It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with high intensity interval training, better known by its acronym, HIIT. It’s an exercise in tough love, if you’ll pardon the pun—you might be grinning and bearing it while that heart rate is up, but it’s a great way to get some cardio in.
We’re not the only ones who think so. HIIT took first place from 2014 to 2018 in ACSM’s annual survey of global fitness trends. This year, it dropped to the No. 5 spot. The exercise, which typically include short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest, has been popular in gyms worldwide, according to the journal.
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According to Russ Midlam, owner of Pursuit Fitness, the number-one reason HIIT is so popular is because it’s a real time saver. The average workout clocks in at 20 to 30 minutes, and can be done four to five times a week—perfect for those who always seem to be on the go.
“They can bust through a workout, be done, feel great, and get on with their day,” Midlam said.
The goal is to burn as many calories you can in a short amount of time—and the exercise options are endless, Midlam said.
To really make the most out of your workout, you can incorporate strength training into your HIIT circuits. Midlam said the combo not only helps you burn calories in the moment, but also allows you to burn calories AFTER your workout as your body repairs.
As part of the cover section in 614 Magazine’s April issue, we took a look at the top exercises from around the world, as listed in ACSM Health & Fitness Journal’s 2021 survey of worldwide fitness trends. To learn more about the most popular exercise trend for 2021, click here.