Article By Jennifer Bodell, Drummond Education 

HIIT seems to be all the rage these days – and a Big “buzz word” in the fitness industry. It’s been referred to as the “closest thing to an exercise pill”. Its fabulous for those of us who are pressed for time (as so many of us are these days!) And lets face it – if you can get fit in less time than with traditional forms of exercise, well, who wouldn’t want to?! So, what’s it all about? And why is it such a big deal? Well, HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training’, a type of exercise that is broken down into quick, short intense bursts. For example, rather than jogging on a treadmill at the same pace for 30 minutes (which doesn’t necessarily do much in the way of fat burning), HIIT training would change the jogging into sets of 30 second sprints with a 10 second break in between. Its a much more effective – and quicker – way to lose weight than longer, more traditional types of exercise. This is the key finding from a recent research conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, who conducted 36 studies with circa 1,000 people. 

This type of training burns far more calories than steadier forms of exercise, and continues to burn significant amounts of fat even after you’ve finished working out! How does this work? HIIT workouts produce excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), meaning your body continues to use oxygen and burn fat long after you’ve stopped exercising.  It works with both cardio and weights training, and the exercises are scalable so they can be tailored to fit every level of fitness. And, HIIT is extremely effective at cutting stubborn and unhealthy tummy fat – a win-win!

Here’s some examples of HIIT Exercises:

Here are some exercises you can choose that can be broken down into HIIT sets:

  • Squat jumps
  • Star jumps
  • High-knee jogging
  • Lunges
  • Push ups
  • Burpees
  • Sprints
  • Boxing
  • Skipping
  • Tuck jumps
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep dips
  • Shoulder flies

Select as many exercises as you’d like (if you are a  beginner it’s probably best to stick to five to start with). You’ll need your stopwatch at the ready! Next, complete 30 second to one minute rounds of each, with a 10 second breather in between. Since HIIT workouts are so hard core, it’s best to do no more than two a week and avoid doing back-to-back HIIT workouts (this was a mistake I made when I first started my HIIT routine! – I learned the hard way you need to give your body recovery-time to properly enjoy the benefits of the workouts 😉

The report concludes that people who did HIIT programmes lost nearly 29% more weight than those engaging in less intense forms of exercise.  (NOTE: Please bear in mind that the report also suggests  HIIT not suitable for everyone – there are risks and provisos associated with Higher Intensity Training (for example, increased cardiovascular stress and injury potential) – so please do take caution!) 

Sources: British Journal of Sports Medicine/ /