What is all the buzz about HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of cardiovascular exercise.  It is an exercise protocol alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods.  These short periods of work have been proven to provide improved athletic performance as well as increased glucose metabolism.  

The HIIT protocol generally consists of a warm-up followed by alternating repetitions of high intensity exercise performed at or near maximum intensity and moderate intensity exercise performed at approximately 50% intensity and finally concluding with a cooldown.  There is no specific formula to HIIT which allows one the flexibility to maximize their workout in the time that they have available.

One of my favorite HIIT protocols is Tabata.  This version of HIIT was born as a result of a research study conducted by Professor Izumi Tabata in 1996.  The study involved Olympic speed skaters who were put on a cycle ergometer for 4 minutes (8 cycles of 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest).  In the original study, participants used this 4 minute training method 4 times a week along with 1 day of steady state cardiovascular exercise.  They compared the results from this group of participants with a group of participants who did steady state cardiovascular training 5 days a week.  The study found that the participants who performed the 4 minute cycles were the only ones that gained anaerobic capacity during the study.  This training protocol has since been used by fitness professionals as a HIIT strategy to increase athletic performance and maximize intensity in a short period of time.

Ready to take on a Tabata workout?!  Set your timers for 3 cycles of 8 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.  

Visit my Facebook page to watch me doing this workout and follow along. https://www.facebook.com/livefitwithmichelle

Cycle 1 - Squat Jumps/Broad Jumps with Reverse Fast Feet Run

Cycle 2 - Lateral Lunge Hops/Lunge Chop Jumps

Cycle 3 - Mountain Climber Push-Up Combo (4 Climbers, 1 Pushup)/ Oblique Twists

**Alternate between the two listed exercises so that you end up doing 4 rounds of each exercise in each cycle**