What is HIIT?

June 4, 2016

I hear this question a lot from new members…so I thought I’d add a more in depth description here for you!  High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, classes consist of a full body warm up, then several repetitions of high intensity exercises (think squat jumps, burpees and mountain climbers) separated by lower intensity exercises for recovery (marching or jogging in place), followed by a cool down/stretch period. The high intensity exercises are meant to challenge you at your maximum effort level. The medium exercise should be about 50% of your maximum effort level. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise, but may be as little as four repetitions of 20 seconds of intense exercise (this is what we do in Tabata classes). The exercises performed vary depending on the instructor and the fitness level of the participants.  Instructors will also provide low impact alternatives when required and intensity level is dependent on your fitness level.

Based on your level of cardiovascular fitness, the moderate-level recovery period may be as slow as walking or as challenging as jogging.  A common HIIT formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking.  This is also something you can do on the treadmill, elliptical or bike!

The entire HIIT session may last between four and thirty minutes (although we do offer a 60 minute class if you want a real challenge!), meaning that it is considered to be an excellent way to maximize your workout when you are short on time.  Here is a short video of Rachel’s HIIT class.

Click here for our class schedule!