What is HiiT?

HiiT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest and recovery. For example, in my HiiT Quickie Workouts we do 3 rounds of 5 exercises for 50 seconds on, 10 seconds rest.

HiiT workouts are designed to improve cardiovascular capacity and conditioning, which in turn improves glucose metabolism (how your body produces energy) and fat burning.

Research also shows that short HiiT workouts can be just as or more effective than longer, steady-state cardio because of the EPOC effect.Curtsy Lunge copy-001

What is EPOC?

Also known as the afterburn effect, EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Simply put, this is the amount of oxygen your body requires after exercise to return to its resting state and adapt to the work you just did.

EPOC matters because it means you’ve pushed your body to the point of having an oxygen debt.  If you sprint up a steep hill as fast as you can, it will be quite difficult to catch your breath afterward, right? That is EPOC in action. Your body is now forced to work harder to return to normal, and all the while you’re expending more energy.

The good news – that means you’re burning calories even after you’ve stopped exercising! Brilliant!

Interestingly enough, you may burn fewer calories during a HiiT workout (as compared to a steady-state workout like jogging), but you’ll burn far more calories after the workout. According to one study, for up to 38 hours afterward!

Most forms of exercise will generate an afterburn effect to some degree, but not all forms are equal.  After lower intensity exercise, your body’s systems don’t take as long to return to normal.  Therefore, you expend less energy while recovering. But with higher intensity exercise, more energy is needed afterward to catch your breath, return hormone levels to normal, and oxidize the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.  HiiT makes brilliant use of the afterburn.




How My HiiT Quickies Work

Each HiiT Quickie Workout consists of 5 exercises. We’ll cycle through those five exercises three times, for a total of 15 rounds, or intervals. Each interval then consists of 50 seconds of exercise and a 10-second transition/rest, equaling one minute. So 15 rounds of exercise = 15 minutes.

If 50 seconds is too long, feel free to stop sooner. Say you do an exercise for 40 seconds. That will allow you to have a 20-second rest before the next interval begins.

And, if you need further ideas for modifying these workouts, you can find them HERE.