You’ve heard of it, and you know it works, but you’re not sure how to do it.
HIIT is one of the most effective ways to boost your fitness level, lose fat and gain muscle.
But if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a primer on how to perform these workouts effectively and safely so that you can get the most out of every workout session and see results in no time!
An Introduction to HIIT workouts
What Is HIIT?
HIIT workouts are a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and less intense recovery periods. It’s based on the idea that exercising at an elevated heart rate will burn more calories than working out at a steady pace — even if the total time spent exercising is shorter.
A typical workout will include:
High-intensity intervals: Speeding up your movements increases your heart rate and forces your body to adjust its metabolism to meet increased energy demands.
During these intervals, the intensity should be high enough so that you can’t talk or think about anything else besides getting through each interval without stopping or slowing down too much.
Recovery periods: During these phases, rest for about twice if it took for your high intensity.
HIIT Is Not Just for the Young and Fit
If you’re over 30, or in any way out of shape, and you’ve ever tried to do a HIIT workout on your own with zero guidance, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be.
It’s not that this training is bad for older people. Some studies have shown that it can increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. And it’s not that this type of training is only for the young and fit. Some studies show that older adults can benefit from this training as well.
The problem is that when you’re untrained, the simplest HIIT exercises feel like torture. You literally cannot do them correctly because your body hasn’t learned how yet.
That’s why I recommend hiring a personal trainer for your first few sessions until you get the hang of things, or search on YouTube for how to do the exercises correctly
But once you’ve learned how to do some basic moves like squats, burpees, and mountain climbers correctly, and learned how to modify these moves if they still feel too hard, then there’s no reason why an older person shouldn’t be able to enjoy the many benefits of HIIT workouts
7 HIIT Workouts Benefits
HIIT workouts are great for burning fat, building lean muscle, improving cardiovascular health, and improving athletic performance
The benefits of HIIT workouts include:
By working hard during your workout session, you’re stimulating your body to produce more energy, which helps improve performance.
A lot of research shows that exercise can reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins that make you feel better overall.
A healthier heart:
High-intensity exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels and improve heart health overall by strengthening muscles around the heart muscle itself (the cardiac muscle).
HIIT training can help you burn fat because it increases your metabolism and pushes your body to use stored fat for energy instead of carbohydrates or glycogen.
This training can also help improve your aerobic capacity because it requires oxygen to fuel the muscles during brief periods of intense exertion.
HIIT workouts can also help build muscle by increasing strength and power output during short bursts of effort followed by short rest periods.
HIIT exercises also improve your insulin sensitivity,
which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of HIIT training make it a great option for anyone who wants to improve their overall fitness level in less time than traditional exercise routines.
Here are 10 easy ways you can turn into successful HIIT workouts:
1. Warm Up Properly Before Your HIIT Training
Warming up before your HIIT workout is crucial, especially if you’re doing this type of training. A good warm-up will get your heart rate up and help you get in the right mindset to get your HIIT on.
A warm-up should last about 10 minutes, during which time you should gradually increase your heart rate and remove any lactic acid from the muscles you’re going to use during your workout.
If you’re working on an upper-body muscle group, then doing some push-ups or triceps dips can help get rid of lactic acid in that group. For lower bodywork, walking lunges will help get rid of lactic acid in your legs.
The best way to do a proper warm-up is by doing dynamic stretching, moves that involve bending and extending your joints while moving through a range of motion.
Dynamic stretches mimic the movements that you’ll be performing during your workout and help loosen up tight muscles, so they don’t compromise your form or performance.
Be sure to do dynamic stretches for at least five minutes before starting any kind of exercise. It’s also wise to stretch after each exercise session to cool down and reduce muscle soreness.
Recommended Read: Best 10-Minute Home Full-Body Warm-Up Routine You Need to Do Before Each Workout: 20 Exercises
2. Focus on Your Breathing
The benefits of HIIT are well known, and one of the main reasons for this is that it improves the body’s response to oxygen. But when you’re working out at a higher intensity, it’s easy to lose focus on breathing.
So, it’s important to make sure that you’re focusing on your breathing during each exercise.
When you’re HIIT session, the last thing you want to do is hold your breath. By breathing properly, you’ll be able to push yourself harder and get more out of the workout.
If you start to feel light-headed or dizzy during the workout, take a break and try again later. This will help prevent injury and allow for better results later!
3. Maintain Proper Form
Maintain proper form. This is the most important thing you can do during any workout. If you don’t have the correct form, then you won’t get the maximum results from your workout.
