depends what exercise you’re comparing it to, but in many cases, yes! In fact, there was a study that compared calories that were burned during 30 minutes of biking, running, weight training, and HIIT training. The research showed that HIIT training burned 25-30% more calories than the other exercises. (Source)

How hard should I work out during the high intensity parts of training?
This advice can vary depending on the workout, but as a rough guideline, you should be aiming for around 80% of your maximum heart rate during the high intensity intervals, and around 40% - 50% during the recovery/low intensity parts. A heart rate monitor can come in very handy for this.

Is rest important when I do HIIT training?
Definitely! Just like any form of exercise, those rest days are essential to help your body recover and muscles repair. It’s completely normal to get delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) a couple of days after HIIT training. If you’re just starting with HIIT, aim to begin with a max of 3 days a week, and allow yourself recovery periods.

Are there any basic HIIT moves that I should master before starting?
Yes - a few key ones are knowing how to squat properly, basic push-ups, holding a plank, burpees, and lunges. It’ll really help if you have a personal trainer to go through basic exercises and comment on your form and anything you need to improve on before you do HIIT.

Should I do other exercises, or just HIIT training?
We recommended a well-rounded exercise regime that includes other types of exercise too. You could combine 3 days a week of HIIT with weight training, moderate cardio, or yoga/pilates for example.

Are You Called HIIT Kitchen because you all do HIIT in the Kitchen?
Well, one of our co-founders Kris is a qualified personal trainer...but no, definitely no HIIT in the kitchen! (For now…) We’re certainly a team of fitness lovers who are passionate about HIIT training and keeping fit, as well as eating delicious healthy food of course.

If you've come to HIIT Kitchen for HIIT - you're in luck! We regularly showcase HIIT workouts through our amazing Instagram Live brand ambassador workouts - be sure to keep an eye on our Instagram page to find out when the next workouts are.

Hiit exercise