High-intensity interval training is one of the most popular ways to work out, especially for people who are short on time. Quick bursts of exercise where you push yourself to the limit can be effective, if done right. But you need to make sure your HIIT workout follows these three guidelines:
- You can make it quick, just not that quick. Earlier this year, a study seemed to suggest one minute of all-out exercise has the same benefit of 45 minutes of jogging. But that's a serious exaggeration of the research. Martin Gibala, the study's author, told Vox that high-intensity workouts should take 30 minutes to complete.
- Your intervals can be short, just not that short. And you need to do a lot of them. A meta-analysis found three-to-five minute intervals completed at least six times (with ample rest in-between) led to the best, sustainable results.
- You need to work out often. You can’t just do HIIT once and call that your exercise for the next seven days. The same meta-analysis suggested working out six days per week—three days of HIIT and three days of cardio.