The key to a good HIIT class it varying interval intensity and duration and relief interval intensity and duration. Through scientific research, it has been proven that HIIT can boost the performance of all athletes and provide a way for people to have the benefits of a consistent workout in less time. A HIIT workout can range anywhere from 1 minute to 50 minutes. Specially, when planning a workout, one should look at the maximal lactate steady state which would include 20-50 minutes of constant work. (meaning don’t be a slacker) The forethought in planning all HITT workouts is differentiation of the task and time. The key is that the athlete works for specific amount of time and receives constant amount of rest each round. The shorter the time the harder the athlete is to work.
The rest, during the time of intensity and duration, is so important in the allowing our heart rate to recover and giving time for our energy making system time to reboot. Many studies show a 1:1 ratio from work to rest or 1:2; being 30 second of work and 1 minute of rest being an effective model when working out. Rest can also be passive recovery where little movement is made, to active recovery like riding a stationary bike at 50% intensity before moving to the next task. These types of workouts are great to do with a partner. As one person works the other rests, this would be an example of passive recovery; or while one partner works the other is holds a barbell over their head, this would be active rest. All this is done to change the way our energy systems make fuel.
HIIT is not limited to these models…as long as you are structured in work and in rest you are good to go.
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.