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Beginners Guide to HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training can help enable your body to burn more fat and calories than traditional cardio in a shorter period of time!

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique that involves fast, intense bursts of exercise, followed by periods of rest.  This type of training raises your heart rate and burns more fat in a shorter period of time than traditional cardio or strength training alone.

HIIT has become extremely popular recently because people are busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym.  With HIIT you can fire up your metabolism, build strength, tone your body and improve your heart health in a short 10-20 minute workout.

The key to properly performing a HIIT workout however is that you must give your maximum effort during the intervals.  What most people don’t understand is that HIIT isn’t just about doing exercises in specific intervals.   In fact, the rest period is equally, if not more important than the activity period.  During the rest interval, enzymes and metabolic activity happen.  You should be giving your all during the interval and working at an intense enough pace that you NEED a rest.  It is actually recommended that the more sets you do the longer you increase each rest period interval.  This will allow your body the time to recover so you can continue to give max effort for the entire workout and not just for the 1st or 2n set.

If you follow the intervals correctly and allow your body the proper time to recover you will get the most out of your HIIT workout.   What is really cool about HIIT is the “After Burn” effect.  You will not only burn calories and fat during the workout, but afterwards your body will go through EPOC- excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  EPOC is the increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s oxygen deficit.  In order to correct the deficit, fatty acids are released and used to fuel recovery.  This extra fat loss benefit only happens when working anaerobically at maximal heart rate but may continue to last for over 48 hours! 

The Hybrid Team has put together three different HIIT Workouts for you to try!


Try doing these 5 exercises in a row using increasing variables for 5-6 sets.  Start with 10-12 reps of each exercise and a 15 second break.  After each set add 15 seconds to the rest period.

1. Reverse Fly- This upper body exercise works the upper back.  It helps open the shoulders up from pulling forward due to tight pecs or desk jobs.  It also increases core stability by holding your body in a straight line throughout the movement.

2. Bow and Arrow Pull- This one arm movement works the lats as well as the obliques.

3. Lunge Kick- This lower body exercise works the thighs, glutes and hamstrings all at the same time.  It also increases balance and increases your heart rate in one movement.

4. Y's- The sister exercise of the reverse fly, this exercise works the upper back and shoulders along with building core stability.

5. Squat Jumps- This plyometric exercise affects different muscle fibers than just squatting.  It is a lower body exercise that really gets your heart going but is easier on your joints and has lower impact when using the TRX.

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