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If You Haven't Tried HIIT, Here's Why You Should

Posted by Andre Coelho on

If You Haven't Tried HIIT,  Here's Why You Should - Beast Sports Nutrition

What is HIIT cardio?

By definition: High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.
What makes HIIT training so effective as a fat burner is that it produces excess post-oxygen consumption, a.k.a. EPOC. ... HIIT training on the other hand, can help increase speed, power, endurance and metabolic rate, helping you burn fat faster.
HIIT cardio depends on your personal endurance and work capacity! I usually rec. 20 minutes, but a session should usually not be shorter than 10 or longer than 30. lots of ways to switch up your HIIT!
A quick calculation of your max heart rate (HR) is 220 - (your age). Personally, my heart rate goes just above this at its peak point because of my conditioning. Know there is a range for this. Most likely your HR should be above 180. After the interval, you SHOULD be winded. HIIT cardio is HIGH INTENSITY interval training. You can determine your active recovery/recovery based on your heart rate. You should begin another interval when your heart rate has reached 60-65% of its max rate. For some this will be after 30 seconds and others after a minute or more. Again- this is based on your current level of conditioning. If you are recovering fast, make the recovery period shorter OR make your interval more intense!

I would not make an interval longer than 1:30 min. it is very difficult to maintain the intensity needed for it to be a true HIIT workout if you’re going longer than 1:30 on an interval. don’t be afraid to play around with distance and your own recovery time. you know when you’re working hard!
(it’s ok to decrease interval length or intensity or increase recovery period. sometimes it’s best to listen to your body! keep pushing though! depending on the workout I like to either start each interval feeling “fresh” or like I have barely caught my breath and can go again)


Cybex ARC:

On the ARC you would want to do short intervals of resistance and/or incline.
So pedaling as fast you can at a higher resistance or speed for timed intervals.
30 second “sprint”/60 second active recovery peddling (bringing down resistance or incline to make it easier)
60 second “sprint”/2-minute active recovery peddling

I would alternate your sessions with those intervals above for the entire 20 minutes. Adjust incline and resistance to challenge yourself on the “on “time.

20 second bike sprint/40-60 seconds active recovery
30 second bike sprint/90 seconds active recovery
45 second bike sprint/75 seconds active recovery
1 min bike sprint/1 min active recovery

adjust resistance for any of these.

20 seconds sprint/ 40-70 seconds recovery (rest on rails or walk)
30 seconds sprint/ 90 seconds recovery


Go the distance
0.10 miles (100 m) x 10 - 20 rest for 40 seconds plus after each interval
0.2 (200 m) x 10 - rest for approx. 1:30
0.25 miles (400 m) x 5 - rest for 2-3 minutes after each interval

for the treadmill you can also increase the incline to increase intensity

Stairs (revolving)
20 second stairs /40-60 seconds active recovery
30 second stairs /90 seconds active recovery
45 second stairs /75 seconds active recovery
1 min stairs /1 min active recovery

15-20 seconds rowing // 40-45 seconds active recovery
can go for longer row intervals… or distance. just figure out approx. how long it takes you to go 200m - 500m and take an appropriate recovery. work for 10-30 min.

Bodyweight Exercises:
30 seconds of burpees
30 seconds of pushups
30 seconds of squats
30 seconds of mountain climbers
repeat all exercises back to back. rest for 90-120 seconds and repeat for a total of 5 times

on basketball court run “lines” (baseline to free throw (back to baseline), run out to half court (back to baseline) run to opposite free throw (back to baseline) and end on baseline to baseline. rest approx. 1:30

Ropes: (alternating ropes, rope slams (two arms), or snakes (bring hands close then wide)
15 second of ropes / 45 seconds recovery
20 seconds of ropes / 40 seconds of recovery
25 seconds of ropes / 35 seconds of recovery
30 seconds of ropes / 40 seconds of recovery
If you go to 1 min of ropes use 1 min of recovery time or 1:30 recovery (similar to the 400m sprints)

Is there a downside to doing too much HIIT?

Yes, if you are doing too much you can over train and then run the risk of injury. This goes up when you don’t give your body time to recover. Many people will say they do HIIT daily and maybe to some degree they do, but if they are truly doing HIIT at the level they say they are stressing their body and their mind. Eventually one or the other or both will give out. When your body gives out you run the risk of injury and then performing any exercises can hurt. If they mind goes you will dread working out and not put 100% into it. So, either way you suffer.
What is an optimal amount of HIIT per week?
Two to three days a week is a solid amount of HIIT. I max my clients out at three. I still like to incorporate some LISS cardio in which I have found when added with HIIT (and studies show) progresses your results. So, if your goal is to work out four to six times per week, I recommend two to three HIIT sessions and three to five resistance training sessions. It really comes down to what your goals are and your desired results. Everyone is different. So, make sure your training follows a path to take you to each incremental goal. Set strong goals, mix up your training, make sure your nutrition is set up and tailored to help you achieve the results you want, have fun, give yourself rest days and try to space HIIT out at with at least 24 hours rest in between session. This will keep you happy, healthy, injury free and on a consistent path to success.