HIIT TRAINING FOR BEGINNERS!

By : Charelle Johnson

Over the last couple of years, HIIT training and HIIT cardio have become incredibly popular ways of training to either increase strength and endurance or to incinerate fat- mainly because well, who doesn’t love beating off a few kilos of blubber in record time! Yay to fat-loss, increased mobility and a snatched waist in half the time!

However, as much as so many of us enjoy a fun sweaty Switch or HIIT workout session, there are still so many non-fitness industry professionals and gym goers who don’t fully understand the concept of HIIT training workouts, how it works to their advantage and how much It can really complement or benefit current fitness goals and overall health.

Let’s begin by understanding what exactly HIIT is- HIIT training or high intensity interval training (yup, there is actual meaning behind the acronym), refers to a training technique that requires you give short bursts of 100% effort during an exercise, followed by short recovery periods or rest- breathe, it’ll be worth it, we promise!

HIIT training like other forms of cardio will get your heart rate up- but to a maximum! This will allow you to burn high amounts of fat in a fraction of the time you would need doing steady state cardio like jogging or walking- We’re time conscious at The Switch Playground and we know you still want to kick it with your friends after this hardcore party sesh!

There is also a mountain of benefits to this type of training that include:

– Improved endurance and oxygen consumption- because you’re totally going to need it for your next visit!

– increased strength and muscle gain in some individuals- gains anyone?

– Fat reduction and improved metabolic function through cardiovascular activity,

– Reduced blood pressure and,

– Burning fat at rest- yes, you’re still going to be smashing those calories after your workout!

When we begin to understand the importance of having an exercise regime that benefits us beyond just fat loss, it becomes clear as to why HIIT and functional training classes and workouts like Switch have become such a popular form of exercise amongst even the most educated fitness professionals. UH-uhm, which begs the question- Why have you not booked your first visit yet? Get on with it!

Something to note though- If you want to fully maximize on the benefits of HIIT training, it is imperative that you seek the help of fitness professionals like your local Switch trainers who are informed and passionate about HIIT training (and about turning your workout into a flat out turn-up), who can fully assist you with how to incorporate the correct variation of strength and endurance exercises alongside cardiovascular activity to help reach your goals. If you’re a lot like me and are little on the impatient side or you’re a total beginner, then the best place to begin is on the treadmill! Check out this easy to do Treadmill HIIT Sprint intervals workout I still use myself every day, below!

Beginner HIIT Treadmill Sprints:

– Begin by warming your body up with a 5minute walk (This should be a comfortable walk where you’re still able to have a conversation). The point of this warm-up is to notify your body that it is about to undergo a healthy period of cardiovascular stress.
– On the 6th minute, increase your pace to a brisk run or sprint.
– When the clock reads 06:30 minutes- hop off the treadmill for a 30 second rest.
– On the 7th minute, begin your next sprint interval.
– When the treadmill reads 07:30 minutes hop off the treadmill for a 30 second rest.

– CONTINUE TO DO THESE 30 SECOND SPRINT AND REST PERIODS UNTIL YOU REACH THE 15TH MINUTE ON THE TREADMILL.

– COMPLETE YOUR 20 MINUTE SPRINT INTERVAL WORKOUT WITH A 5 MINUTE COOL DOWN WALK AT YOUR OWN PACE.

Sprint intervals are a great way to burn off some extra energy stores after a weight training session, or to get your heart rate up before a body weight or resistance training session- helping you maintain a high fat burning state throughout (and after) your workout and they’ll get you pumped up, motivated and ready to smash your fitness goals!

If you’re ready for a little extra challenge, a higher calorie burn and a party-like vibe with a DJ to boot, then take a trip on the wild side and visit the Switch playground- you won’t be disappointed!

Keep training, stay motivated and party hard while you’re doing it!

Charelle x

Wardah Hartley is a Switch Playground instructor, personal trainer as well as a fitness and mommy blogger for www.fabufit.co.za. She is a wife and mom to her two-year old son Esa.