HIIT workouts on the rise in 2014
While some trends in health and fitness come and go quickly, it appears that high- intensity interval training (HIIT) will be here to stay. According to an American College of Sports Medicine survey of nearly 4,000 fitness professionals, HIIT will be the hottest fitness trend for 2014. HIIT ranks in the top 20 for the first time in the survey’s eight-year history, surpassing other previously popular exercise regimes such as strength training, Zumba and Pilates.
High-intensity interval training involves short bursts of intense exercises followed by a short period of recovery. Typically, HIIT workouts can range from 10 minutes to about 30 minutes, and little or no gym equipment is needed. Some studies have shown that HIIT workouts burn more fat than longer, more mundane workouts, and also could be better for your heart. What has been most appealing about HIIT is its efficiency, as these workouts take minimal time to complete, but can lead to maximum results.
“HIIT and Tabata workouts are so popular and effective for many reasons,” says Ashley Carlson, fitness instructor at Advocate Condell Centre Club. “They are short, but intense, so you are in and out but leave feeling like you got a great workout, often you do not need much equipment so they can be done anywhere, and you get the most bang for your buck mixing aerobic and anaerobic activities.”
While HIIT may become the “it” thing to do at the gym this new year, fitness professionals caution those new to working out, or who are coming back after a lengthy absence. Folks who are determined to get active as part of their New Year’s resolution could end up sidelining themselves due to overexertion that can lead to injury. “When moving fast, your body is so fatigued from start to finish, and that leads to an increased risk for injury,” Carlson says.
Despite the dangers of HIIT, Carlson has seen people enjoying their workouts more, feeling stronger, losing more weight and inches, and has seen people push themselves to their limits and beyond.
“For those looking to get fit in the New Year, don’t be afraid to try new things,” Carlson says. “Challenge yourself, push your limits and most importantly find enjoyment in what you are doing.”
Many gyms have started to offer group HIIT workouts, but they can also be completed in the comfort of your own home.
Try this sample workout from Carlson to jump-start your New Year’s resolution:
8 Round Total – 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest (4 minutes each round, 20-minute total workout)
- Body-Weight Squats
- Box Jumps
- Pull-ups or Rows
High-intensity interval training holds a lot of potential for Americans who are looking for variety and fun in their workouts, without taking up too much of their time.
About the Author
Adam Mesirow, health enews managing editor, is media relations director of Advocate Aurora Health. Securing high-profile media placements for more than a decade, he loves to tell a good story. Adam earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He lives in Chicago and enjoys playing sports, reading TIME magazine and a little nonsense now and then.