Why HIIT Training Inside is AWESOME
Written by: Meg Sharp, Wellbeing Consultant, Cambridge Group of Clubs
The benefits of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training have been studied at length over the past decade. Yes, this type of training is challenging, AND you reap so many rewards.
In essence most HIIT training involves short bursts of “all out effort” – 10-60 seconds – each followed by a period of rest. For the most part, the shorter bursts are harder (approaching 10/10) with 2-3x the recovery time. While work intervals of a minute will be a little more moderate and the recovery interval may be the same (1 minute). There are even “high volume HIIT” protocols involving hard efforts for up to 4 minutes with 4 minutes of easy recovery between. As with every type of exercise, every one is different. You want the quality of each HARD interval to be high. So even though they will get psychologically and physically tougher as you go, you still want to nail each and every interval. If you’re fatiguing too quickly and especially if you’re compromising safe form and good mechanics, you likely need slightly longer rest or shorter bursts.
HIIT has been proven to:
Increase BDNF – brain derived neurotrophic factor – in your brain improving memory, creative thinking, and reducing both stress and depression over the short and long term.
Improve blood and oxygen flow to the brain, heart, lungs, and muscles. Sharper mind, stronger heart, lungs, and muscles, better recovery, and fatigue resistance!
Increase metabolism, burn more calories per workout, AND increase use of fat stores for energy! A very recent 2022 review found improved fat oxidation after 4 weeks of various types of HIIT training performed 1 to 2 times per week!
Build and protect muscle. Because those tough intervals challenge the muscles so much, your body tends to protect that muscle while it rebuilds. So, any caloric deficit you may incur will be replaced preferentially with fat and carbohydrate calories. Maintaining lean tissue is always a great thing.
In case that’s not enough, HIIT training increases insulin sensitivity, lowers blood pressure, is efficient, can incorporate any type of exercise – running, cycling, barbells, or dumbbells, body weight, rowing – is fun, and makes you feel like a superhero.
Because HIIT is so challenging, your heart rate gets driven high, blood pressure will increase over the short term, and your core temperature will escalate. So, on these ridiculously hot summer days, please throw down those crazy workouts with us! At the Club!
Not only can you enjoy the air conditioning and a fabulous cold shower afterwards, we have so may toys and tools to make these types of workouts more effective and fun.
Some of my favourite pieces at the Club to incorporate into HIIT (in every case, perform a movement specific warm-up for 5-10 minutes and cool down for another 5-10):
- The Sled: Load on a plate or two or four. Hip hinge forward, brace your core, and push like crazy to one end of the turf. Rest. And push or pull it all back.
- The Assault Bike: Go 15 seconds ALL OUT. Easy, easy, easy spin for 45 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.
- The HEX Bar squat or deadlift: Once you’ve mastered this movement it can be fabulous for a HIIT style workout. Careful warm-up including a light first set, and then load so you can just complete each set within 5-6 reps. Rest. Repeat for 5-6 sets total.
- Stair Climber or Rowing Machine: Climb or Row as hard as you can for 45-60 seconds. Slow to a very comfortable pace for 60-90 seconds. Repeat 5-8 times.
Need some help figuring out what kind of HIIT workout is best for you? That’s right! We’d LOVE to cover the cost of a one-on-one session with one of our experts. Let’s make it happen!
Lauren Neal – Adelaide Club
Sean O’Neil – Cambridge Club
Rob Coates – Toronto Athletic Club