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There are so many different training methods around that its hard to decide which one is best for you. High intensity interval training is fast becoming the go to method for fat burn and quick training benefits but does it really work?

What Is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

HIIT training does what it says on the tin! If you often get bored running or cycling for long periods of time then adding some HIIT into your workout will certainly give you a buzz and some added motivation. Interval training combines very high intensity short bursts of effort (from 10 seconds to 2/3 minutes) with longer slower efforts called recovery intervals. These high intensity bursts are repeated throughout the workout time which could be a total of 20 to 30 minutes.

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The most important thing about HIIT training is that the fast bursts must be an all-out effort to reap as many of the benefits as possible from this type of workout.

When you are on your own it is hard to find the motivation to give 100 percent, so maybe think about using a trainer or friend during these sessions. They can also be done absolutely anywhere and on any workout machine at the gym. For example you can complete intervals outdoors in your local park or even on the treadmill.

Interval training isn't as easy as it sounds though. Be aware if you are a complete beginner to working out: this high intensity method might not be suitable. If you are just joining the gym try to do a full four weeks of training 2/3 times a week before you attempt this method, because it can cause injury if muscles are not strong enough.

Examples Of HIIT Workouts

Here are a few ideas of workouts you can easily take into the gym/local area to build strength, stamina and increase the fat burn.

1. Running Workout  Whether indoors or outdoors have a warm up of eight minutes at low intensity (50 percent) to get the body warm and the blood pumping. When ready, you will perform 10 repeated sprints of 30 seconds with two minutes recovery between each set. Each 30-second interval will be performed at 90 percent (a sprint) and the recovery back at 50 percent (a fast walk).

2. Rowing Workout  Another popular whole body workout method is to use the rower and we can use distance instead of time to set an interval. Warm up on the rowing machine at a medium stroke rate (25-30) or a speed that is comfortable for you. Our target for this workout is to reach 1000 meters as our total distance covered. When warmed up, you will perform 100 meters as fast as possible (all-out effort) followed by 200 meters recovery. Repeat this until you reach 1000 meters.

3. Cycling Workout  If you have injuries or find running difficult, then a cycling interval is a great alternative. Warm up and then complete 10 intervals at 85 to 90 percent (almost a sprint), keeping the RPM at over 100 for one minute, followed by a one minute recovery at 50 percent or around 60 RPM. Continue this until you reach 10 intervals and then cool down.

You need to collate your own intensities based on fitness levels, which is why using a trainer for these sessions is good. They can calculate the speeds/RPM/SPM that you should be aiming for to get the most out of the workout exactly.
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