Don't be afraid to HIIT! Why high intensity interval training IS for everyone

What exactly is HIIT?  Most of us have heard of the phrase and know it applies to working out, but the details can get fuzzy.  Simply put, according to Specialist Trainer Katie Duffy, "High intensity interval training 'HIIT' workouts are short, intense bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests. The workout involves alternating between work and recovery periods."  Sure, easy enough but let's dig in a little deeper.  Duffy share's her expertise with HIIT training by answering some frequently asked questions about the format.  Read to the end for her tailored example workout with video that you can do on your own!

How does HIIT help me lose weight and be healthier?

The intention of a HIIT workout is to give 100% or more during the short work periods. During the rest time you are training your body to recover fast. This type of workout keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. Your body becomes accustomed to doing the same weight or the same work to rest time. Therefore, taking a HIIT class will help your body continue to change. It's important members change their weights regularly and the work to rest times will always challenge members to go out of their comfort zones.

I’m new to working out and think HIIT will be too intense for me, why should I try it anyway?

Talk to the instructor before class. Any good instructor should offer multiple levels during a class. Although exercises may include jumping, fast movements, or dropping down to the ground, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT. A jump squat can be just as difficult performed as a body weight squat. You can perform a body weight squat quickly to increase your hear rate or you can add a weight to your squat instead of jumping.

If I go to a HIIT class, do I have to go full energy the entire time?

Go at your own pace. The important part is you feel your heart rate increasing. You want to go out of your comfort zone and feel winded. If you can accomplish that, your HIIT class is a success. Listen to your body and only go at the pace your body is comfortable with. You will see this change on a day to day basis.

I’m already really healthy from cardio and weight training, what added benefits would I get from HIIT?

There is a difference between training on the treadmill, the elliptical or even the bike. HIIT focuses on hitting ALL muscle groups. Why? You are performing exercises that will tone your upper body and your lower body. Cardio machines and weight training is great, but HIIT gives you an entirely different workout and you can still incorporate weight training with HIIT! I recommend doing all 3 types of exercise.

Do I have to take a class or can I do it on my own?

You can do either or! I have clients that take my HIIT classes, and use my workouts on their own when traveling for business or going on vacation. If you aren't into group classes, there are plenty of programs you can find online to give you ideas as well as apps to download to create your own HIIT workouts!

How do I incorporate HIIT into my own workout?

All you need is 30-45 minutes in your day for HIIT. I recommend warming up, incorporating about 4-12 different exercises into your workout, then cooling down. Some members do HIIT daily, varying how intense the workout is, and some members add it into their weekly routines 3-4 times.

How do I know I am doing it right?

If you aren't certified or familiar with HIIT, I recommend taking a class where the instructor can watch your form and correct you. If you cannot attend a class, download an app and there are trainers that can take you through the proper workout!

What are the best classes to take if I want to try it for the first time?

All CAC instructors are skilled to take you through a workout. I recommend showing up 5 minutes early to talk with the instructor. Explain to them your experience, any injuries or limitations you may have and go from there!

Katie's On-Your-Own HIIT Workout

35 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest - 12 rounds
Squat Jacks - perform 3x
Mountain Climbers - perform 3x
3 Shuffles Right, Burpee, 3 Shuffles Left, Burpee - perform 3x
Low Plank Hold - perform 3x 

60 seconds of work 15 seconds of rest - 2 rounds
8 Jumping Jacks, 4 Vertical Jumps - perform 2x

35 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest - 12 rounds
4 Plyo Lunges, 3 Squat Pulses - perform 2x
Bear Crawl Forward and Backward - perform 2x
8 Mountain Climbers, 4 Plank Jacks - perform 2x
4 Plyo Lunges, 3 Squat Pulses - perform 2x
Bear Crawl Forward and Backward - perform 2x
8 Mountain Climbers, 4 Plank Jacks - perform 2x

60 seconds of work 15 seconds of rest - 2 rounds
8 Ice Skaters - 4 Push Ups - perform 2x

web_Katie-Duffy-crop-140x140Katie found her passion for fitness when she graduated from college with a dance degree. Every day she is motivated to get to the gym because she loves helping members with their fitness journey. Fitness brings her happiness and a healthy lifestyle.