Get Your HIIT On!

HIIT imageEveryone is always looking for a new and quick way to get the most out of their time when it comes to exercise. If it was up to me, it would be possible to get a six-pack from doing one 10 minute core workout. However, we know this to not be the case. But, what if I told you there was a profitable work out format that is used by pro-athletes? A format which Men’s Fitness Magazine agrees increases calorie burning throughout your day, grows endurance, promotes a healthier cardiovascular system, is time efficient, and customizable to individuals.

High intensity interval training suddenly becomes very appealing. As a person who is ALWAYS on the go, the amazing results combined with time efficiency is very attractive to me. Before we get too excited, what exactly is HIIT? According to the America’s Authority on Fitness (ACE), a renowned fitness enterprise, HIIT work outs are described as; “a cardiorespiratory training using quick bursts of high-intensity exercise intervals for short durations mixed with intervals of lower intensity active recovery”. ACE defines the high intensity intervals as, “On a 1-10 scale of perceived exertion…is anything over an effort level of 7.” Your perceived exertion is your internal gage of what your max heart rate is, so a 7 should really get the sweat going! Are you hooked yet?


How To Do It:

Following a good warm-up, your high intensity interval should begin; lasting for a short duration. The duration of for bursts is customizable, but should be long enough for you to reach your level 7 of perceived exertion.  This is an amount of time that may change as your development continues. However, a good starting point may be 20 seconds, to a minute.

After your high exertion period, take a brief active recovery. This means you are still moving preventing your heart rate from decreasing too quickly. According to ACE, it can also condition your body to remove metabolic wastes such as lactic acid between the high intensity periods.

This format is recommended to be 20-30 minutes long to get started. This is exciting news for the common busy-body, but you can also increase the duration of the workout as time permits or as your endurance increases.


HITT is a workout out easily done at home as well as in the gym. There are many forms of equipment that can be used for strength circuits, resistance, or to work one specific pesky muscle! Luckily a lot of gyms have Fitness Classes that use this format in a group setting. Here at UW-Whitewater the Group Fitness Programs leads HIIT classes such as; Insanity™ and Tabata. Come check it out, and get your body moving!


Thank you for trying something new!

Until Next Time…Carry On!

Kari Rebman

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