HIIT Training found popularity on the fitness scene years ago. But unlike other fitness trends, HIIT has continued to be hot year after year. In fact, HIIT training is #3 on ACSMs 2017 Top Fitness Trends list. Fit Pros love HIIT because it’s fast paced, easy to create, and keeps their clients guessing. Clients love HIIT because they’re done before they know it and the workout was killer! HIIT is the perfect cure for exercise boredom.
With all the hype around HIIT training, everyone wants to come up with their version of it, which has left the definition or concept of HIIT a little blurry. So what is HIIT? HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which involves bursts of high energy activity followed by periods of recovery or lower energy activity. The main goal is getting the heart rate to spike and then letting the heart rate recover just enough to repeat another higher intensity interval. In general, you want to keep intervals short. Ideally around one minute. Below are some common interval times:
- :30 high / :30 low
- :45 high / :15 low
- :40 high / :20 low or :20 high / :40 low
- :20 high / :10 low (repeat 8 times and that’s a “Tabata”)
- :30 high / :15 low
- :30 high / :20 moderate / :10 low
- :20 high / :20 moderate / :20 low
- :10 high / :20 moderate / :30 low
The above list is not exhaustive but a good list of achievable intervals that are easy to coach. Keep in mind that intervals do not always have to be just high or low. You can add a third moderate interval for more middle ground. And the high interval does not always have to be the longest interval.
Another aspect to think about is what you’re doing during the high and low intervals. Generally speaking, a high interval is meant to elevate the heart rate and a low interval should allow the heart rate to recover. For the heart rate to recover we don’t always have to stop the activity and rest completely. Instead, we can challenge our balance, explore mobility and stability, or my personal favorite, incorporate strength. The BOSU® Balance Trainer comes in particularly handy when focusing on balance and stability, and is an added bonus to cardio and strength exercises. Below are a few interval combinations for a high/low and high/medium/low interval.
- Cardio / Core
- Cardio / Mobility
- Cardio / Strength
- Cardio / Strength / Mobility
- Cardio / Balance
Let’s put all this HIIT info to use. Below is a quick low/high HIIT workout using cardio as the high and strength as the recovery.
Interval Timing: :20 Strength / :40 Cardio
Sets: 4 – Repeat each Interval Combo 4 times through, taking one minute of complete recovery between Exercise Combos
Exercise Combos: 5
BOSU® Kneeling to Standing / BOSU® Squat Jump Stick
BOSU® Side Taps / BOSU® Tick Tock
BOSU® Slow Mt. Climber / BOSU® Fast Mt. Climber
BOSU® Bulgarian Lunge / BOSU® Jumping Bulgarian Lunge
BOSU® Push-Up to Childs Stretch / BOSU® Burpee
Total Time: 25 minutes (Note: Time does not include a warm-up or cool-down but both are highly recommended)
Create your perfect BOSU® HIIT workout and show us on Instagram or Facebook. Just tag @BOSU_fitness or The Official BOSU Fan Page.
Alison Galvan has a Masters degree in Kinesiology and works with athletes, college students, kids, older adults, and everything in between. In additional to working as a BOSUÒ Master Trainer, Alison owns EnergyX Fitness in San Antonio, Texas.