High Intensity Interval Training Workout for Aerial Arts & Pole

Updated: Apr 3, 2019


HIIT is not a new concept in the world of fitness, HIIT involves using interval training, high intensity periods of work, to spike the heart rate above 75% of max followed by a short recovery period. Studies found that getting the heart rate above 75% of max for a total of 30 minutes will create vast improvements in cardio vascular development, burn fat and increase metabolic rate (burn calories). Doing HIIT workouts can mean burning an extra 100 to 200 calories in the 24-hours following. When I program for clients I always think about their goals, an aerialist will need a different workout from an a triathlete . My favorite way of programming is to mix strength-based intervals with cardio-based intervals. For aerial arts and pole I get more specific and work with the apparatus of choice.

How an Interval Works

Let’s keep it simple and take the basic 4-minute interval. This means thirty seconds of one exercise and thirty seconds of another, done 4 times each. We go for max reps with good form. If you start losing your form you need to be the better athlete and modify or do less. The theory is that as you get stronger you do more reps, it never really gets easier. An example of two intervals sets would be running stairs and controlled straddle backs under the lyra. The interval looks like thirty seconds of running the stairs, then you swiftly transition under the lyra and do straddle backs for thirty seconds. Then you run, then back to straddle backs. This goes on for 4 minutes or for 4 sets of each exercise.


Things to Consider with HIIT

Mix muscle groups

Pick exercises that give muscles a break, and work another muscle group so the working groups get rest periods during an interval. Core and legs are great opposing intervals. Other example would be arms and core, or upper back and hamstrings. We don’t want to overtax an area because we want good form and to work the muscle group correctly to prevent injury.

Transition Quickly

You have a total of four minutes of work make it count. Be quick through transitions, you get a rest after.

Take breaks between interval sets

You should be going hard enough that you need a break at the end of the interval. We want our heart rate up.

You only have to work one smaller muscle group once

People get very preoccupied with hitting for example triceps three times in a workout. If you do the interval exercises correctly, you should be spent at the end of the 4 minutes. If you do a tricep set, you should be done for the day. Now core work and total body can be repeated. You could create intervals of squats, lunges and dead lifts paired with three different core based exercises. Just make sure you give you body a rest in between sets. These mean get a drink of water and walk it off for a minute.

Aim for good form

Do as many reps with good form. If your form goes, do less or modify.

HIIT should not be done every day.

I find that one and a half to two days off works the best for my body. Some people do these workouts three times a week. HIIT is taxing, you need at least a 48 hour recovery in between workouts.

Lyra pull-up and Jumping jacks


Pole Climbing and double leg extension


Hammock lunges and tucks


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