If you’re serious about transforming your fitness you can’t look past high-intensity interval training, aka HIIT. Featuring short, intense bursts of exercise followed by periods of recovery, the basic recipe is to go as hard as you can for a short period of time, rest, and then repeat.
This proven training method, particularly the use of the recoveries, allows you to keep reaching your maximum training zone again and again, shocking your body each and every workout.
Research shows 30 minutes of LES MILLS GRIT™ twice a week, will create significant changes in your fitness and body composition. After just six weeks study participants enjoyed a significant increase in cardiovascular fitness, and a drop in triglycerides, which is the amount of fat we have in our blood. They also had a startling reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors, their strength gains were considerable and their body fat percentage and waist circumference dropped.
So what’s not to love?
The thing is, HIIT is well… intense. It’s best served on top of a base level of fitness and other moderate exercise. To establish whether you should make HIIT part of your weekly exercise regime you need to know where you are in your fitness journey. You might fall into one of three categories:
You’re totally new to fitness
In this case, jumping head-first into HIIT is almost definitely a bad idea. In order to get your body used to exercise and your fitness level up, we recommend 6-12 weeks of consistent moderate intensity exercise including strength, cardio and core/flexibility training each week. Remember, when you’re just starting out, frequency is more important than intensity, so take it slow and try to form some habits that will stick.
You’re an intermediate exerciser
Once you have a base level of fitness the secret to ultimate fitness and results is not in adding volume, but intensity. Now is the perfect time to introduce HIIT to your existing schedule. Try replacing an hour a week of your normal training routine with 1-2 HIIT sessions, and watch your results soar!
You’re an experienced exerciser or athlete
The great thing about HIIT is that pushes you to hit your own maximum training zones every workout – there’s no cruising. So even if you’re a super fit athlete, HIIT will still give your fitness a serious edge. When a team of soccer players substituted their usual seven hours of off-season training with just four hours and added two LES MILLS GRIT workouts they saw significant changes in both body composition and fitness levels, despite decreasing their training time by two hours per week!
How to hit the HIIT sweet spot
Thanks to the endorphin rush that goes hand-in-hand with HIIT it’s easy to get hooked on this style of training. But you shouldn’t do too much. New research reveals too much HIIT can do more harm than good – and optimal results come when you limit the time you spend with your heart rate above 90 percent maximum to 30-40 minutes per week.