Using a high intensity interval training (HIIT) protocol is a great way to get fit and burn fat fast, and if you’ve been a regular reader you’ll already know that we love the benefits of adding HIIT to your workouts.
But what you may not know is that you can use interval training to help you reach different fitness goals from aerobic endurance to increased power.
Here is how you can use interval training to reach the following goals:
Improve Power and Explosiveness
Power is achieved in the shortest and most intense bouts of exercise. This type of goal is most common among athletes or those who play in sport leagues and want to become more powerful.
The type of training can take place on dry land, in the field, or at the gym on a stationary cycle or treadmill.
Start with a short 2 to 5 minute very light warm up. This would be on one of the easiest settings, at very low resistance. When you’re ready, start with 5 to 10 second bursts of high intensity intervals.
They’ll look something like this:
3-5 minute light warm up
10 seconds sprint
90-120 seconds light recovery
Repeat 10 rounds
If you are on the treadmill or on dry land, walk the recoveries and go for an all-out 10 second sprint. If you are using a stationary cycle, the sprint would entail both an increase in the level of resistance and in the RPMs. Aim for over 120rpm.
Improve Aerobic Capacity
This is the amount of oxygen your body actually uses, or uptakes, over a period of time. It is also known as VO2, or VO2max.
To improve this, a 20 minute high intensity interval training session has been found to be very effective. HIIT very effectively promotes an improvement in aerobic capacity. If you were to integrate HIIT into your training with the objective of improving your aerobic capacity, it would look something like this:
5 to 7 minute moderate warm up
30 second high intensity
1 minute low intensity
Repeat 12 to 15 rounds
In this case, the high intensity set would be at a very fast running pace while the low intensity set would be a light jog. Keep pushing right up until the very last set! Remember that all your improvements and adaptations to exercise occur during those grueling moments in training!
Improve Aerobic Endurance
This is a loose measure of the overall level of endurance your body. How long you can last at a particular level of work. This is most clearly seen when you notice that you can jog for 25 minutes but only run for 10 minutes at a time.
This training would improve your performance at a particular intensity, helping you to last longer.
This is what HIIT would look like:
5 minute warm up
90 to 120 second high intensity rapid pace
90 to 120 second low intensity slow pace
Repeat 15 rounds
The rapid pace would be slightly faster than your classic pace of exercising. It would be just outside of your comfort zone, especially by the end of the first minute.
The low intensity pace is the usual pace you would exercise at, within your comfort zone.
Finally, note that there is a lot of crossover between these types of training. For example, you’ll see improvements in aerobic capacity with both the power and endurance training. This is a sort of secondary effect.
Enjoy your high intensity interval training!