It’s important to learn how to do each exercise correctly before starting any workouts so that you can avoid injury. If you don’t maintain proper form, then your workout won’t be as effective or safe.
For example, if you don’t maintain proper form when running or biking, then you’re likely to injure yourself. You could also run into issues like poor posture or tight muscles that can cause pain and discomfort.
If you want to avoid these problems, then make sure that your form is always correct when doing any exercise. You’ll find that this will help improve your overall results, as well as help, prevent injuries from occurring during your workout sessions
4. Adjust Your Speed and Your Rest Time
One of the best ways to make sure you’re using HIIT correctly is to adjust your speed and rest times based on how much time you have available for exercise.
First, when it comes to adjusting your speed, you should experiment with different speeds until you find the one that feels right for you. You should also know that there are no fixed rules when it comes to how fast or slow your workout should be. It all depends on what goal you want to achieve with your workouts.
If you only have 15 minutes to work out in the morning, then go hard for 15 seconds at a time with 30 seconds rest between each sprint. If you have 45 minutes in the evening after work, then go hard for 30 seconds at a time with 60 seconds of rest between sprints.
Your body responds differently to different speeds and tempos of exercise. So, if you’re doing a workout that’s supposed to be high-intensity, but it feels too easy for you, then it probably is. And if it feels too hard, then it’s probably not doing what it should be doing for you.
The same thing goes for adjusting your rest time between sets: it depends on what kind of workout program you’re following and which goal(s) you have in mind (muscle gain/loss).
5. Add Some Resistance By Wearing a Weight Vest, Resistance Bands, Using Weights
Adding resistance to your HIIT workout is one of the best ways to get fit faster and more efficiently. The right amount of weight will give you a full-body workout that will help you build strength, burn fat, and increase overall fitness.
If you’re looking for ways to add more resistance to your workouts, here are 5 options:
A weight vest is a great way to add resistance to your workout without having to carry around bulky equipment or deal with equipment that may not be portable.
A good weight vest will have pockets for holding weights on each side of the body so that you can easily adjust the amount of weight being used depending on the exercise.
Weight vests are also adjustable so you can make them tighter or looser depending on how much weight you want to be added during each exercise.
Resistance bands are another great way to add resistance during your workout without having to worry about transporting heavy equipment from home to the gym every time you want to use it. Resistance bands come in many different sizes and colors making them easy to store when not being used. They also provide a wide range of exercises.
Recommended Read: Toning muscles with the rubber resistance band
Dumbbells and kettlebells:
Dumbbells are a great tool for adding resistance to your HIIT workouts because they’re easy to use anywhere and come in all shapes, sizes, and weight increments. If you don’t have any at home, you can easily find them at any major retailer or sports equipment store. You can also use dumbbells while doing bodyweight exercises like pushups and lunges:
Kettlebells are another great addition to your workouts because they offer an unstable surface that challenges the core muscles and forces them to stabilize during each movement.
Kettlebell exercises can be done anywhere there’s room, even outside! Kettlebells come in various weights ranging from 8 pounds up to 100 pounds (or more)
Recommended Read: 30 minutes full-body kettlebell killer cardio home workout
Are a great way to add some resistance to your HIIT workouts. You can carry them around your body or use them in different positions, like on the ground or your back.
Sandbags are great for adding a little extra weight to your workout and helping you build muscle. They’re also versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, making them ideal for cross-training.
Are used as weights during strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups. They can also be used for core exercises such as crunches and planks. These types of exercises strengthen the muscles that support your back and spine, which helps prevent injuries like slipped discs or pinched nerves.
6. Mix up Your Routine with New Exercises
The best way to prevent boredom is to do a different type of exercise every time you work out. This is especially important if you have been doing the same workout for months or years.
Go beyond basic moves like squats and pushups by adding variations of those exercises such as wide-grip pushups or squat jumps.
If you’re looking to mix up your routine, try a new exercise. Not only is it fun to try something new and different, but it will also help you avoid the dreaded plateau that comes with doing the same thing repeatedly.
Mixing up your routine is important for two reasons:
1. It keeps you from getting bored.
2. It makes sure that you’re working different muscles using different movements.
7. Exercise Outdoors
Outdoor HIIT workouts can be fun because they’re usually more dynamic than indoor workouts (if you were inside on an exercise machine or treadmill).
The fresh air will help you breathe better, they also burn more calories since you’re working harder to maintain your balance while balancing your body with the resistance of gravity while running uphill or downhill.
