5 Secrets to Effective HIIT Training

If you're trying to blast fat and get in shape, HIIT training offers one of the most effective forms of cardio. Not only can you push your heart and lungs beyond their current limitations, but you can build muscle and burn a lot of fat thanks to the metabolism boost HIIT training provides. Here are a few secrets to the most effective HIIT training possible:

Start with a Shorter Time Frame

If you're brand new to HIIT training, your body won't have the stamina to go for a full 20 to 30 minutes of full on sprint training, HIIT cycling, or HIIT elliptical training. Don't bother trying to go for a full-on workout just yet, but start with just 10 minutes of HIIT training. You'll get a great workout, burn plenty of fat, but won't push your body beyond its capacity. As you go, you can work your way up, but for now, start with a shorter period of HIIT training.

Start with Longer "Rest" Periods

As a newbie to HIIT training, you probably don't have the stamina to run at full speed for more than 10 to 20 seconds. Don't sweat it! Start with longer periods of rest between each high intensity interval, as that will give your body a chance to cool off. Your goal for the HIIT training should be a ratio of 5:1 at the beginning. This means that for every 50 seconds of walking or jogging, you only sprint for 10 seconds. You'll find it's much easier to get through the workout alive!

Keep the HIIT Intervals Short

Shorter HIIT intervals will help you to survive the training, but you'll still get all the benefits of the amazing workout. Start with intervals of just 10 seconds, which will be VERY little all things considered. Once you master those 10 seconds, go to 20 seconds, and so on. You can extend the rest periods as you increase the HIIT intervals, but at least take it easy at the beginning of the training.

Work Your Way Up

Your goal is to shoot for a 2:1 ratio--2 minutes of low-intensity exercise to 1-minute of HIIT training. That's a lot of high intensity exercise, and it's not something newbies can do easily. Start out easy (as described above), and slowly work your way up. Increase your HIIT intervals until you can full-on sprint for 30 seconds, then start to shrink your "rest" periods. Go from 2 minutes to 90 seconds to 1 minute, and you'll be getting close to the proper ratio. The less rest time you have between intervals, the harder you push your body, but without extending the amount of time you spend full-on sprinting.

Do it Regularly

You don't have to engage in HIIT training EVERY day of the week, but you should make it a point to do it no fewer than three times a week. You won't be able to do it on the day that you train your legs (or the day after, if you do the lower body workout correctly), so you'll need to find a way to fit it into the rest of your week. The beauty of HIIT training is that it's fairly short. You pack A LOT of intensity into a period of 10 to 20 minutes, so you don't have to spend all that time sitting on the bicycle, running, or training on the elliptical. You can fit it in after your workout, and you'll find that it burns a lot more fat that way. The more you do it, the more your body will adapt to the energy demands.

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