High intensity interval training is one of the most talked about, written about, and misinformed types of exercise in the fitness industry. There are multiple ways to perform HIIT. First is the scientific way which is what I’m going to show you today, which requires some simple math equations and a heart rate monitor. Second is the basic way which will yield some results but will not produce optimal results, because it is not supported by science. The second way involves thirty seconds to one minute of hard effort followed by thirty seconds to one minute of moderate or recovery effort.
High intensity interval training the scientific way. First you need to figure out your heart rate zones. For the interval you would aim for 70-90% of your maximum heart rate. (70% for a beginner & 90% for someone who has been doing HIIT for four months or longer). For the recovery you would aim for 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. Alternating between the high intensity and the low intensity will help you to burn fat, calories, and improve your cardiovascular working capacity.
Heart Rate Max is found by taking 220 – AGE = Maximum Heart Rate ( 220 – 32 = 188 )
70% is found by taking 188*.70 = 132
90% is found by taking 188*.90 = 170
50% is found by taking 188*.50 = 94
60% is found by taking 188*.60 = 113
*Numbers have been rounded up*
So I will offer 2 programs below. One for an absolute beginner and one for an elite trained moderate to advanced training individual. Keep in mind that frequency, intensity, time, and type of HIIT will all play a role in your results, and keep the body safely and effectively progressing to higher fitness levels. What does that mean? Frequency can start with 1 day per week of HIIT and progress to 2 or maximum of 3 days per week. Intensity can be altered as you progress, start with the beginner program and you can increase the heart rate max you are going for as you increase your fitness level. Time can be altered by starting with thirty second intervals, and as you improve you may be able to hold the same heart rate for a longer period of time before the recovery. Type can be adjusted by using all of the fitness equipment available for you to use. Try the rower, elliptical, running, and more!
Beginner program : 1 day per week of HIIT following 70% maximum heart rate on the interval and 50% of the maximum heart rate on the recovery.
Age of participant is 50.
220-50 = 170
70% Interval = 170*.70 = 120
50% Recovery = 170*.50 = 85
Time 20 minutes as many intervals as possible.
Start with 5 minutes of warm up on the piece of equipment you choose. Then give your hard effort until you see 120 on your heart rate monitor, then slow down until you see 85 on your heart rate monitor. Repeat for as many times as you can during the twenty-minute time frame. Each week try to increase the amount of intervals you can get as your fitness level improves. Finish with a 5 minute cool down and stretching.
Advanced program: 2 days per week of HIIT following 90% maximum heart rate on the interval and 60% of the maximum heart rate on the recovery.
Age of participant is 21.
220-21 = 199
90% Interval = 199*.90 = 179
60% Recovery = 199*.60 = 120
Start with 5 minutes of warm up on the piece of equipment you choose. Then give your hard effort until you see 179 on your heart rate monitor, then slow down until you see 120 on your heart rate monitor. Repeat for as many times as you can during the twenty-minute time frame. Each week try to increase the amount of intervals you can get as your fitness level improves. Finish with a 5 minute cool down and stretching.
High intensity interval training will be a way to drastically improve your fitness level and body composition, but it is not a substitute for steady state cardiovascular conditioning. High intensity interval training can be performed 1-2 days per week safely and effectively with 1-2 days per week of walking or bike riding at lower intensities (50-65% heart rate max). Give HIIT a try and as always never hesitate to reach out to us for help!!
Move onward and upward always with the pursuit of your optimal potential!
~Mike Formal Fitness Training CEO