High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts may have been around for many years. Despite that fact, it feels as though they’ve exploded in popularity in more recent years around the world. Many workouts and even workout classes have been born out of this structure, resulting in them garnering quite a bit of popularity in their own right.
Many people swear up and down that they’re burning calories, losing weight, and getting into fantastic shape— all due in part to doing HIIT workouts of their own. Needless to say, HIIT workouts are here— and they’re more than likely here to stay.
For the uninitiated, a HIIT workout is where you do a workout move for a certain amount of time, and then rest for another period of time. This is then repeated until the overall time limit of the HIIT workout is called. The intervals are the time intervals between a workout move and rest. They’re often short and sweet in length in order maintain the intensity of the overall workout. A full HIIT workout is supposed to help make you sweat a ton in a short period of time. They’re great when you don’t have a lot of time but need to get a workout in. All of that is why HIIT workouts result in high calorie loss and fat burn— as well as maintain a high level of popularity.
If you’re thinking about starting HIIT workouts— or even creating one of your own— you may have some questions about how to do it, as well as how to do it right. One big and important question concerns just how long HIIT intervals should be. This is a crucial part of any HIIT workout because you want your intervals to be just the right length. On one hand, they have to ensure that you’re working up a sweat every time to do a workout move. On the other hand, you need enough time to catch your breath in between.
It’s recommended by fitness experts that HIIT workout intervals should follow a 2:1 ratio of work to rest. For example— you should perform bodyweight squats for one minute straight. Then, that needs to be followed up with 30 seconds of recovery. This ratio strikes the perfect balance between working out and recovering from said workout. That’s because it’s provides you with some recovery time without lowering your heart rate too much. HIIT workouts are all about intensity and maintaining a relatively high heart rate throughout. You don’t want to rest too long and risk accidentally lowering it more than necessary.
While this is highly recommended, experts also stress the importance of listening to your body. If it feels like you’re over-doing it, then it’s best to rest longer. If it feels too easy, perhaps you need to increase the intensity of your HIIT workout. After all, this is your workout— it needs to work best for you. Otherwise, it could do more harm than good in both the short-term and the long-term.
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