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High-Intensity Interval Training May Be the Key to Crushing Your Fitness Goals

HIIT this, HIIT that. Everyone seems to be talking about HIIT–or high-intensity interval training. Essentially, HIIT workouts consist of periods of intense exercise–high-intensity intervals–alternated with periods of rest.  

But what is a high-intensity interval? How many of these intervals are there in a HIIT workout? How do you know if you’re doing them right? 

If you’ve asked yourself these types of questions, keep on reading!

What is a high-intensity interval?

Contrary to steady-state exercise, HIIT is a style of training that consists of short, intense bursts of exercise, or high-intensity intervals. During these intervals, you’re ideally working out at your maximum effort, which is why they’re short on duration–they never last longer than one minute. 

But what does “maximum effort” really mean? Well, in HIIT, this means that there should be an exertion of 80-100% effort during the work periods. If you have a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor, that would measure about 80-100% of your maximum heart rate (one way to calculate it is 220 – your age).

However, although monitoring your heart rate helps optimize your HIIT workouts, it’s not absolutely necessary and can be up to personal preference.

How long do high-intensity intervals last?

HIIT doesn’t have a standard interval ratio. It is a highly versatile workout method, and ratios may vary depending on your level, your workout plan, or the HIIT classes you’re attending. Some variations may be:

  • 60 seconds of work and 90 seconds of rest.
  • 60 seconds of work and 60 seconds of rest.
  • 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest.
  • 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest.
  • 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

How do you do HIIT correctly? The perfect HIIT and strength training workout plan

When HIIT is performed correctly, it’s a great workout for weight loss. During the work intervals, you should try to exercise hard enough that you’re unable to carry on a conversation. 

On the opposite hand, your rest periods should be long enough so you can be able to talk again–however, they shouldn’t be too long, since the idea is to keep your heart rate up as much as you can. 

Although HIIT is meant to be an intense workout, always remember to listen to your body. If you feel like you need to rest for longer or lower the intensity, don’t force yourself to keep going.

If you’re new to high-intensity interval training, don’t panic. At SWEAT440, we offer HIIT classes for everyone, from beginner to fitness junkie. Our team is here to support and guide you to safely make the most out of your workout. 

HIIT Gym

How long should each HIIT workout last?

The typical HIIT workout lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, including a warm up and cool down. You may find HIIT workouts that are shorter than 30 minutes, but not longer than 60 minutes–if a HIIT workout is too long, you won’t be able to maintain the high intensity. 

Classes at SWEAT440 are 40 minutes long and consist of four 10-minute stations, or HIIT circuits. So if you’re short on time but want to get your daily sweat in, visit our studio in Biscayne today!

What are examples of high-intensity interval training?

Although the traditional HIIT format is versatile when it comes to interval duration, there are some variations of this workout method that have specific distinctions: 

Tabata

Tabata is one of the most common HIIT variations. It’s pretty simple: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat for 4 minutes. You can do several rounds, depending on how long you want to work out for.

Several studies have proven tabata to be significantly more effective than steady-state exercise–the key is to really push yourself during those 20 seconds!

AMRAP

AMRAP stands for “as many reps as possible” or “as many rounds as possible”, this can vary depending on the workout. ​​During an AMRAP based on repetitions, you aim to perform as many reps of the exercises as possible during a specific amount of time with minimal rest.

If it’s based on rounds, you’ll have a pre-defined number of reps for the exercises and must do as many rounds as possible during that time. 

EMOM

EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute”. During this workout, you complete a specific number of reps of an exercise within 60 seconds. If you have any time left within that minute, you can use it to rest before moving on to the next set of reps.

In other words, the faster you are, the more time you have to rest!

Join the best HIIT training program in Biscayne

If you’re looking for an effective workout but don’t want to spend hours at the gym, you’ll love SWEAT440. Our 40-minute HIIT classes target all the major muscle groups and include both elements of cardio and strength training.

If you’re in or near the Biscayne area, our studio is conveniently located in Biscayne Blvd, in front of Sub Zero Ice Cream – Maimi Mimo and Barmeli69. 

Are you in other parts of Florida? We also have studios in Brickell, Miami Beach, Downtown Doral, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Coral Landings, Miami Lakes, and Deerfield.

Make sure to visit the SWEAT440 studio nearest you to get your first class for free!

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HIIT 101

Must-knows about high-intensity interval training

  • During high-intensity intervals, you’re aiming to work out at your maximum effort. This is why the work intervals typically never last longer than one minute.
  • During the work intervals, you should try to exercise hard enough that you’re unable to carry on a conversation. During the rest periods, it’s the exact opposite–you should be able to catch your breath enough to talk again.
  • The typical HIIT workout lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Doing a HIIT workout that is too long would defeat its purpose, since you wouldn’t be able to maintain the high intensity.
  • There are several variations of HIIT, such as tabata, EMOM, and AMRAP. However, the traditional HIIT format is highly versatile, and interval ratios can vary depending on fitness level, workout type, and/or preference.

As intense as any workout is, our #1 tip is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Types of high-intensity interval training

  • Tabata: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, repeat for 4 minutes, as many rounds as you want the workout to last. 
  • EMOM: “Every minute on the minute”. You complete a specific number of reps of an exercise within 60 seconds. If you have any time left, you can use it to rest before moving on to the next set.
  • AMRAP: “As many reps as possible” or “As many rounds as possible”. You aim to perform as many reps or rounds of the exercises as possible during a specific amount of time with minimal rest.