The HIIT Workout has long been touted as one of the most effective training techniques available today, but is it really that great? Yes! It’s fantastic, but there are many different ways to employ it. Learn the best HIIT workout scheme for both individual and group exercise use.
What is a HIIT Workout?
The HIIT workout is an extremely popular set scheme right now. High Intensity Interval Training sounds pretty fancy, but the concept is actually extremely simple. It involves pushing through each set with 100% effort, resting just enough to push yourself as hard as possible again, then repeating in this manner for a prescribed amount of rounds.
Benefits of HIIT Workouts
The HIIT workout has a variety of benefits that range from enhanced metabolism to functional application for sports to increased workout efficiency for the time invested. This is primarily tied to the training technique’s ability to engage both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems during each HIIT workout. This effect combined with the primarily full body exercises that are used for HIIT workouts make it one of the most functional, beneficial, and efficient ways to exercise. Here is a short list of the key benefits of the HIIT workout:
- Increase Aerobic Endurance
- Increase Anaerobic Endurance
- Efficient, Short Workouts
- Increase Metabolism
- Effective Benefits for up to 24 hours
- Enhanced Performance while Maintaining Mass
- Stimulate Natural HGH Growth
- Functional Application to Sports
HIIT Workout Schemes
There are a million different ways to create HIIT Workout schemes. The training technique is most commonly used with the Tabata workout scheme. The Tabata workout is much more complicated than people give it credit for and actually requires three workout sets rather than the one that people refer to, however, it is how most people think of interval training, so we’ll keep it simple. Tabata is 8 rounds of exercise with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.
HIIT workouts can be anything though. You can switch up the rounds, sets, rest and work periods based on the training implement or movement. You can try 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off for 10 or 20 rounds, 10 seconds on and 20 seconds rest for 15 rounds, or switch up the whole thing by going a particular amount of reps with a particular amount of rest (something like 10 burpees as fast as possible with 15 seconds rest for 10 rounds is one of example of this).
The Problem with the HIIT Workout
The issue I’ve always found with all of these lies in the effectiveness of using HIIT workouts for group exercise. The problem is that most groups have a wide range of performance, skill, and experience levels. I’ve always found that many people don’t even know what really pushing themselves to 100% feels like. They quit much quicker than they are actually capable of. For this reason, HIIT workouts have much less impact than they could.
The only way you are going to truly gain the benefits that all the studies tout is by sprinting during the work sets as hard as you can. If you don’t know what “as hard as you can” means, you’re not going to get them. That is why I’ve found the following set scheme the most efficient way to ensure that every user in a group is pushing their limit.
The Best HIIT Workout Scheme
In my recently released workout program, MegaMad Essentials, I used a set scheme that I’ve found is the best way to ensure that viewers are getting the benefits I promise. Online workout programs can only be effective if you can communicate effectively to the viewer. I’m not their to push you, watch your form, or gauge your capacity (all things an in person trainer should be doing for you). So, I need you to do that for me.
The only way to do that is by using a Reps on Time scheme that ensures that you push yourself hard and only rest as much as necessary before pushing yourself again. I learned this from years of swimming and thousands of hours of training. In swimming, common sets would be a 50 meter sprint for 10 rounds on the 45 second mark. The only rest you get is based on your ability to get to the wall as fast as possible.
For standard workouts on land, you can employ this HIIT workout scheme using any workout implement (kettlebell, sandbag, dumbbell, etc.) or bodyweight alone combined with a low to medium skill movement. In my program I give you the movement and, based on the desired work capacity I want you to reach, the work/rest ratio. Then I demonstrate the speed I want you to achieve myself, showing you how close or far you are from reaching optimum rest periods.
The scheme is simple. It’s just 10 reps on the 30, 45, or 60 second mark. Each workout uses 10-20 exercises for 2 rounds each. This provides variety and helps avoid the monotony that you would find with doing the same exercise for 10+ rounds.
There you have it! This HIIT workout scheme is simple, effective, and with the right guide it ensures that you’re pushing your body hard enough to get all the benefits that HIIT has to offer. Good luck!