It's a HIIT (Workout): A guide for personal trainers

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is quite a popular training method in the health and fitness industry. In fact, according to ACSM Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018, HIIT is the top fitness trend. A HIIT workout is incredibly efficient and provides many health and fitness benefits. However, if the practitioner does not properly screen clients and design the workout with a safety-first mindset, this mode of exercising can be quite dangerous. In this article, we shall explore some of the basic science behind the HIIT workout, how to safely apply the workout, and how to review an effective circuit.

A HIIT session with a Cybex SPARC.

Science behind HIIT

The HIIT workout is centered on exercise principles for the human body: anaerobic training, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), and movement proficiency. Anaerobic training consists of high intense, intermittent bouts of exercise . EPOC is when your post-workout oxygen demand remains higher than pre-exercise levels. Movement proficiency is when one can complete bodyweight patterns such as, but not limited to, the squat, lunge, push up, pull up, or plank consistently without correction of the pattern. Now, let’s tie the three points together. If you are exercising with high proficiency throughout a circuit which requires intermittent high intensity bursts, then you create an EPOC, which boosts your metabolism.