Man doing crunches on beach

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Man doing crunches on beach

Man doing crunches on beachHigh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a specific type of interval training where you exercise at approximately 80% or more of your maximum ability for a short period of time. This type of training is suitable for those who need a quick burst of energy (eg. footballers), endurance athletes aiming to increase speed and individuals aiming to lose weight, to name a few.

HIIT workouts are generally quick sessions, lasting no more than 20 minutes in duration (not including warm up or cool down). While this seems too short to give a “real” workout, if you do it properly you will be exhausted by the end of it!

HIIT is designed with rest intervals (commonly shorter than the training period) to allow a quick recovery before your next effort phase. An example of this is 1 minute of running, followed by 1 minute of walking, over 8 rounds. As your fitness increases, you reduce the rest time.

Tabata is a Japanese style of HIIT. This concept sees you train for 20 seconds as hard as you can, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times (totalling 4 minutes). Tabata can be applied to strength and cardiovascular training, and when performed correctly is highly challenging. You will notice that Health Mates offers a number of mixed group exercise class styles that incorporate Tabata training into the session.

Regular non-interval, endurance based exercise is a clinically proven primary intervention which can delay the onset, and lessen symptoms of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Recent evidence suggests that HIIT can induce similar (even superior) physiological adaptations in both healthy individuals and diseased populations, when compared with those who perform traditional endurance based exercise. So what does this mean? It means that HIIT can potentially improve your cardiorespiratory and muscularskeletal fitness to a greater extent than standard endurance training.

If you are short on time give HIIT a go. Try it with sprints, squats, push-ups, rows, or ask one of our trainers to help get you started. This potent and time efficient workout method is sure to change up your routine, and improve outcomes from your training. Used correctly, it is able to overcome current, and prevent future training plateaus. By changing your HIIT program at least every 8 weeks, you will keep your body guessing, and keep seeing results.

Get a HIIT program designed for you, for FREE! That’s what our exercise programmers are here for. See reception to make an appointment today.



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REFERENCE: Gibala M., Little J., Macdonald M., Hawley J., (2012), Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training in health and disease, The Journal of Physiology, Vol. 590, Issue 5., pg 1077-1084. 26/02/2014