You’ve probably heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and for good reason. This type of interval training consistently delivers exceptional results in a short amount of time. HIIT incorporates short bursts of intense or vigorous activity with intervals of low or moderate intensity. HIIT can definitely be an effective way to lose weight and get fit; however, for many people, the intensity is a little more than they’re willing or able to tackle.
Fortunately, VIIT (Variable Intensity Interval Training) can provide a more moderate workout that is still extremely effective in helping you to lose weight as well as get in shape. It doesn’t take away from the HIIT workout, it just brings the intensity level down a bit.
What You Need to Know About VIIT
VIIT is an interval training workout that alternates activity between three different intensity levels; high, moderate, and low. During the high intensity intervals, you should be using about 90% of your maximum effort, and in the low intensity intervals, your effort should be about 40%. Of course, that places the moderate intensity level somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.
A VIIT workout will engage all five of your major muscle groups as well as incorporate strength, cardio, and agility conditioning. The changing pace and variety of exercises ensures you’ll get plenty of variety in a VIIT workout. Additionally, there are many exercise options, so your VIIT workout can be customized to fit different fitness levels.
The 3 Intensity Levels of a VIIT Workout
A typical VIIT workout might include 5 minutes of a moderate intensity strength training exercise. This would be followed by 5 minutes of high intensity activity, then ending with 5 minutes of a low intensity activity that incorporates controlled movement. Of course, there can be many variations on how you build your VIIT workout.
VIIT – Low Intensity Interval
This level utilizes controlled movements to help increase flexibility, balance, and core strength. Typical exercises on this level often come from Pilates and yoga. This level can be excellent for lowering anxiety and helping to boost the immune system as well as promote a good night’s rest. The low level interval functions as the active recovery period for your VIIT workout.
VIIT – Moderate Intensity Interval
This level of intensity focuses on strength, endurance, and muscle flexibility. It is during this phase of a VIIT workout that people will feel the “burn” as they do repetitive type exercises, such as squats, push-ups, lunges, and planks. This is also the level where kettle bells and hand weights are often used. Exercises in the moderate intensity level will tone your muscles as well as build more lean muscle mass.
VIIT – High Intensity Interval
This is the level that involves aerobic activity. Ideally, you’ll be exerting about 90% of your capacity on this high intensity interval. If you’re new to VIIT, you might need to spend some time working your way up to your ideal intensity. (When you’re working at 90% of your capacity, you’ll typically not be able to say more than 3 words before you’ll need to take a breath.) During this high intensity interval, you should concentrate on doing short bursts of high intensity activity with a short recovery period at a low level. For example, 30 seconds of a high intensity jumping activity, followed by 30 seconds of low or moderate activity, such as walking in place. Keep repeating until you’ve finished the high intensity interval of your VIIT workout.