What role does a Heart Rate Monitor play in HIIT Training?

By Aaron Eisberg


Engaging in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine is all about packing as much focused exercise in a short amount of time to get the maximum benefits. This makes HIIT perfect for busy people who are on the go. They might be able to carve out only 30 minutes early in the morning before their day starts or they could have time only on their lunch hour to exercise. Using techniques that combine elements of extreme bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods means that you can squeeze in a workout that is effective at burning calories while also supporting fat loss in a short amount of time -- often in no more than 30 minutes. A classic example of a HIIT session might involve you sprinting at your top speed on the treadmill for 20 seconds with 40 seconds of walking afterwards. 

HIIT and Your Heart Rate

While doing HIIT promises to be a powerful workout any way you plan it, are you shortchanging yourself when it comes to maximizing its advantages? Tackled the right way, your body could benefit from the effects of HIIT long after you've finished your workout. How is this possible? 

EPOC is the Key

EPOC -- which is an acronym for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption -- occurs when you push your body to the limit. Another popular name for this effect is the afterburn. It occurs when you take your heart rate up to the point where your body has to work strenuously to recover. Doing so creates a debt in oxygen that your body then needs to work to recuperate from -- sometimes for as long as 12 to 14 hours after you stop exercising. 

Taking Advantage of the Afterburn

Knowing how to capture the coveted afterburn isn't as difficult as it might sound. After warming up for about five minutes, aim to increase the intensity of your workout so your heart is performing at 70 to 85 percent of its maximum rate. 

Technology Meets HIIT = Your Best Workouts Ever

Those times during HIIT when things get really intense, it can be difficult to maintain that intensity while also keeping tabs on your heart rate. Ensuring that your heart rate reaches its target during those powerful bursts of exercise means you can take advantage of the afterburn. Heart Rate Training software -- and its accompanying Heart Rate Monitors -- make doing so a no-brainer. Using Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, the Heart Rate Training software effectively captures crucial data about your heart rate as you engage in HIIT. Because this information -- as well as your calories burned and a Heart Rate summary -- are displayed in real time, you instantly have all the statistics you need right there on screens throughout the gym. Regardless of which machine or area of the gym you happen to be, your important Heart Rate data is visible. Armed with this information, you can modify your intensity to reach the right heart rate for the afterburn

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