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High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.T. or H.I.I.T.) is probably the most effective and efficient form of training. It is based on the principle that the body only changes when you really challenge it. Even with a program of 5 minutes of training 2 to 3 times a week, you will notice a clear improvement. But those 5 minutes must be intensive. The basic shape looks like this:

warm up

  • Exercise for 1.5 minutes

  • 1-2 minutes rest

  • Exercise for 1.5 minutes

  • 1-2 minutes rest

  • Exercise for 1.5 minutes

  • cool down


During those 1.5 minutes you are supposed to make maximum effort, which movement you make is not important. If that is too long, you can also start with 10, 20 or 30 seconds. 5 minutes of training in this way is approximately equivalent to 1.5 hours of cardio training. If you train at a stable pace on an exercise bike or cross trainer, you will eventually get tired, but the body is not really challenged. That's very different with H.I.T. Some more advantages:

  • In one and a half minutes, the body uses the sugars stored in the muscles and liver and will therefore very quickly switch to fat burning (which is very useful for overweight people). If you do this before endurance training, such as cycling or walking, fat burning will start immediately and not only after 20 minutes.

  • The body will become more sensitive to insulin, which means you will be less likely to convert sugars into fat (HIT is very suitable for diabetics)

  • Your energy system will function more effectively and you will soon experience less fatigue.

  • It takes little time and you can do it anywhere, you don't need any tools/equipment.

Promote resilience


These are a number of exercises that are very suitable for H.I.T., but essentially you can use any exercise as long as you move very intensively. You can H.I.T. do while cycling: cycle calmly, then cycle as hard as possible for one minute, then cycle quietly for two minutes and then cycle as hard as possible for another minute, etc. You can also run, swim, skate in H.I.T. apply form. Do not immediately start with the intensive part, but first warm up!

Practical tips and links:

  • Find your own level. It is important not to rush the movements, so start slowly. 

  • It's okay to take more breaks in the beginning, but don't waste time drinking or checking your phone in between. Stay focused. Ultimately, try to take a maximum 1 minute break between workouts.

  • You can use different training equipment such as clubbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, rings, horizontal bar, etc. The more variety the better for the entire body. 

  • Use a 'HIIT app' that helps you time it. 

  • Any movement is suitable: endurance sports and strength training, as long as you really challenge your body (and mind). 

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