More about HIIT Training

Nancy Heijnis
5 September 2022
Reading time: 8 minutes

Would you like to burn fat but are you tired of cardio? Then HIIT is the solution! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, a style of training that requires you to perform high-intensity exercises for a few seconds and then rest briefly for rapid recovery periods. The idea is to raise your heart rate during exercise and lower it again during rest periods. Super for someone who wants to stay away from static jogging or exercise bikes.

Popularity of HIIT workouts has grown enormously

HIIT training has become so popular that many group classes that consist of multiple exercises, different stations and a lot of sweat are named after it. Of course HIIT workouts are super good to follow. It is ideal for those who have little time and still want to sweat and burn a lot in a short period of time. But to get the most out of it, it is useful to know in advance exactly what HIIT does to you.

How do you apply HIIT?

Thanks to the high intensity alternating with low intensity, HIIT is anything but boring! To properly apply HIIT, your heart rate must be high. Namely 70 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate with a simple calculation: 220 - age. Make your entire workout consist of HIIT exercises or choose to fill a few sets with HIIT exercises. When we talk about the work-to-rest ratio, there are several ways you can maintain it:

  • To improve aerobic fitness you train 1:1. That is, work for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
  • With anaerobic training, you train strength and explosiveness. That is why the rest periods are longer so that you can really pop during the effort. For example, think of working for 20 seconds and resting for 60 seconds.

Include HITT workouts in your training schedule alongside other workouts. Maximum 2x per week (no more) 30 minutes for recreational athletes and 60 minutes per week for advanced athletes. However, the workout length is flexible. As long as the formula of extreme intensity is followed by rest, you can reap the benefits of HIIT in much shorter sessions.

HIIT training has many benefits

HIIT workouts have several important benefits. We have listed why you should choose HIIT for you!

  • The afterburn: During HIIT training, you train much more intensely and explosively. After training, your body takes longer to recover and you are still burning calories during this recovery period. As a result, you burn the same amount or perhaps even more than during a normal cardio training.
  • The perfect way to improve your fitness: The intervals train your heart to pump more blood faster. In the end, you can keep up the efforts for longer!
  • No time? For HIIT yes: Lack of time is no longer an excuse. You can perform an effective HIIT training from 20 minutes.
  • Make HIIT training completely to your liking: Do you like running, cycling or jumping rope? You can also apply HIIT here. Of course you can also do exercises in the gym or just relax at home in your living room without the need for fitness equipment.

HIIT workouts that you can get started right away

Does this sound like music to your ears? Then of course you want to get started right away. We have prepared some different HIIT workouts for you that you can start right away. Be careful! You must already have a basic condition. So have been involved in sports for at least half a year.

The basic HIIT workout

You perform this basic HIIT training on the treadmill or just outside in the fresh wind. Make sure to warm up for a few minutes by jogging at a low intensity. Then your interval consists of 30 seconds of explosive and 30 seconds of rest. During the 20 seconds you run at 80% of your maximum heart rate. You may walk during the 30 second rest. Repeat this 10 to 15 times.

The well-known TABATA workout

Are you not a runner at all, but would you rather do exercises with your own body weight? Then choose the milled TABATA workout. Here you train explosively for 20 seconds and you can rest for 20 seconds. Do up to 8 sets of one exercise. Maybe you know a famous TABATA song from a group class you took: Bring Sally up. You can of course also use this for your own TABATA workout.

Here are some exercises you can use:

  • (jumping) squats
  • pushups
  • (jumping) lunges
  • burpees
  • mountain climbers

Minute on a minute

Set an interval timer to 12 minutes. (You can just download this in the app store). Then you will perform a circuit consisting of 3 exercises 12 times). You have one minute for each round. If you finish earlier, you have a longer rest period. Are you ready later in the minute? Then your rest period is shorter. (Sounds kinda weird).

Here are the exercises:

  • 15 squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 15 jumping jacks

A HIIT workout is great but pay attention to what you’re going to do after the HITT workout when you body “rest”. You don’t do this HITT workout to do nothing afterwards. The so-called couch hanging. Remain active for the rest of the rest days to take full advantage of the positive effects of the HIIT workout.

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