“The idea is simple: less total time required to make a big change, more bang for your buck,” she says, adding that HIIT training has become the choice of many elite athletes.
“HIIT burns more kilojoules during and after a workout than continuous aerobic training. The bursts of intensity increase the kilojoule expenditure so you burn more kilojoules in total, making you leaner,” she explains.
In addition to this, Hall says that you will burn kilojoules for two hours after a HIIT session in recovery.
“You are working to your max for 20 to 30 seconds for eight to 12 minutes. This could be 30-second sprints, 30 seconds of push-ups or 30 seconds of cycling. You want to allow your heart rate to come down before going again,” she explains.
There are some solid health benefits, too. A recent study from the University of Leicester in the UK found that short bursts of intensive exercise could help prevent, delay and manage Type 2 diabetes.
So how does it work in practice? Hall says that one of the best ways to do HIIT training is to download a Tabata timer app, such as Tabata stopwatch, Tabata+ or Tabata Trainer, available for iPhones or android phones.
“A Tabata programme is 20 seconds going flat-out followed by 10 seconds of recovery. If you do eight rounds you will have done four minutes of exercise in total,” explains Hall. “Who doesn’t have four minutes?”
Hall suggests exercises like high knees, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers and jumping squats. “You will improve your aerobic and anaerobic systems more quickly training this way,” she says.
“You can do it super-fast before you jump in the shower, or do it on the weekends with the kids.”
Try our favourite Tabata workout here.