You’ve probably been hearing a lot about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) lately, so we went directly to the source to get HIIT-schooled—and did we ever! With a wealth of information to share, Robin Cortez, Director of Team Training at Chuze Fitness, dispensed massive amounts of insight and wisdom on HIIT and team training that will definitely do our bodies good (…if we can resist the donuts)!
For those less informed, in a nutshell, what is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
Robin: HIIT is a style of training that can be programmed using all kinds of modes of exercise depending on what a person enjoys (e.g. running, biking, or body weight exercises). It incorporates repeated bouts of higher intensity effort immediately followed by periods of recovery. Because of the higher intensities at which a person works, HIIT has been found to be quite effective at burning more calories post-exercise, as compared with many traditional cardiovascular workouts.
And, while we’re at it, what is Team Training?
Robin: Team Training is a blast! It’s essentially personal training in a team environment complete with incline trainers, water rowers, and all kinds of strength equipment like the Terra Core, TRX, and dumbbells. The energy is high, the music keeps you going, and it’s so motivating to work out with a group.
It’s a combo of resistance training with HIIT style cardio, all done in just 50 minutes, so you work hard and knock it out fast. The coaches are incredibly knowledgeable and keep you focused on what you personally need to do during the workout so it’s effective for anybody at any level. It’s also heart-rate based training so you and your coaches can monitor exactly how hard you’re working and even follow how many calories you’re burning.
How or where do these two methods of training intersect? Or are they entirely separate concepts?
Robin: Team Training incorporates HIIT into its programming, specifically for the cardiovascular component of the workout, but is not exclusively a HIIT workout.
HIIT could also be done independently, of course. I’d just like to think that people will enjoy HIIT more and have better success with it, when experienced in the context of Team Training at Chuze. The truth is that there are lots of people who have good intentions and think they’re executing HIIT workouts on their own, but are, in fact, just enduring really tough cardio workouts.
Can anyone at any fitness level participate?
Robin: In Team Training? Of course! We just need to know your story! We encourage members to let us know what they currently do for physical activity and if they have any special conditions or health concerns. This way we can modify the workouts according to their individual needs.
You touched on this already, but how effective is HIIT training at burning calories and weight loss? Toning or bulking up?
Robin: HIIT training is incredibly effective for caloric burn and weight loss which is precisely why, at Chuze, we use it to structure our cardiovascular training program in Team Training. We think there are more effective approaches for “toning” and “bulking up” which is why we elect to program the resistance portion of the workout differently.
Can I eat whatever I want while participating in HIIT?
Robin: Ha! Nice try! You will never hear a true fitness professional give you the free- for-all pass to “eat whatever you want” regardless of the way you’re training. What if you only want to eat fast food and donuts? That’s a no go! But if you are a rare individual who only wants to eat clean, avoid refined sugars and incorporate the perfect balance of carbohydrates/proteins/fats into your diet with plenty of lean meats, fruits and veggies, then it’s possible we can have that discussion. But, that’s highly unlikely. 😉
What do you recommend for pre-and-post workout meals?
Robin: Very (very) simply put, many people will benefit from focusing on carbs to fuel workouts and protein to recover from workouts. At the moment, it seems people continue to be obsessed with totally cutting out carbs and just fueling with protein incessantly (before and after), But, this can be detrimental in terms of getting an effective workout and the results they’re after. The body needs carbohydrates (glycogen/glucose) in order to perform. Protein will assist with recovery and rebuilding.
Can a HIIT workout be performed at home or on the road, or do I need a gym?
Robin: You can probably perform a HIIT workout just about anywhere. Oftentimes, I have no choice but to get it done at home and on the road. Where the gym will be helpful is when you don’t necessarily have a lot of experience with HIIT, don’t know exactly how it should be structured, and especially if you’re new to exercising. You’ll benefit from the leadership/guidance/feedback of a professionally trained coach. And, of course, being in an environment like Team Training makes the hard work FUN because you’re with a group, you’re in it together, and there are so many sources of inspiration around you!
Want a calorie-blasting HIIT workout that you can do at home? Check out this amazing workout Robin created for us and feel yourself getting stronger by the minute!