5 reasons you should try Hiitgirl
We developed our Hiitgirl workouts based on the latest research in fitness and motivational psychology, recognising that women have less time than ever to exercise and want fitness experiences that are short, safe and fun. The natural solution for us was to use the fitness world's best kept secret – interval training.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training (also known as HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training) consists of a short period of high intensity activity followed by a recovery period of lower intensity activity. These activity and rest periods are repeated to build up the desired workout session.
The key to effective interval training is how hard you work in the high intensity interval – too much and you’ll give up, not enough and you’ll slip into more standard low intensity activity. We measure intensity with a simple 1-10 scale, keeping to a feeling of 8-9 for your high intensity intervals and 6 for active recovery. 10 on the scale would be you collapsing and we don't want that! Remember, these intensities are personal to you so don’t think about matching other people for time or reps, stick to how it feels for you and you’ll have a safe and effective workout.
As well as manipulating time and intensity of intervals you can also change the ratio of work to recovery periods. A beginner would start off with, say a 1:2 work to recovery (e.g 30 seconds work following by 60 seconds of recovery), intermediates 1 work to 1 recovery and experts would do 2 work intervals to 1 recovery interval.
What's in it for you?
Interval training provides so many amazing benefits that you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard of it before. Here are just a few:
- More results in less time. You’ve probably been told that fat loss and cardio benefits come from long periods on the bike, treadmill or similar. This simply isn’t true, as a study at Canada’s McMaster University confirmed that 2.5 hours of HIIT training provide the same benefits as 10.5 hours of long, slow cardio. As we get busier it becomes more and more difficult to keep up the exercise habit so rapid HIIT training is an ideal counter for those who say ‘I don’t have time to exercise’ – now you do!
- Burn more calories both during and after exercise. In a study done at the University of Guelph in Canada, participants were monitored over a 2 week period to determine the affect of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the body's ability to burn fat. The study found that this sort of training dramatically improved the fat and carbohydrate burning process within the body and raises Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) for up to 24 hours after your workout. So, in the hours following your workout, while you’re watching your favourite TV show, your body will still be in fat burning overdrive. This is worth repeating – you’ll still be burning more calories up to 24 hours after your workout!
- Take your cardio to new levels. A HIIT session also significantly improves your endurance and stamina. The maximum amount of oxygen that can be taken in during an exercise session is called the VO2 max. HIIT has the ability to drastically increase an individual's VO2 max, which enables you to perform all sorts of physical activities for a longer span of time. Someone who may struggle to run on a treadmill for more than 5 minutes will notice a huge improvement after a few weeks of HIIT. In a study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, participants doubled their endurance after just 2 weeks!
- Reduce wear and tear. The most common injuries from exercise tend to be as a result of overuse and repetition. The myth of ‘more is better’ can often lead to wear and tear injuries in the knees, ankles and lower back, particularly as we get older. HIIT reduces the risk of wear and tear as the workout sessions are much shorter and the varied types of exercises means different muscles are constantly being changed and challenged.
- It’s interesting and it’s fun. HIIT breaks the monotony of typical, steady-paced cardio workouts. Some of us struggle to workout on a regular basis. When we finally drag ourselves into the gym to squeeze in a workout, we read, listen to music, cover the timer with a towel, or find other creative ways to help the minutes pass. HIIT sessions require you to spend much less time exercising. Additionally, there’s an element of excitement that’s introduced when you’re quickly switching between running and burpees or jumping jacks and squat thrusts, or whatever combination you choose. You and your group are constantly pushing and challenging each other throughout the workout so that you fly through the various intervals.
Try a Hiitgirl workout and, before you know it, you’re finished and then comes the surge of pride knowing you just completed the kind of workout that others can only dream about. Your body will love you for this!