14/08/2014 16:38 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

HiiT: The 20 Minute Workout Everyone's Talking About

Good news for gym bunnies (or anyone who's made the 'must do more exercise' resolution this year). There's a new fitness trend to try and it's even got an impressive name.

HiiT, short for high intensity interval training, is taking over from Zumba as the latest exercise craze. And it can work wonders for the body in 20 minutes. Hurrah!

So - what's all the fuss about?


HiiT is designed to challenge the body with short bursts of brief, intense exercise followed by periods of rest. "It's the second 'I' in HiiT that makes it such a highly efficient training method – 'interval'," says London's Ten Pilates trainer Vinny-Lewis Jamerson.

"The intervals will usually consist of a set period of time, say 60 seconds, which will then be multiplied by, say four, so you will perform three exercises for 60 seconds each and then take the final 60 seconds either for complete recovery or active recovery."

The mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercises are designed to increase the heart rate and raise the body's temperature. The workout sessions are intense but short - HiiT will give the body a full workout in 20 minutes, so its brilliant for strengthening muscles and cardiovascular fitness.

However, as well improving definition, HiiT is also credited with increasing the body's resting metabolism rate. This means the body can efficiently burn calories long after the workout session is complete. And the best part?

HiiT will make you feel happy, thanks to its ability to boost endorphins and as Fitness First's Tom Eastham explains, it's far a more effective exercise than a regular gym session.


"Running for hours on end on a treadmill is not going to make a change to your body," says Eastham. "You need to be constantly surprising your body and finding different muscles to localise and tone, in order to see a real difference."

Ready to hit the gym? It's a great excuse to go shopping: