When you say downward dog, long breaths and stretches you immediately think about yoga. When you sweat a lot and you have a take-your-breath-away moments, what do you think of immediately? Love? Close. You think about high-intensity interval training.
Popularly known for its acronym HIIT, this is one workout trend that has been gaining popularity among fitness buffs.
But what is HIIT?
Burpees. Lots and lots of it is a workout identified with HIIT. And sprinting, and of course, resting in between. But what makes you out of breath about HIIT is you have to do a set of cardio workout really fast and really intense in a short amount of time that it leaves you catching your breath.
This is supposed to torch calories faster and build muscles more effectively.
You have to understand that every cardio workout can burn calories. But if it is more intense, it spikes heart rate more, boost endurance, kicks your metabolism up, regulates your insulin level and makes you lose body fat faster.
But when is a cardio workout considered a HIIT?
The basic element of a cardio workout is to work really hard, rest then work really hard again.
It is typically a 20-45 minute of intense working out and resting. Resting is an important part of this process because the recovery period prepares your body for the next round of intense workout.
How intense is intense?
Naturally, our heart rate starts off from low intensity, which is from resting pace, from when you are at rest until you start warming up. Your heart will already have started pumping to 50 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Talking is still very much possible. The activities you could be doing is stretching and walking, just enough for oxygen to get your heart pumping.
And then the moderate intensity comes in. This is the usual level people who work out are in. At the end of your workout, you should already feel the sweat coming out. Conversation-wise, you can still talk but you feel the need to stop because you start to breathe a little heavy.
At this juncture, you will already be at 50 percent of your heart rate.
You are in a state of high (high intensity, that is), when you can no longer talk because you are out of breath. If you keep at it for 20 minutes, you will already have done extremely well.
A simple example is a walk-sprint interval, which anyone could use as a jumpoff point. You do a 30-second walk, followed by a 30-second sprint and repeating this, eight to 10 times. You start feeling the burn at around the third round but the important thing is you keep at it.
A more advanced example is the jog and sprint. This will be a bit more exhausting but the benefits are the same.
Afterwards, when you have mastered it, you can also do a combination of different workouts with rests in between
With this information, you can now get on. Remember, if you are not running out of breath, you’re not HIIT-ing it right!