What is HICT? (High-Intensity Continuous Training)

What is HICT? (High-Intensity Continuous Training)
Whether you're a seasoned fitness enthusiast or you're just getting started with working out, it can be fun to incorporate new forms of training into your workout. HICT is a fast and effective way to boost your caloric burn and up both your cardio fitness and muscular endurance.

What Does HICT Stand For?

HICT stands for high-intensity continuous training. Many people are familiar with high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, a type of workout in which short, intense bursts of exercise are followed by periods of rest. HICT is different. A HICT workout requires continuous, strenuous movement.

What Is HICT?

An HICT workout consists of one continuous exercise, repeated for 8-15 minutes. Squats, hinges, step-ups, kettlebell swings, and kneel-to-stand can all be a great start for an HICT workout.

HICT workouts can be completed with bodyweight only, or can be completed with additional resistance, such as a handheld weight or a weight vest. If working out with weight during HICT, be sure to choose a weight that will be sustainable over time. If the weight becomes too heavy, feel free to lower the weight or drop the weight all together.

Why Choose HICT?

In sports, there is never a time when we are running at a continuous pace for a prolonged period of time (besides marathon or long distance running of course).

Most athletic endeavors require short bursts of high energy followed by a period of low energy output. A good example of this would be a running back in football getting the ball and running hard for a short period of time. This maximum effort is followed by a slowed walk back to the huddle to get the next play (cooling down/low intensity).

HICT training doesn't require a treadmill or running at all and therefore is much easier on your joints. High-Intensity Continuous Training is exactly as the name suggests. You pick a movement and do it continuously for 8-15 minutes.

While training for athletics doesn't require long distance running, it does call for a high level of aerobic conditioning. Using the HICT method will keep you running just as hard in the 4th quarter as you were in the 1st.

What Is A HICT Workout Like?

For exercise selection, stick to a variation of one of the following; squat, hinge, lower body push, and lower body pull (listed some below). If you are unsure of what exercise to choose, start with the step-up as it is the most common movement for HICT training. Choose a move that you can continue for 8-15 minutes.

You can start with just your body weight and add resistance to the movement as you get more familiar. Suggested amount of weight would be no more than 10% of your body weight. Here is everything you need to get going below.

Example HICT Workout

  • Choose a weight (if necessary).

  • Set a timer for at least eight minutes.

  • Continuously repeat the movement for the full duration of the session. Be sure to work at a pace that's sustainable over time. Continuous movement is the goal, so do your best not to take any breaks.

  • If you're starting with a new movement, or using a weight that's a new challenge, you may want to begin with 8 minutes, working up bit by bit each time you complete an HICT session.

Check out the video below for two of my favorite movements for HICT style conditioning.

  1. Front Foot Elevated Reverse Lunge

  2. Kneel to Stand

Be well,

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