Emma Frain, head of fitness at Protein World, shares the eight things a personal trainer wants you to know about HIIT training.
High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, has become incredibly popular in the fitness world. A HIIT session alternates between periods of fast paced, or "high intensity", all-out exercise, followed by low intensity movements or rest periods. HIIT normally follows a circuit style format, which keeps your muscles engaged throughout the entire workout.
Scoll down to see where you can try HIIT classes in the UAE...
1. You should prepare to sweat it out for the duration of the workout. HIIT training is one of the most intense workouts you can do, and it's definitely not for the faint hearted, so people need to be prepared to work. If you don't, the chances are that you're not pushing yourself as hard as you can, which is the level you should be aiming for during the high intensity parts of the workout.
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2. If you're looking for a workout that improves fitness levels, burns fat but still maintains muscle - this is the work out for you. HIIT maximises both aerobic and anaerobic fitness by working the body hard for a period of time, followed by a short period of rest. This affects the muscle tissue at a cellular level, changing mitochondrial activity (mitochondria converts oxygen and nutrients into energy) in the muscles themselves, which optimises muscle building and maintenance during fat loss.
3. You can burn up to 700 calories in 45 minutes doing HIIT. A popular excuse for many to not work out is due a lack of time, which is one of the reasons HIIT is proving to be so popular. It's ideal for fitting into a busy schedule without disrupting your day. The average HIIT workout should last around 30 minutes, a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 45. During these time frames you can still burn up to 700 calories depending on fitness levels and intensity of workouts.
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4. Your weight loss or fitness shouldn't plateau. When it comes to strength training and cardiovascular activity, it's easy to fall into habits and for your body to plateau, which can often prevent you from reaching your goal. HIIT is an incredibly versatile way of training, as you can incorporate different tempos, movements, reps, and weights into a routine to stop your body from ever getting used to it. This will force the body to adapt to the exercises you're putting it through, resulting in lean muscle growth and overall body conditioning.
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6. The benefits of HIIT training continue after the workout is complete. Due to the nature of the workout, by increasing intensity and raising the heart rate in a short space of time, our metabolism speeds up, which allows the body to continue burning calories for hours after you've finished exercising.
7. A warm up and cool down must be included within a HIIT workout as your muscles need to be engaged and switched on in order to prepare it for intense bursts of exercise. For those short on time, YouTube provides a range of short but effect warm ups and cool downs. For those who have the time, a focus on pre and post workout stretching will also help aid mobility and increase flexibility - as well as making DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) slightly more bearable the next day.
8. There have been links between HIIT training and improved heart health. Increased fitness is not the only benefit; not only does it make us look and feel fitter, it also adds to the function of our internal organs. As we become fitter, so do our organs, and there has been links between HIIT training and the reduction of cardiovascular illnesses including relating factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Three HIIT classes in the UAE...
1. Speedflex at JA Ocean View Hotel
These high intensity classes fit into 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute slots throughout the day, meaning that you never have an excuse to not work out! Switching between weighted exercises on Speedflex machines and body weight exercises, you'll be push to the limit in quick intervals, with short breaks in between. The best part? Everyone wears a heart rate monitor, so you will be able to track your projects and push yourself further. Check their website for the full schedule.
2. TUFF at Fitness First (locations around the UAE)
The Ultimate Fitness Firster, aka TUFF, is a class that combines "bodyweight and barbell work helps decrease body fat and increase lean muscle tissue to give the body a toned look," according to the Fitness First website.
3. Insanity at UFC Gym Dubai, Business Bay
The popular TV method is now taught in classes, and promises to burn up to 600 calories in a session. The newly launched JBR gym will also be offering Insanity classes in the near future. Click for more info.
Adapted from Cosmo UK