We’re all looking to get fitter and stronger, but the main problem we face is time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to dedicate to hitting the gym or pounding the streets.
Fortunately, there’s a way to boost your fitness without spending all that time – you’ve probably heard of HIIT, and it may be just what you need! Ready to give it a try? Here are some tips to help you get started.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It’s a type of cardiovascular exercise that alternates between short periods of intense activity and brief recovery periods. It’s a great way to torch calories, build endurance, and get a great workout in a short amount of time. Plus it’s fun to do because you can see big improvements in your fitness and flexibility without long workouts.
Although HIIT may seem like a fairly new innovation, it’s actually been developing for over a century. HIIT really boomed in popularity from around 2005 when serious scientific studies were carried out and it was discovered how truly effective it can be.
How does HIIT work?
HIIT workouts typically involve a warm-up period followed by several rounds of high-intensity exercises interspersed with brief periods of rest or recovery. The intensity of the exercises is key – you should be working at near your maximum capacity, but not so hard that you can’t sustain the activity for the entire interval. The idea is to be working at or near 100% of your maximum heart rate, during the high-intensity phase.
How to calculate your maximum heart rate
To calculate your maximum heart rate, we always recommend speaking to your Personal Trainer or gym instructor here at the Club. They know you, your medical history and capabilities. But in the meantime, a rough way to calculate your max heart rate is by deducting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 190 beats per minute.
How long does HIIT take?
The length of time spent on each exercise varies, from 20 seconds to one minute. Overall, HIIT workouts usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. They can be done anywhere, but of course we recommend you come into the gym to do your HIIT under the supervision of our professional personal trainers.
Why is HIIT effective?
HIIT is an incredibly efficient way to work out. Not only does it burn calories faster than just about any other type of exercise, but it also helps you build endurance and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Plus, HIIT workouts are versatile – they can be done almost anywhere, and you don’t always need special equipment.
How to do HIIT
We have many ways of doing HIIT here at St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club. Come and speak to us about our HIIT sessions to find out more.
1. Choose the right exercises. HIIT is all about going hard, so we recommend exercises that challenge you and get your heart rate up. Think sprints, burpees, jump squats, the cross trainer, treadmill or step machine. We also have some fantastic facilities in the outdoor gym which are perfect for HIIT if you fancy something a bit different – such as shifting the tractor tyres!
But the best thing about HIIT is joining a class here at the Club. We have a number of HIIT classes running all year round, including:
- Pump HIIT A barbell- based workout designed to give you a full-body workout, targeting each muscle group to increase calorie burn with the high intensity interval training. A great challenge suitable for all levels.
- Box HIIT A class combining pad work, cardio and strength in a high intensity, lung bursting session.
- Kettlebell HIIT An intense total body workout using kettlebells, to increase your heart rate and burn copious calories. Learning the hinge hip motion and creating power movements to achieve maximum results.
- Total Body HIIT An outdoor high intensity interval training class incorporating weights, high impact exercises that will blast the body.
Find out more about these classes on our studio classes page.
2. Set the timer. HIIT workouts are typically done in intervals, so you’ll need to be using a stopwatch or timer to keep track of your rounds.
3. Go hard! Remember, the intensity is key to HIIT – so push yourself to the max. Remember the idea is to hit around 100% of your max heart rate for a short time.
4. Recover. As with all exercise, recovery and cool-down is incredibly important. Once you’ve completed your high-intensity interval, it’s vital to give your body time to recover. This can be done by walking or jogging at a slow pace to bring your heart rate down. And after your session is completed, 10 to 15 minutes of jogging, walking or stretching is recommended to stretch your muscles and get you fit for the rest of your day.
Can HIIT increase VO2 Max?
Many of our members are interested in using VO2 Max as a way to gauge their improving fitness. HIIT can certainly help to increase your VO2 Max.
VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can utilise during exercise. HIIT helps to improve your VO2 Max by increasing your heart rate and making your body work harder. If your personal trainer or fitness watch is measuring your VO2 Max, you’ll naturally want to increase this, and HIIT is the perfect way.
HIIT at St. George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club, Weybridge
If you feel inspired, the Club is the perfect place to get a hit of HIIT, whether you prefer indoor or outdoor exercise, or whether you’re into solo exercise or group workouts. Talk to our personal trainers for more information.