Advanced HIIT Workout
Push Your Limits with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High intensity interval Training (HIIT) is a method of training of short high intensity intervals with short amounts of rest. There is not one particular protocol that defines HIIT except for the concept that the work periods should be near maximal and rest periods should be completely sedentary. You may have heard of protocols like Tabata and Insanity. These are variations of HIIT. This method of very high intensity work combined with short rest periods at a very low intensity is extremely effective at creating an oxygen demand on the body during the work periods which, means the body is required to work very hard to recover in the short rest periods. This type of training is very efficient at improving both anaerobic and aerobic capacity. This type of training is great for team sport athletes and sports with an intermittent nature as it can be manipulated to mimic the demands of the sport. Regular HIIT training will see benefits in increased peak power output and work capacity during intermittent bouts coupled faster and more complete recovery between bouts.
HIIT is a method that can be applied to many different disciplines. It can be applied anywhere. You can do HIIT training in the gym, on the track, on the bike, in the pool. The defining principle is the time of the work and rest periods and the intensity at which they are performed. The structure of the training must be intermittent. High intensity followed by low intensity. Interval training is sometimes called “over and under” intervals where, you are working over your aerobic capacity and then working under the aerobic capacity to recover. The principle is similar except with HIIT the intensity should be maximal or very close to maximal with every rep and, as you are an athlete, this needs to be specific for your sport. Pay close attention to the work to rest periods as well as the movement selection.
THE VIDEO: Advanced HIIT Workout | Push Your Limits with High Intensity Interval Training
Circuit based HIIT training
With movement-based circuits you experience a peripheral adaption at the working muscle and also the central adaption at the heart and lungs. If you aren’t training specifically for a sport, you want to use a range of movements to give you a full body training session. If you are training for a sport, choose a series of movements which, are similar in kinetics, forces, and kinematics, movements, to your sport.
Once you have chosen your movements and their relative loads, its time to decipher the duration of the intervals and rest periods. For example, on average, rugby players perform bouts of high intensity sprints, cutting, rucking and wrestling for around 6 seconds with up 15 seconds of lower intensity recovery between bouts. This information should determine the duration of your intervals. The number of intervals within a set depends on your fitness levels and goals. Use shorter sets to improve on your anaerobic work capacity, 3-5 intervals per set. This is the amount of work you can perform outright within the certain interval. It should be a flat-out sprint. Use a higher number of intervals during each set, 6-10 per set, to improve your recovery rate and build on your aerobic base. With the higher reps, the intervals are at a lower intensity but you will be able to last longer. As you get fitter and can endure more work over a longer period of time gradually, increase the number of reps per set or even add an additional set. As a starting point, perform 3 sets of 6 intervals with a 1:1 rest to work ratio. This means if the entire set takes 4 minutes to perform, take minutes between sets to recover. With a high rest to work ratio and a low number of intervals per set you should be able to uphold a very high intensity during theses intervals.
As mentioned before, if you are not training for a sport or any goal specifically and you want to complete a HIIT workout to improve your general fitness, choose a series of movements that compliment each other. To perform a full body circuit, start with a squat or a lunging movement, a pressing movement, a pulling or rowing movement and core bracing exercises. Perform each movement at a high intensity for 20 seconds and take 10 seconds rest before moving onto the next movement. If you complete two full circuits with this work to rest ratio of 20 : 10, this will take 4 minutes to perform. This is the traditional TABATA protocol and is very effective at improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
The training session will look like this:
- Squat/lunge 20s
- Rest 10s
- Press 20s
- Rest 10s
- Pull/Row 20s
- Rest 10s
- Trunk Bracing 20s
- Rest 10s
Choose your movements and repeat this circuit twice with no rest.
Because of the high intensity nature of this training, perform no more than one to two HIIT training sessions a week. Any more than this and you will accumulate fatigue faster than you can recover. In the best case scenario, your training sessions will be performed at a lower intensity due to the residual fatigue. In the worst case scenario, you risk injury or chronic fatigue. Use the information provided within this article to take responsibility for your own training and design a HIIT training session based on your sport and current fitness goals.