HiiT exercise is an acronym that stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Though often confused with cardiovascular or aerobic movement, HiiT is actually anaerobic- it doesn’t rely solely on oxygen.
Another important difference to note: HiiT movements are designed around explosive and rapid power performed within a short period of time and then broken up by equally short rest periods.
While traditional Aerobic exercise might involve an hour’s worth of running or dancing, keeping your heart at a steady rate, HiiT incorporates multiple sets of movements like Sprints, Tuck Jumps, and Burpees performed at maximum effort and then interspersed with a 1-2 minute break.
These quick bursts of exercise of course get your heart and muscles going like never before, but it’s the combination of these combined with the rest intervals that actually burn more calories and contribute to greater cardiovascular health than even Aerobic exercise.
The key to HiiT is pushing the envelope every time along the lines of a movement burst, rest, and repeat pattern. By doing so, you can also get the greatest fitness benefits in a shorter amount of time than just pure Aerobics.
Don’t have a full hour to burn on the treadmill? Try sprinting as fast as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 2 minutes, and then do it all again for 4-5 sets. You’ll be perspiring and breathing hard in 30 minutes just as if you’d been working out for a much longer duration of time.
Some scientific studies have also found that HiiT can be many more times more effective for losing fat than steady-state cardio. Weight loss is also important for full-body health and fighting off diabetes, so if that’s also your goal then a few HiiT sessions per week should absolutely be incorporated into your fitness regimen.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.