Fitness experts are now stating that individuals can see greater results in their fitness routines by pushing themselves harder during High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions. Defined as an exercise technique where you combine and switch from short intense anaerobic exercise, to less-intense recovery periods; the benefits of HIIT include burning through calories, building muscle, and helping with physical endurance. Those who partake in HIIT can reap the rewards of this fitness strategy by devoting 20 minutes a day to their exercise – however fitness trainers note that the key is finding the right level of intensity during your workout.
But what is the optimal level of intensity? According to Sean Bartram, author of the book “High Intensity Interval Training for Women,” while training, you should feel the same excursion as if you were running from ‘a rabid dog’.
“It’s just below that,” he adds. “To gain maximum benefits you have to push your body to a place that’s almost uncomfortable.”
HIIT intervals can include running, jumping, or skipping on the spot; with individuals resting during recovery time, or partaking in less-intense motions, like walking.
“You could alternate 30 seconds of sprinting with 30 seconds of walking, or you could engage in a series of bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, doing each for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between,” he said.
It is also important to remember, that before starting HIIT, or any new fitness routine, it is recommended to consult your doctor first.
“If you have a history of high blood pressure or medications, you cannot push to the absolute max,” adds Hayley Zawadzki, personal training manager at New York Health and Racquet Club fitness centers.