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HIIT ME!! Part 1

wildmanwill84 November 16, 2014

HIIT ME!!! Part 1

HIIT? EPOC? Heart Rate Zones? You have heard these terms over and over again. Everyone in fitness is now talking about getting their HIIT on? Or getting excited about achieving their EPOC? Well what the heck do all these abbreviations even mean? How do they pertain to you our Fitastic community? Have no fear; Wild Will is here to break it down for you. I will explain what HIIT, EPOC and Heart Rate Zones mean.  So you will be able to fully understand the concept of this great style of cardio training. You will also able to put it into practice on your own. Get excited!


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become a popular way to burn more fat. It’s a training method that has been effective for many peopleHIIT

What is HIIT Training?

HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals.

 HIIT can be applied to running or to exercises such as squatting. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.

“In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise – up to 50% more efficiently.” It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day

What is EPOC?

HIIT-Afterburn-300x226The science of interval training is the fundamental component supporting the goal of achieving excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), sometimes referred to as after-burn. When a cardio regimen consists of 12-20+ minutes of anaerobic activity, the estimated caloric expenditure within an hour typically falls between 500-1000 calories burned. When EPOC comes into play, calories continue to be burned at higher rate 24-36 hours after the workout is completed. EPOC occurs when 12-20+ minutes is spent in Heart Rate Zones 4 and 5 combined, and in simple terms, represents the increased calories burned while at rest after physical training at high intensity. Maintaining a heart rate of 84% or above for 12-20 minutes in a workout causes your body to work harder to utilize oxygen in bodily repair and recovery, thus, the calorie burn at a higher rate in a post workout.

What are the 5 Heart Rate Zones?

Zone 1-Your basically in right now; it is no physical activity. Also known as your resting heart rate

Zone 2-Your body is beginning to use energy to move; similar to a brisk walk

Zone 3- Here we go this is when it starts to get fun. Zone 3 is a base; it is a pace that is difficult but doable. It’s a pact that you could maintain well over 30 minutes without slowing down. You are burning 50% fat and 50% sugar in this zone.

Zone 4-Difficult, challenging, uncomfortable, 1 to 2 word conversation. Your body is moving! You are burning 30% fat and 70% sugar in this zone.

Zone 5- The kill zone. You should be able to handle more than a few minutes in the red zone before having to slow down. You are burning pure sugar in this zone.

So what does all this mean?

Basically now that you know what HIIT, EPOC and Heart Rate Zones are you can create your own HIIT workouts. A typical HIIT workout should be no shorter than 20 minutes and no longer than 55 minutes.  During your HIIT workout you should only being focusing majority of your time on Zone 3 and Zone 4 with very little time in Zone 2 and Zone 5. For example for a 10 minute interval you can do

2 minutes Zone 4

1 minute Zone 3

2 minute Zone 4

1 minute Zone 3

2 minute Zone 4

1 minute Zone 4-Zone 5 (A sprint to the finish line)

Walk it out, recovery for 2 minutes and repeat one more time for a 20 minute workout.

How do you know what your zones are? Here is a basic equation you can try. X=Max Heart Rate

Males 225-age=Xheart_rate_monitor

Females 230-age=X

Zone 1

50-60% Max HR

Zone 2

61-70% Max HR

Zone 3

71-83% Max HR

Zone 4

84-91% Max HR

Zone 5

92-100% Max HR

Another great example of HIIT training is where I work. I am a head trainer for Orangetheory Fitness. Orangetheory is a group training class that follows the rules2x1 of HIIT training. In fact the theory behind Orangetheory is the concept of EPOC. Each Orangetheroy workout is designed to get a person’s heart rate in the orange zone (Zone 4) for 12-20 minutes to achieve EPOC.  Since it is an hour workout we want our members to spend the remaining 20-35 minutes in their green zone (zone 3).  Orangetheory did not invent the concept of HIIT training but it is one of the few studios using it to its fullest potential in a group setting. If you live near an Orangetheory I highly recommend trying out a class; especially if you live near Evanston were I teach. It is a great supplement to go along with your Fitastic program.

HIIT Training is a fun, efficient way to burn off extra body fat. Gone are the days of spending an hour just walking on the treadmill. Gone is pumping your arms and legs on an elliptical for an hour with no intensity.  Just like our Fitastic workout builder you are the creator of your own cardio plan. You can create your own personal HIIT workouts. Just make sure that you follow the parameters so you do not over train or under train. Sorry but you can’t get a great HIIT training in five minutes or less.

Part 2 will go over how you can incorporate body weight and small apparatus movements from our Fitastic workout builder into your HIIT Training session. Stay tuned!

Wild Will Wilson (W3)

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