Different types of HIIT


Can you remember our blog about HIIT training a few months ago? If not, make sure to head on over and read it!

Let’s take a short recap. Then we take an in depth look at the different types of HIIT training like Tabata and EMOM training.


What is HIIT training?


HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, where high intensity simply implies that the workout period is quick and fast, you will be pushed to your maximum.

Interval training implies the workout consists of a work period and rest period. Your wok period will usually be longer than your rest period.


Now that we’ve had a brief recap, let’s take a look at what Tabata training is and how it came about.


What is Tabata training?

Tabata training is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, featuring exercises that last four minutes.


HOW DID TABATA CAME TO BE. A BRIEF HISTORY OF TABATA.

It was discovered by a Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

He and his team divided athletes into two groups. One group maintained a moderate intensity during their workout and the workout lasted for an hour. They worked out 5 days a week, for 6 weeks. The other group endured a more higher intensity during their workout, while they only worked out 4 days a week for six weeks.

The second group’s workout was based on a 20/10 principle, which means 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.

The results: Group 1 increased their aerobic system (cardiovascular), but showed little or no results for their anaerobic system (muscle), while group 2 showed an increase in their aerobic system and they increased their anaerobic system by 28 percent.

In conclusion, high-intensity interval training has more impact on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Let’s have a look how a typical Tabata workout would look like?

A Tabata workout lasts only four minutes. The structure of the program is as follows:

· Work out for 20 seconds at your own maximum pace

· Rest for 10 seconds

· Complete 8 rounds


The 20 seconds you are doing work, you push yourself as hard as you can and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. You'll complete eight sets of each exercise.

You can do any exercises that works your larger muscle groups. Body weight exercises or any free standing equipment can be used for a Tabata workout. I would advise using only one type of equipment, since there isn’t a lot of time to change to a new type of equipment. Kettlebell or dumbbells are great examples of equipment you can use.


Look at the following example of a typical Tabata workout:

1. Plank shoulder taps(4 minutes)

2. Jumping lunges (4 minutes)

3. Mountain climbers (4 minutes)

4. Burpees (4 minutes)


You can do a Tabata workout as follows:

Start with your plank shoulder taps. Perform them for 20 seconds at a high-intensity. Rest for 10 seconds, and then go back to doing plank shoulder taps for 20 seconds. Once you complete eight sets of this exercise, rest for one minute. Do the same for the remaining three exercises.

Another alternative is to complete all four exercises, that is exercise 1, followed by exercise 2, then 3 and then 4, for eight rounds.

Plank shoulder taps for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Followed by jumping lunges for 20 seconds and resting 10 seconds. Then Mountain climbers for 20 seconds and 10 seconds rest and lastly Burpees for 20 seconds and 10 seconds rest. Then repeat the sequence for eight rounds.


Tabata is great, when you are running short of time, to get in a quick workout. If you need to switch up your routine, if you want to improve endurance and speed. Incorporate this type of workout into your fitness routine.

Tabata training is highly beneficial as it raises metabolism and heart rate. Since you are performing these exercises at a very high intensity, your body will have to work much harder to keep it up. Your metabolism will stay at that high not only during the workout, but after the workout as well. This means that your body will be burning fat for hours after – the after burn! Your body will keep burning fat for 24 hours after your workout. This is great for when your aim is to loose weight.


Tabata training ultimately improves your endurance. It helps your body to tolerate lactic acid. Lactic acid is what causes your muscles to become sore and stiff.

Tabata training for beginners should be adapted to suit your fitness level. Instead of doing jumping squats, try sticking to a normal slow motion squat. It is easier on your cardiovascular system as well as your joints. As you get fitter, you can always try the more advanced option.

Four minutes of the same exercise, even with rests in between, can cause your muscles to quickly fatigue. This can cause your form to suffer if you aren’t mentally prepared. Ensure you choose exercises that use a large number of muscles to get maximum benefits. Always remember that it is normal to feel some soreness when you do an exercise for the first time. However, your body will adjust and you will only feel slight to moderate soreness once your body adjusts.


Now that you know what Tabata training is, let’s explain the next type of high intensity training - EMOM? What is EMOM?


EMOM (which stands for every minute on the minute) is a type of interval workout where you perform a specific task at the start of every minute for a set amount of time - understanding how to do it and why it’s a great option will help you get even more out of your workouts.

In an EMOM workout, you start a new move with a specific rep count every minute. Once you complete the reps, you get to recover for the rest of the minute. When the next minute starts, you start with the next move and its specific rep count.


Another alternative is to complete the first movement for the whole minute and immediately going into the next movement for another minute, without any rest. You can do this for a time limit of 5 minutes or 10 minutes. Then have a rest and complete however many rounds you feel up to.


A third option is to complete an exercise for 45 seconds, while resting for 15 seconds. Then you start with the new exercise again for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds. Doing as many rounds as your workout or time entitles.


EMOM is a great tool for measuring progress from week to week, it is also very versatile as you can use it to train anything: power, the aerobic or anaerobic systems, mechanics or skills.

Jess Sims, an NASM-certified personal trainer and instructor states that an EMOM workout can be bodyweight, or it could incorporate the use of equipment, depending on your goals.

EMOM training can be a cardio-focused workout or a strength-focused workout, depending on your fitness goals.

No matter the workout, you should be working at an intensity that makes the last rep feel really hard, McCall says. “That will let you know you’re working to the appropriate amount of fatigue—the whole point is to reach the point of fatigue to challenge your muscle to change.”

Always remember when you’re doing any high-intensity workouts, it’s important to remember that form should always come first. Never move so fast that you perform a skill less than 100%. Correct posture and doing the exercise correctly is more important than speed. Moving through your full range of motion, meaning to complete your movement fully.

High-impact, high-intensity exercise has a greater risk of injury, therefor ensure you are fit enough for this type of training. Always ensure proper warm-up before starting any high-intensity workouts.



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