HIIT for Beginners, A Comprehensive Guide on Getting Started
By Dominic Pereira
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gained immense popularity recently due to its effectiveness in achieving fitness goals. This time-efficient workout method combines short bursts of intense exercise with brief recovery periods.
According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “HIIT is a type of interval training exercise. It incorporates several rounds that alternate between several minutes of high-intensity movements to significantly increase the heart rate to at least 80% of one’s maximum heart rate, followed by short periods of lower-intensity movements.”
HIIT is not only a fantastic way to burn calories and build strength, but it also offers numerous health benefits. If you’re a beginner looking to incorporate HIIT into your fitness routine, then this comprehensive guide will help you get started on the right track.
“Several minutes of high-intensity movements to significantly increase the heart rate to at least 80% of one’s maximum heart rate, followed by short periods of lower-intensity movements.” – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
HIIT involves alternating between intense bursts of exercise and recovery periods. The high-intensity intervals push your body to work at maximum capacity, while the recovery intervals allow for brief rest. The key is maintaining the intensity during the workout to maximize calorie burn and cardiovascular fitness. HIIT workouts can be performed with various exercises, including running, cycling, bodyweight exercises, and more.
Benefits of HIIT
HIIT offers a plethora of benefits, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Firstly, it boosts your metabolism, increasing calorie burn even after the workout. Secondly, it improves cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and improving blood circulation. Thirdly, HIIT helps build lean muscle mass, enhancing overall strength and increasing basal metabolic rate. HIIT can also improve insulin sensitivity, making it beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing it. Read about a few other benefits HIIT has to offer here.
Before diving into a HIIT workout routine, it’s crucial to keep safety in mind. HIIT can be intense, so consult a healthcare professional before starting if you have any underlying health conditions or injuries.
Start with shorter workouts and gradually increase the intensity and duration as your fitness level improves. Always warm up adequately before each session and listen to your body, allowing for rest and recovery between workouts.
Getting Started with HIIT
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started with HIIT:
1. Set Clear Goals
Determine what you want to achieve through HIIT, whether it’s weight loss, improved fitness, or increased strength.
2. Choose Suitable Exercises
Select exercises that align with your fitness level and preferences. Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups are great for beginners. If you’re unsure, join one of our classes! Book a class here.
3. Establish Work-To-Rest Ratios
Start with a 1:2 ratio of 30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 60 seconds of recovery. Adjust the ratio as needed based on your comfort level.
4. Design Your Workout
Plan your HIIT routine by selecting exercises, determining the number of sets and repetitions, and defining the duration of each interval.
5. Warm Up and Cool Down
Prioritize a dynamic warm-up before your HIIT workout to prepare your body and reduce the risk of injury. Cool down afterward with safe stretches to promote flexibility and aid recovery.
Sample Beginner HIIT Workout
Here’s an example of a beginner-friendly HIIT workout:
- Jumping Jacks: 30 seconds
- Push-Ups: 30 seconds
- Knee Lifts: 30 seconds
- Plank: 30 seconds
- Burpees: 60 seconds
- Rest: 60 seconds
Repeat this circuit 3-4 times, gradually increasing the number of reps as you progress. Remember to maintain proper form throughout the workout.
- Interval Training – Interval training programs manipulate the intensity and duration of the work intervals, and the length of the rest periods, to create the desired training responses. A complete interval training program usually comprises several short, alternating periods of both higher and lower intensity exercises. What is Interval Training?(stretchcoach.com)
- Basal Metabolic Rate – An estimate of the minimum number of calories a person needs each day to maintain basic life functions at a resting state. Basal metabolic rate: What it is, calculation, and more (medicalnewstoday.com)
Step Up Your HIIT Game with moveOn 89
Our HIIT classes are hosted at our studio in Gardens, Cape Town, and focus on cardio and strength. Body resistance exercises are used to push you beyond your perceived limits and give you a SUPER effective fat-burning workout in a short space of time. At moveOn 89, we also offer a range of wellness classes, including Pilates and Fascial Fitness.
To join our classes, simply visit our class schedule to choose a time that works for you and book!
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If you’re a busy bee, then you should definitely incorporate HIIT workouts into your daily schedule. Find your passion for a healthy mind and body!