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High Intensity Interval Training Routine For Beginners

High Intensity Interval Training Can Be Used For Beginners

I have covered the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and gave an example of a great workout for experienced active people. But that level of HIIT isn’t suitable for everyone. If you are new to exercise or want to get back into training you can still benefit from interval training.

What Is High Intensity Interval Training? – A Quick Recap

HIIT is a period of high intensity activity followed by a period of low intensity activity, then alternating between the two levels of intensity for a set amount of time. Using a jump rope routine as an example you would skip as fast as possible for 30 seconds, skip slowly for  1 minute, skip as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then skip slowly for 1 minute. You would then repeat this for a set amount of time. By breaking up the total time spent in the high intensity phase you are allowing your body to get comfortable training at a higher level than it is used to, without overwhelming it. This would help you get fit fast.

How To Adjust HIIT To Your Present Fitness Level

The best approach to HIIT for beginners is to start with a lower intensity. Walking is an excellent starting point. To do this you will use a brisk walking pace for the high intensity phase and a relaxed or casual walking pace for the low intensity phase. Initially you want the high intensity phase to be shorter and the low intensity phase to be longer. As you get fitter you can adjust the times so that you are slowly increasing the time you spend in the high intensity phase and reducing the time spent in the low intensity phase with the goal being to eventually have a ratio of 1 to 1 of high to low intensity.

Timing Your High And Low Phases

Depending on where you are in terms of fitness, you could start by spending 30 seconds to 1 minute in the high intensity phase and anywhere from 30 seconds up to 2 minutes in the low intensity phase. You will alternate between high and low for the set amount of time appropriate for you. When doing HIIT it is important to keep the session quite short as it is a very intense form of exercise, but as this is a beginners version your session could last a little longer, but no longer than 20 minutes in total. As the intensity of your routine increases be sure to decrease the time of the training session. To get a training effect with this beginners routine it is important that you don’t come to a complete stop during the rest period, just walk at a relaxed pace.

How Often Should You Do This Routine

Three times per week would be a good place to start. As your fitness improves you could work up to five times per week.  Once you have reached a point where you can spend an equal amount of time in each intensity phase you can start to increase the level of exercise you are doing. Lets say walking briskly has become easy for you, then you could increase the intensity and jog in the high intensity phase and walk briskly in the low intensity phase, you will start once again by reducing the time spent in the high intensity phase and increase the time spent in the low intensity phase, until you are able to spend an equal amount of time in each phase. Continue with this method of adjusting time spent in each phase each time you progress to a higher level of difficulty. Just be careful to avoid too much intensity too fast. Progress at your own pace over a number of weeks or months depending on your current state of fitness.


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