Jennie HebbHigh intensity interval training (HIIT) is not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to exercising, and that’s fine it’s not the be all and end all to getting fitter, leaner, healthier or any other buzz word being chucked around that sounds like that’s what you should be aiming for! This is one of our many exercise teaching poiunts that we used last week on the FitFarms Norfolk Fitness Retreat.

What I personally think you should be aiming for is exercise you enjoy and which incorporates a bit of a challenge, that challenge not necessarily having to involve increasing your heart rate to levels you didn’t know it could go!

But what I do like about HIIT is the timers so I often use them with different kinds of exercise because it takes away having to count or think and leaves you to focus on the exercise.

I’ve used them for weighted exercises which I certainly wouldn’t want to be performing at high intensity (in terms of speed performing the exercise) but found it useful in ensuring I take a good timed rest.

I’ve used them with yoga poses, particularly inversions to prevent me from being lazy and coming out of a pose sooner than I should when I know I’m capable of holding for longer; and one of my favourites is to use them for progressing exercise. For example if looking to develop a plank hold using a tabata timer of 8 cycles of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest; in the first cycle plank against a wall, second cycle plank on knees, third cycle full plank rhythmically coming down onto knees, and fourth cycle a full plank; this can then be repeated for the last four cycles, or performed in reverse, or doubled to 2 cycles of each before progressing to the harder option. If 10 seconds doesn’t feel like enough rest increase it, if 20 seconds work feels too challenging or not challenging enough adjust it, if 8 cycles is too much or not enough for the amount of progressive exercises change it, play around, make it fun, make it challenging, and most importantly make it work for you.