In this series of articles we are going to take a look at the top ten fitness trends for 2023 as created for the annual ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey 
The survey list actually covers 20 fitness trends as collated as part of the survey, but we’re just going to focus on the Top 10 and dive specifically into some background information about the trend, how it can benefit you as a fitness consumer, as a fitness professional and also add some general guidance and / or recommendations.
So here we go… It is Number 7 on the List: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Are you looking to take your workouts to the next level and achieve your fitness goals faster? Look no further than High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a workout strategy that has taken the fitness world by storm in recent years and for a good reason.
HIIT workouts involve short bursts of high-intensity exercise, where your heart rate soars above 80% of your maximum, followed by brief periods of rest. The magic of HIIT lies in its efficiency – you can achieve more in less time. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, HIIT can be tailored to your fitness level.
While HIIT has gained immense popularity, it’s essential to note its evolving trends. It rose to the top spot in fitness trends in 2014 and 2018, consistently ranking in the top five between 2014 and 2021. In 2022, it briefly dropped to #7 but maintained its position in 2023.
There’s no shortage of variety when it comes to HIIT. You can choose from many different formats which also offer differences in modalities such as dumbbells, barbells, sprinting, cycling, bodyweight exercises, and even stair-climbing.
High-Intensity Interval Training has transformed the fitness industry over the past two decades. What began as a niche training method has now become a staple in gyms, studios, and home workouts across the globe. The popularity of HIIT can be attributed to its remarkable effectiveness and versatility.
HIIT’s journey to fitness stardom started around the early 2000s when fitness enthusiasts and trainers began to recognize its potential. This training method involves alternating short, intense bursts of exercise with brief rest periods. Its ability to deliver incredible results in a shorter time frame caught the attention of busy individuals and fitness enthusiasts alike.
The enduring appeal of HIIT can be attributed to its efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability. Its ability to deliver impressive results in a short amount of time continues to attract fitness enthusiasts, making it a crucial part of the modern fitness landscape. As the fitness industry continues to evolve, HIIT is likely to remain a dominant force, shaping the way we approach health and wellness for years to come.
HIIT offers a myriad of benefits, making it a popular choice for those looking to shed pounds, boost cardiovascular fitness, and manage their time effectively.
Regardless of what stage you are at with your health and fitness journey, I always find the K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple) principle to program design works best… there’s no need to overcomplicate things!
Here are three HIIT-focused training programs tailored for beginners, intermediates, and advanced clients. Remember to consult with a fitness professional or physician before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns.
20-Minute Beginner HIIT Program:
|Warm-up (3 minutes):
Light jogging or cycling
Workout (15 minutes approx):
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete the circuit twice.
Dumbbell Goblet Squats: Hold a dumbbell close to your chest and perform squats.
Push-Ups: Bodyweight push-ups to target the chest and triceps.
Jumping Jacks: Classic bodyweight cardio exercise.
Dumbbell Bent-over Rows: Use a dumbbell for back and arm strength.
Sprinting in Place: High knees to simulate sprinting.
Cool-down (2-3 minutes):
30-Minute Intermediate HIIT Program:
|Warm-up (5 minutes):
Jogging or cycling, gradually increasing intensity.
Workout (18-20 minutes approx):
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete the circuit three times.
Barbell Squats: Use a barbell for added resistance in squats.
Burpees: A full-body exercise that includes a push-up.
Cycling Sprints: 30 seconds of all-out cycling, followed by 30 seconds of low intensity.
Mountain Climbers: Engage the core with this bodyweight exercise.
Dumbbell Thrusters: Combine a squat with an overhead press using dumbbells.
Cool-down (5-7 minutes):
Stretching and light aerobic activity
45-Minute Advanced HIIT Program:
|Warm-up (7-10 minutes):
Dynamic stretching and light cardio.
Workout (25-30 minutes approx):
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete the circuit four times.
Barbell Deadlifts: Strengthen your lower body and back with heavy weights.
Dumbbell Renegade Rows: Incorporate dumbbells and push-up variations.
Hill Sprints: Sprint uphill for 30 seconds, followed by a slow walk down.
Bodyweight Plyometric Exercises: Include exercises like box jumps, tuck jumps, and squat jumps.
Cycling Intervals: Alternate between 45 seconds of high-intensity cycling and 30 seconds of low-intensity.
Cool-down (8-10 minutes):
Stretching and deep breathing exercises
Make sure your clients have proper form and appropriate weight for their fitness level. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. These programs are intense, so they should be adjusted based on individual fitness levels and goals.
HIIT is a powerful tool that fitness professionals can use to help their clients achieve their fitness goals efficiently. By assessing individual needs, applying progressive overload, and emphasising variety and recovery, personal trainers, fitness instructors, and strength and conditioning coaches can harness the benefits of HIIT to maximise their clients’ results and overall fitness journey.
Incorporating HIIT Into Programs:
HIIT is a versatile and time-efficient approach to weight loss and cardiovascular fitness. Its effectiveness in burning calories, improving heart health, and its time-saving nature make it a smart choice for individuals striving to lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
Please Note: The information provided in this article are the opinions and professional experience of the author and not all activities are recommended for the beginner or participants with underlying health conditions. Before following any advice or starting any fitness, health, and wellbeing journey please consult with an Allied Health Professional and / or General Practitioner.
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