A HIIT session often consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by three to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise, but may be as little as three repetitions with just 20 seconds of intense exercise.
There is no specific formula to HIIT. Depending on one's level of cardiovascular development, the moderate-level intensity can be as slow as walking. A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking.
The entire HIIT session may last between four and thirty minutes, meaning that it is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. Use of a clock or timer is recommended to keep accurate times, number of rounds and intensity.
Using the exertion rating scale will help you know wether or not you are taking a HITT!
This method is based on observing your body’s physical signs during physical activity, including increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue. To keep within a high intensity, aim to experience the exercise signs 7-10 in the chart below.
You can keep a diary of your exertion ratings to monitor your fitness progressions. As you become fitter, the same activity will become easier and your exertion rating will decrease. Then you’ll know it’s time to increase your effort.
Exertion Level Physical signs.............................
0-2 Very Little Barely moving
3 Moderate strong Sensation of movement
4 Somewhat hard Warmth or light sweating
5 Hard Sweating
6 Harder Moderate sweating
7 Very hard Mod. sweating, can still talk
8 Extremely hard Heavy sweating, can't talk
9Maximum effort Very heavy sweating, can't talk
10 Maximum effort Exhaustion
Your body’s response to high intensity exercise normally includes:
- Faster heart rate
- Faster deeper breathing
- Feeling hot
- Slight swelling of the hands and feet
- Heavy perspiration
- Mild muscular aches for a day or two afterwards, if you are not used to the physical activity.
Becoming aware of the intensity of your exercise will help you to ensure that you exercise at the right intensity to achieve your health or fitness goals. For maximum health benefits, you should aim for moderate-high intensity activity.
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Jog - Bar cleans and snatches - TABATA Skipping
5 x 5 Back Squat
5 x 5 Bench Press
5 x Max Pull Ups
Sprint Burpee Shuttle
1 Power Clean
1 Power Snatch
90 Second Rest