High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is an exercise protocol that alternates brief periods of fast exercise with either light exercise or rest to maximize the training benefits in the minimum amount of time. This type of exercise is challenging because the body is repeatedly pushed nearly to its limit, but that also makes it efficient. HIIT improves athletic performance, cardiovascular health, metabolic rate(see this article on EPOC- Extra Calories Burned After Exercise), insulin resistance, fat oxidation, and can build more strength and mobility than continuous cardio workouts. Concurrent HIIT and strength training gives the benefits of both in one workout.

Twice a week is effective for HIIT workouts. They can be done separately from strength training, or added to some workouts. At Steven Rice Fitness we often do 15-20 minutes of HIIT after a warmup, then follow with 30 minutes of more deliberate strength building exercise.

Sprints are one of the best intervals
Typical exercises are sprints, agility drills, medicine ball throws, and calisthenics. Even weight lifting can be included by using moderate resistance, provided good form can be maintained. Initially the intervals are from 1-2 minutes, shortening to 15-30 seconds for very fit individuals. For example:
30 seconds of sprinting
30 seconds of rest
30 seconds of medicine ball slams
30 seconds of rest
30 seconds of agility drills
30 seconds of rest
Repeat 6 times

Lateral medicine ball slams

Alternating jumps and burpees for one interval

Further reading:

High-intensity Interval Training for Clinical Populations


HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Training: Battle of the Aerobic Titans



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