Exercise outdoors has been shown to:
- Improve mood and energy levels
- Boost immunity and reduce stress
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reduce the risk of injury from unstable surfaces or equipment
- Improve your endurance
- Increase your motivation level
- Burn more calories than indoor workouts
- Help you sleep better at night.
If you don’t have access to a gym or want to get out of the house, try these low-cost, high-impact exercises that work for all major muscle groups, using only your body weight:
- Running/ Sprinting
- Stair Sprints
- Swimming (pool, lake, sea)
- Hiking/mountain climbing
- Jumping jacks
- Squat Jumps
- Mountain Climbers
- High Knees
- Jump Rope.
8. Hydrate and Eat Properly
It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your HIIT workouts. Even if you’re not thirsty, drink water before jumping into a HIIT session. If you’re exercising for more than half an hour, you need to replenish electrolytes as well as water.
It’s also important to fuel up with something nutritious before heading out for your workout, those intense bursts of exercise can empty your glycogen stores quickly, which means you’ll have more difficulty finishing the workout if your body isn’t prepared with an adequate supply of fuel.
Make sure you’re eating enough food before and after exercising so that your body has the energy it needs to perform at its best during the workout itself.
If you’re following a specific diet plan like keto or paleo, follow it carefully during exercise as well, don’t cheat on your diet just because you’re exercising!
Remember that exercise won’t make up for bad nutrition habits; if anything, it will only make them worse if done incorrectly (or without proper nutrition).
9. Don’t Forget the Cooldown
The biggest mistake that people make when doing HIIT workouts is not taking a cooldown. The idea behind a cooldown is to help your body recover from the intense activity by slowing down and working at a lower intensity for about two minutes, and it’s important to allow your muscles to relax after such an intense workout.
This helps prevent injuries and allows your body to recover so that you can do another high-intensity interval without risking injury.
Here are 3 benefits of taking a cooldown:
- Helps reduce muscle soreness
- Lowers cortisol levels (a stress hormone)
- Decreases lactic acid buildup in the muscles.
10. Track Your Progress
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same workout repeatedly.
If you’re not careful, your HIIT workout can end up being a little too repetitive. You might be working out hard, but you’re not making any progress or getting better at it.
So how do you keep yourself motivated and engaged in your workout?
When it comes to any type of exercise, tracking your progress is important. You need to know how far you’ve come and where you want to go. If you start doing HIIT workouts today, then next week or next month, look back at where you started and see how far you’ve come.
This will help keep you motivated as well as motivated for more improvement!
Check out these 3 ways in which you can track your progress:
Keep a running tally on your phone or tablet
Or by writing it down in a notebook after each session (or both). This will help motivate you even when you have no access to technology!
Set goals for yourself so that you can see how far you’ve come and how much farther you have yet to go with your weight loss goals.
You should also set benchmarks for yourself so that you know when it’s time to change up your workout routine or add more exercises to your routine to keep seeing results.
Be patient, weight loss takes time, so don’t expect overnight results from your HIIT workout program. If you’ve been doing the same program for a while without seeing results, try changing up some things within that program or trying a different one altogether until you find something that works better for your body type and needs at this moment in time.
People who work out regularly are indeed much healthier than those who don’t. People who work out regularly can maintain their weight and avoid diseases.
Some people think that working out at home is not effective as working out in the gym. Working out daily at home is effective if you do it with discipline and consistency.
HIIT workouts can come in many forms. It’s all about reacting to the time you have available, the equipment you can use, and what kind of exercise experience you’re looking for.
The options are literally limitless but use the 10 tips above as a foundation to get yourself started, and then create your workout routines to suit your needs and turn them into successful HIIT.
But for beginners, it is quite hard to reach the gym every day after the day’s work. If you can’t manage your time to reach the gym, then you might want to try a simple workout at home.
HIIT workouts are time efficient. Many of us are willing to use these types of workouts when we know the entire routine would take us less than 30 mins.
HIIT workouts can be very successful if done right.
This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclaimer for more info.
What do you guys think about my article?
You may also like:
- Under 20 Minutes Effective Home Bodyweight Fat-Blasting HIIT Workout to Help you Strengthen your Respiratory System
- 10 Tabata Home Workouts for Fast Fat Loss and Muscles Strengthening
- 8 simple things you should do to keep your fitness motivation going
- The ultimate full-body fat-burning cardio workout – 3 circuits
- Jumping rope: 8 amazing benefits for health + 4 exercises that torch fat