All About HIIT Workouts

HIIT blasts fat in minimal time — and you don’t need a gym membership to get started. Learn more about how this ultra-popular training method can transform your typical fitness routine.

So, What Is HIIT?

HIIT stands for “high intensity interval training.” It’s a training method based on short, yet intense, bursts of energy, followed by short recovery periods. Athletes love it because it scorches calories and maximizes workout results.

In a nutshell, the intensity of a HIIT workout is much higher than that of a traditional cardio session. HIIT will increase your heart rate, keep it up — and burn more fat in a shorter period of time. Sounds pretty great, right?

How Does It Work?

High intensity interval training is an effective fat-burner because it produces excess post-oxygen consumption. Or, as we like to call it: “the after-burn.”

During intense exercise, your heart rate increases and your body requires more oxygen—in effect creating an oxygen shortage. To make up for this deficit, your body consumes extra oxygen post-workout, or as you recover.

This means you’ll burn calories even after you’ve hit the showers. This after-burn effect gives HIIT its metabolism-boosting reputation.

What Are Some Benefits Of HIIT?

Most HIIT workouts are less than 30 minutes — a serious bonus when you’re trying to squeeze a workout into your schedule. And they generally use only body weight, so you can skip the dumbbells, kettlebells and other gym gear. That said, you can perform these workouts just about anywhere. No gym membership necessary.

What Do HIIT Workouts Entail?

With HIIT, it’s easy to switch up your workout routine. A typical sequence might include squats, jumping jacks, burpees, sit-ups or high-knees. You’ll likely perform a set of moves, then repeat the set several times. You can even take a “mix and match” approach to your workout — trading in new moves to make the most of your training.

What Do You Need To Get Started?

Comfortable athletic clothes are a must. Pair them with versatile cross-training shoes, because you’ll need support for both forward and lateral footwork. Accessories like a water bottle, cooling towels and exercise mats can also aid in your workout. Be sure to properly stretch before and after your HIIT workout, and always train in a space where you can comfortably move around. And when in doubt start slow and work your way towards your health goals.