HIIT workouts are absolutely excruciating — who's with me on that? Giving 200 percent of your energy during a workout leaves you feeling like an exhausted, sweaty, beet-red version of the person you used to be, and some days I am just not here for that. That's why the concept of high volume interval training is so intriguing to me — it's kind of like HIIT, but it's not? So maybe that means it's not as exhausting? Or difficult? Perhaps? Why am I suddenly talking so high in my head?
On the real, though, according to Eliza Nelson, an ACE-certified personal trainer, nutrition expert, and orthopedic exercise specialist, high volume interval training (HVIT) is a "training modality that is a step below high intensity interval training (HIIT), in that you are not training at max intensity for each interval."
Is anyone else as excited about this as me? OK, cool. But, to understand what HVIT is all about, you first have to flesh out and understand all the nuances of HIIT. So, shall we?
With HIIT, Nelson explains, you're tapping into what's called your anaerobic energy systems, and in order to do a true HIIT workout, she says, you have to go very hard with each round of movements you do — you know the drill. In HIIT, Nelson tells Elite Daily over email, "you are working at 90 to 100 percent of your max effort, whereas [in] HVIT, you are operating at a lower intensity (60 to 75 percent)."
According to Nelson, HIIT requires more recovery time between rounds (generally a 1:3 ratio of work to recovery, she adds). That being said, Nelson tells me that most popular classes that are offered at fitness studios, while they might be labeled as "HIIT," aren't true HIIT, "because they are longer rounds at a lower (albeit still challenging) intensity with not enough recovery time," the trainer explains.
One more thing to note about HIIT: Nelson says the workout shouldn't be done more than two to three times a week, in order to allow for adequate recovery. Though, if you're doing HIIT more than that, I have to ask: who are you?
"For the general population, or even for those who are already working out semi-regularly, a HIIT workout just isn't appropriate in most cases," Nelson explains. "If an individual is lacking in stability, mobility, core strength, or understanding of proper form, doing HIIT workouts with the required intensity to get that coveted after-burn with some frequency may result in injury or overreaching the ability for that person's body to adequately recover."
That's where HVIIT comes into play: "High volume interval training is a less intense (but still challenging!) modality that allows you to work strength and cardio capacities at a level that pushes you, but won't be so intense that you risk compromising form or incurring injury," the trainer tells Elite Daily.
An example of a HVIT circuit, according to Nelson, would be three minutes of challenging strength work with weights and/or bodyweight, with periods of active recovery (i.e. something light, like walking) in between rounds.
If you're down to try HIIT, Ronnie Lubischer, CSCS, owner of Lubischer's Burn and Blast Training, shares a sample HVIT circuit you can start out with: Chest press for eight reps max, bent-over rows for eight reps max, pull-downs for 15 to 25 reps, and barbell curls for 15 to 25 reps. "This will equal a minimum of 40 reps per round," the trainer tells Elite Daily.
According to Lubischer, this workout will maximize your HVIT training benefits by moving your body through various heart rate zones, which will not only help to increase your strength, he says, but also your muscle hypertrophy (aka the gains).
"The agonist/antagonist approach naturally keeps your body stretched out and can lead to better motion and mobility," Lubischer explains. "If you want bonus points, at the end of each circuit, add in a 30-second treadmill or elliptical sprint (as your rest period)."