To HIIT or Not To HIIT

HIIT. It’s a word many runners have come to learn, incorporating it into the training plan. One either loves these HIIT workouts or hates them. Or, perhaps hates doing them but loves the results of them. Wherever you stand on this particular workout, here are a few things to know about it.

What is a HIIT workout?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These are also known as SIT (sprint interval training) because of the quick bursts of activity one performs, making the heart rate escalate quickly. Followed by a short resting period. For example, 1 minute of jumping jacks. 30 second rest. 1 minute squats. 30 second rest , etc.  A HIIT workout is an excellent incorporation to a training plan.

What do you do in a HIIT workout?

In a HIIT workout, a person will do high intensity activity (for example jumping jacks)  followed by a short lower intensity activity (squats), until the body is too tired to go on . Many people aim for doing a certain number of sets of the activity before the workout ends. Usually several activities are found within the HIIT workout. Examples include: squats, jumping jacks, butt kicks, burpees, box jumps, sit ups, pushups. There are many varieties of these that exist. But almost always a HIIT workout is only around 30 minutes long. That allows for the body to reach elevated heart levels in a short amount of time, maxing out a great workout in a short amount of time.

Why do a HIIT workout?

So, what’s the point of a HIIT workout? Well, because you do the exercises so quickly, it burns fat at a faster rate, and post-workout leaves the body burning calories a little longer. HIIT workout accomplishes similar outcomes for the body that a sprint workout would accomplish, but giving the body a different way of doing it apart from running. HIIT workouts can be performed just about anywhere and many variations exist.  It’s a way to change up your routine while maximizing results and in a short period of time.

How often can you do a HIIT workout?

It is recommended only a couple of times a week. One would even be sufficient, but if you fall in love with these and want to keep going, it’s recommended you do your HIIT workout, take a day of rest between (doing Yoga or light run) and you can do a HIIT the next day. As with training for a race, you will learn your body, what works well for you and how to best maximize these workouts and when.



We are no doctors, and there are certainly plenty of resources out there. But here are a few to get you started or give you more ideas.