what is HITT

Train like your fitness idol in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class with the chance to burn around 500 calories in just half an hour! As daunting as it may sound HIIT is the perfect blend of fitness and science making it one of the most effective training methods for fat burning.

Where did it come from?

HIIT, otherwise known as the Tabata Protocol, first originated in the 1990’s by the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team, Irisawa Koichi. A coach under Koichi, Dr Izumi Tabata (who was also a researcher at the National Institute for Health and Nutrition), was asked to analyse Koichi’s rotation of a short burst of exercise with maximum effort followed by a short rest. In conclusion, Dr Tabata published a research paper in 1996 with his name going down in sports history – poor old coach Koichi.

What should I expect?

HIIT consists of short bursts of maximal effort, followed by recovery periods of low intensity activity or rest. There are many different work:rest ratios within HIIT but our classes are encouraged to follow the Tabata ratio, performing an activity all-out for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds and then repeating the one-off sequence for 4 minutes.

HIIT classes can be very diverse week-week, instructor-instructor and range from on the spot exercises, such as press ups and burpees, to sprint intervals and weights. The instructor will always outline what lies ahead as the class starts.

How does it work?

Here’s the stuff that will make you sound brainy! The aim of the game is to reach 80-95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate during the intense working sets, before letting it come back down in the rest periods. This is where the calorie burning magic begins. As the body is working hard to replace the oxygen in your system and to restore it to a resting state, HIIT carries on burning calories for up to 18 hours after the work out, giving you a great excuse to enjoy the rest of your day guilt-free!

We advise…

Try a HIIT class more than once as the first class you try will be challenging. It will take you a few sessions to get used to the process of the class so always try three classes to help you decide whether it’s good for you. If it’s your first time arrive a few minutes earlier and let the instructor know, they will then be able to explain to you the structure of the class.


HIIT is designed for people with a good level of personal fitness to provide them with an intense cardio-vascular workout. Customers are always advised to seek GP advice prior to undertaking a new group exercise class or if they have an existing health problem.

You can check out when our HIIT classes are on here: http://www.newforest.gov.uk/healthandleisure/article/13904/HIIT

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Jessica Young - Communications Assistant


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