3 Indispensable Tips to Maximise Your HIIT Training
From gym geeks to home workout enthusiasts, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is hailed as one of the most effective workouts to improve stamina and fitness, plus getting that elusive beach bod. But how can you maximise its benefits? Fear not, with this guide, Tropika Club shares 3 indispensable tips to maximise your HIIT training.
But first things first: what is HIIT?
HIIT is more than just specific workout routines and exercises. Your workout may have elements of interval training or high-intensity exercises, but it might not actually be HIIT. There’s a flood of misinformation about HIIT workouts promising to stellar results with little effort.
In essence, it’s the opposite of running a marathon where you have to conserve your energy for the long run. When you’re doing HIIT you’re having an intense session of cardio, with exercises arranged in short, intense bursts. Each of the exercises usually lasts from 20 to 90 seconds, and the whole session should take around 20 to 45 minutes. Now let’s get right to it!
How you can maximise your HIIT training
1. Break your limits
When we say to maximise your HIIT training, we mean it! When you break your limits in your HIIT training, you not only lose your body fat and boost your endurance, your metabolism will kick into high gear too. Because when you work harder during your HIIT training, your body takes in more oxygen and burns more calories, even after your workout. ‘Afterburn’ as it’s called, could be raised around 6 to 15 per cent more when you have high-intensity cardio, like HIIT training.
The name already says it – high intensity is the key to maximising the benefits of HIIT training. So with every set you do in your HIIT training you have to give it 110%. That’s why each HIIT routine or set is short.
You can use a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale that some fitness pros use to gauge the effort you put in. It’s a subjective spectrum; it could 1 to 10, or 1 to Beyoncé during her 2018 ‘Homecoming’ performance at Coachella.
And as you get better and stronger with each increase in intensity, your body increases the rate of absorbing oxygen in each minute you have your HIIT training. This rate is known as VO2max, and with a higher VO2max, your body increases its endurance in your HIIT training. When you add in bodyweight work and added weights, you get to tone your muscles too as you get your heart rate going during your HIIT training.
It may seem counterintuitive to the previous point, but it’s another crucial element to maximise your HIIT training. As you rest, your body removes the metabolic waste in your muscles from your workout and recovers before going for the next round. When you don’t rest, your body may forget the technique to the exercises as it compensates for the muscle pains, increasing the risk of injury.
Here’s a bonus you’d want to hear: your body is actually burning more calories when it adapts between resting and the intense workout sets.
So you don’t have to go overboard with end-to-end exercises in your HIIT training. If you’re just starting out, you can try a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2; say if you finish a 60-second set, you rest for two minutes before getting on with the next set. Then when you’re stronger, try the 1:1 ratio, so you’re always safe as you train.
3. Add your favourite workout
While HIIT training seems like the holy grail of fitness, it’s not for everyone. Like to jog along East Coast Park? Maybe instead of doing HIIT 5 days a week, you can try 2 days of jogging at the park between the 3 days of HIIT training. In fact, with its high intensity, too much HIIT training could be hampering your maximum performance during each session. Everybody’s goal is different, so you can just fit HIIT however you like into your fitness goals.