How To Get Back In Shape
Interval Training and HIIT
What is Interval Training?
Interval Training is simply working out in short intervals of higher intensity, and
then reducing the level of effort for short recovery periods.
High Intensity Interval Training Workouts, or HIIT, involve short bursts of high
intensity exercise, followed by a period at a reduced workout level or a recovery phase. Low
Intensity Interval Training LIIT, follows the same principles, but in more
What are the Advantages of
allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time and reduce the risk of overuse
strains and injuries.
can be adapted to many types of workouts: walking, jogging, running,
cycling, bodyweight exercises, swimming, kettlebells, etc.
have prepared your joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and cardiovascular system to tolerate a more intense
workout, you are ready to include interval training. Begin carefully, and work you way up in
intensity to the Tabata Protocol, which will give you execellent training
Are High Intensity Interval Training
Workouts for me?
As with any new exercise program, you should consult your doctor or
healthcare provider before you begin. If you have health
problems, make sure that you clear any interval training exercises
with your doctor because as the name implies, high intensity exercises are harder on your
heart. Interval Training, especially high intensity interval training (HIIT),
is not for the beginner.
As you become more fit and can tolerate increased exercise
intensity, high intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) will give you greater calorie
burn and weight reduction.
do I begin Interval Training?
First, be sure to do a thorough warm up before attempting
any interval exercise training. The simplest way to begin intervals is to include short bursts of higher intensity exercise interspersed with slower,
lower level efforts during your regular workout.
You may prefer to begin with a milder version, or low
intensity interval training (LIIT). Then, work you way up to a high intensity interval training
When beginning interval training, just get used to the idea of
increasing your intensity for short periods of time, according to your comfort level. Keep your
intervals in the low intensity or LIIT range, but more intense than your normal continuous workout
level. Then recover back to your normal level of workout until you feel able to bump it up
This allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time.
Using interval training, even LIIT, in addition to your regular continuous workout routines will help
you avoid plateaus and keep your body guessing, so that it does not adapt to your workouts.
Once you are comfortable with adding intervals to your workouts, you
can increase your intensity and target your high and low intensity phases, according to your heart
How do I use a Heart Rate Monitor
for Interval Training?
a heart rate monitor and using a timer like a Gymboss interval timer, you
can optimize your interval
A heart rate monitor will help you to maximize your
efforts, by targeting the intensity of your workout, to a percentage of your
maximal heart rate. This will help you avoid over-exerting during the high intensity
phase, and under exerting during your rest phase.
Unless you are an athlete going for peak
performance, do not exceed 80% to 85% of your maximal heart rate. (Or use a percentage
provided to you by your doctor).
For your slower, recovery period, try not to
let your heart rate dip below 55% to 65% of your max. These are just guidelines. You need to listen to your body and
make sure you recover enough so that you can make the most of your intervals.
Do not exceed your maximal heart rate. Learn
about your Exercise Target Heart Rate.
A Heart Rate
for Interval Exercise Training
Maximizes your Workout.
See Craig Ballantyne's
An Interval Timer will also help you optimize
your interval workouts by timing your high intensity and low intensity phases of your
One protocol that
optimizes interval exercise results is called the Tabata Protocol.
In the Tabata Protocol, your high intensity
interval is for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second recovery phase,
repeated 7 to 8 times or about 4 minutes long. Using the Tabata Protocol will improve both your
aerobic and anaerobic systems.
What is the best Type of Exercise for
Interval training can be incorporated into any conditioning,
aerobic or cardio workout whether it is walking, running, swimming, cycling, or working out on an
elliptical, rowing machine or any other cardio workout program. However, to optimize your interval
training workouts, you may want to try:
Remember, you can begin with low intensity interval
training ( LIIT ), and work your way up to high intensity interval workouts ( HIIT ) when you feel
ready. To avoid injury, do not push your intensity before you feel
that are able to tolerate the higher intensities. Use a heart rate monitor for safety. Use the
Tabata Protocol to make the most of your interval training and enjoy the results!
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