The Benefits of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)


By Melanie Buckley Jackson

Short on time? Want to increase your endurance? Ready to get rid of those stubborn love handles? There are so many reasons to try HIIT!

High Intensity Interval Training can be done using any exercise (running, cycling, burpees, squats, to name a few) and involves a work interval and a rest interval. This means increasing the intensity or speed of your exercise for a set time, then decreasing your speed for a set time, and repeating this pattern. For example, running at a faster pace for one minute, then slowing down for 30 seconds. To increase the intensity, calorie burning and cardio benefits, one could run at a full sprint for 30 seconds, taking a 10-30 second rest. This pattern can be done for 5-15 minutes to really get the heart rate up and reap cardiovascular benefits.

Why would someone do this instead of steady state cardio, such as running at the same pace? Well, studies have shown intense 15 minute HIIT workouts can burn the same amount of calories as an hour of steady state cardio. HIIT workouts are also said to boost cardio and muscular endurance and stamina quickly, burn fat, and maintain muscle. You can choose your own favorite workout and vary it with each workout. Athletes commonly use interval training to train their bodies for short bursts of movement at high intensity and improved cardiorespiratory fitness.

Our HIIT classes at The Post are a combination of full body exercises. We incorporate squats, push-ups, lunges, some plyometrics, and low impact exercise into the HIIT classes for a full body cardio and strength workout.

All classes are modified for individual fitness levels, however, I would recommend beginning with one HIIT class a week. Once you have built up your stamina and expect what is coming for the next class, one or two HIIT classes a week is plenty. Try alternating days with yoga and lower intensity exercise throughout the week, including rest days. Enjoy the endorphins, the increased fitness, and likely a toned and strong physique. It works, it’s fun, and efficient. HIIT it!

Melanie Buckley Jackson is a highly sought-after personal trainer, yoga teacher and nutrition coach who has worked with individuals of all fitness levels and ages — from professional athletes to weekend warriors to those new to exercise. Melanie is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare industry.

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