What is HIIT Cardio? What is HIT Training?
HIIT Cardio is the abbreviated term for “High-Intensity Interval Training”.
Not to be confused with HIT training. HIT Training is a term often used to describe a particular type of resistance training practice. In short, HIT Training applies maximal effort on each set with long rest periods and very low volumes.
I suppose ‘HIT Training’ is similar enough to ‘HIIT Cardio’ in the sense that it requires one ALMIGHTY burst of energy that often leaves you looking for the puke bucket!
The How-to Guide for this one appears to be all in the name “High-Intensity- Interval-Training”.
HIGH INTENSITY because your number one focus is to reach your absolute maximum heart rate.
You should not be able to talk during or immediately after. You need to give 100% effort and leaving nothing in the reserve tank.
INTERVAL because you can only sustain a maximum heart rate for a few seconds before the intensity drops off due to muscular fatigue and a lack of oxygen.
You will need to rest long enough between each round to apply maximum effort again. Most of the time this is 3 to 5 Minutes.
TRAINING because you can use a variety of different training methods to achieve maximum heart rate.
Think circuits, giant sets, boxing, sled push, and of course sprints.
How to do HIIT Cardio!
Normally, it will be the local muscle group that fatigues before you have reached your maximum heart rate.
For this reason I suggest you make a smart selection of different compound exercises spread across multiple muscle groups.
Unfortunately this rules out the idea of being able to perform HIIT training in a bodyweight circuit or likewise.
Although certain exercises, like the plank, or tricep dip from a couch, are effective at training the muscles in isolation, they simply do not raise your heart rate enough to be successfully added to a HIIT Circuit.
Furthermore, you will want to choose an exercise that is safe to train to failure.
TLDR: Sprint up a HILL like you are being chased by a Knife-wielding mad man… Now that’s high intensity.
Free Training Journals
Our students regularly ask us “What is HIIT Cardio?”.
We link them to this blog post from our Free digital Training journals.