High-intensity interval training…sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? While HIIT can be intense, the nature of the workout — short bursts of maximum-effort activity followed by periods of lower-intensity exercise or complete rest — makes it more accessible than you think.
According to Haven instructor Abril Istre, “Research shows that people can do anything for 30 seconds, and the benefits to be gained from HIIT are innumerable.” What’s more, HIIT workouts can be done from the comfort of your home thanks to CA’s virtual offerings (more on that later!).
Benefits of HIIT
Like any exercise, HIIT classes will differ depending on the instructor. However, the basic premise is that combining brief bursts of intense exercise with a recovery period (and repeating this cycle, hence the “interval” aspect) has a huge payoff for your heart health, muscular strength, metabolism and mood.
Abril shares that there are two principles that form the basis of HIIT’s effectiveness: Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training and Metabolic Circuit Training.
PHA Training: PHA training typically alternates upper body and lower body exercises. For instance, in a HIIT class you may work your back, chest and arms with 30 seconds of pushups, and then move right into 30 seconds of squats to work your lower body. So you never stop training while letting the muscles of your upper body recover. This optimizes circulation and leads to a better metabolic rate and heart functioning.
Metabolic Circuit Training: Alternating between cardio and muscular conditioning to strengthen the muscles of the heart and everything that surrounds it. This means you get the best of both worlds: the calorie-blasting benefits of intense cardio and the muscle-building benefits of strength training.
Even when you’re done working out, HIIT helps you continue to burn calories; several studies show that it raises your metabolic rate for hours. The same goes for your mood, too.
“During HIIT, your heart rate rises above 70 to 75% of your maximum heart rate while doing muscular conditioning exercises, and 85 to 90% during cardio segments. Because of this increased heart rate, the body begins to produce lots of endorphins, which are the body’s natural, feel-good hormones,” Abril says. “They boost the immune system, contribute positive effects on anxiety and depression, and improve your mood. Perhaps this is why participants among other things feel happy and accomplished after a good work out!”
Virtual HIIT Workouts
There are various ways you can enjoy free online HIIT workouts with CA. Make sure to check out the live classes on Haven’s Facebook page (Abril’s sessions are each Monday at 9 am) and the CA at home page.
Here are a few HIIT workouts to help you get started…
45-min HIIT class with Abril
45-min HIIT class with Abril
32-min Cardio Tone HIIT class with Kimberly Burckhardt
As always, we encourage you to honor your body and take each class at your own pace. We miss seeing you all and can’t wait until we can work out together again! Until then, wishing for the health and happiness of you and your loved ones.