What is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)?

A form of cardio training that involves bursts of higher intensity periods cycled with low to moderate intensity recovery periods. Usual HIIT sessions range from 9-30 minutes.

What are some of the benefits of interval cardio training?

1. Metabolic Boost: By forcing the body to work at such an increased intensity level, you will continue to burn calories at an elevated rate for hours following your workout session. Fat loss comes down to total calories burned vs. total calories consumed, therefore, if your metabolic rate is elevated for longer periods, you will ultimately burn more calories.

2. Increased Fitness Level: Interval training teaches your body how to better utilize oxygen throughout exercise, increasing your body's efficiency and decreasing fatigue. Increasing your fitness level will make you stronger and more capable in your everyday lives and sports participation.

3. Decreased Boredom Levels: Interval training is a great boredom-killer! Constantly adjusting the speeds and working hard with periods of relaxation help to pass the time of your cardio session and tune you into your body and how your muscles are responding.

Sample 20-30 Minute Elliptical HITT Cardio Plan 

1. Warm-up for 5 minutes at an approximate speed of 3 mph at a resistance level of 1 or 2.
2. Increase your intensity by increasing your speed and resistance levels. This is your "work phase" and you should be at a level that you can only maintain for about 30 seconds. Your RPE** should be 7 or greater.
3. Decrease your intensity to a "recovery phase" for approximately 2-3 minutes. This phase should feel easy. Your RPE should be 4 or less.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you completed approximately 10-20 mins of HIIT training.
5. Decrease intensity to complete a 5 minute cool down. RPE should be 1 or 2.

** RPE: Rate of Perceived Exertion- subjective rating assigned to your intensity
level of your exercise based on how hard you perceive the activity is. Scale is
1-10 with 1 being "very easy" and 10 being "very very hard."