So what is this HIIT workout craze? HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training- sounds pretty intense but don’t freak out yet.  HIIT is just an exercise style where you alternate between high burst of work and low periods of work. ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) defines it as intense work periods that vary in the range and are completed at 80-95% of your predicted maximum heart rate (220-your age= estimated max heart rate).  




Good question! In order to answer that, first you need to know the difference between steady state cardio and HIIT cardio. Steady state cardio is maintaining the same level of exertion during an activity, like going for a jog where you maintain the same pace the whole time. This is the most common way people get their heart rate up. Although this is still great for you and your heart, there is a more efficient way to get your workout in. This is where HIIT comes in! HIIT challenges your body and builds muscles, whereas steady state is easily adaptable for your body and burns muscle along with fat. If you read the post on weight training then you already know that building muscle actual increases your metabolic rate and burns more calories even after you are done with your work out.  The research shows that you can get the same or even better results in less time implementing HIIT versus traditional steady state cardio. In this busy world, who wouldn’t love a little extra time?




If you are up for the challenge or hit a plateau in your health goals, try HIIT! Here are a couple types to get you started:

  1. Tabata, my favorite, just ask my bootcampers! This is a type of interval training where you complete 20 seconds of work, then take a 10 second break. Repeat this 8 times for a total of 4 minutes for one exercise (exercises can be sprinting, push ups, tricep dips, squats (or squat jumps), jumping rope, the possibilities are endless!) Starts off feeling pretty easy, but don’t let the start fool you because by the end you will be tired.
  2. Intervals: This one can vary based on what ratio you want for your work/ rest periods or high intensity/low intensity periods. If you are truly going to push yourself I suggest going with a 30-60 second burst and a minute of lower intensity. The choice is yours!




There are many helpful apps out there that make it easy to customize your intervals and get you started. I recommend “Tabata stopwatch pro“ for tabata workouts and ”Seconds- interval timer” for a customizable interval workout.

All excuses aside, grab your phone and find an open area! Start off picking 4 different exercises and complete each for 1 minute, repeat 3-4 x.  I suggest one cardio, one arm exercise, one leg exercise, and one core move. Try jumping jacks, push-ups, squats (vertical jumps if you want a challenge), and finish with a plank. Do one minute of each exercise and repeat for four cycles. In just 16 minutes, you can have  a total body workout that will challenge your body. 


Katelyn Corbin, B.S, PT-C, SPT

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