What is HIFT (High Intensity Functional Training) and Is It Right For You?


If you love HIIT or HIT, but need functional fitness, HIFT may be the right combo for you. With the focus on functional combined with intensity, HIFT targets across the board for an intense but rewarding outcome. This article dives into what HIFT is, its differences from HIIT, and key resources to get started.

What is HIFT?

HIFT stands for High Intensity Functional Training, which somewhat combines high intensity interval training with functional training. This is a type of exercise program that most emphasizes multi-joint functional movements which you can modify for all levels of fitness. It generates a much greater use of your muscles than most other traditional types of exercise, particularly ones using repetitive aerobics.

The theory is that this program will improve general physical fitness, in terms of flexibility, strength and cardiovascular endurance. But its designers also expect it to result in increased measures of performance, including power, speed and agility.

It’s a fairly new type of training modality that constantly changes both the functional exercises and the duration of your activity. It doesn’t necessarily incorporate rest periods. CrossFit training is actually considered a form of this type of exercise. That’s because it’s based on the concept of increasing your abilities over a period of time while combining multiple types of exercise, such as:

Weightlifting derivatives – deadlift, shoulder press, etc.
Body weight movements – pushups, squats, etc.
Mono-structural – rowing, running, etc.

Basically, this training program’s purpose is to improve general physical fitness and performance by using different functional movements that you perform at a level of intensity that is high for you.

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I have been a lifelong fitness student and enthusiast ever since winning the gold at conference in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM back in my “glory days.” I am also a writer and the marketing wizard here at My Top Fitness. I have an ever-growing list of interests, including swimming, running, golf, bowling, speedcubing, speed running (old Nintendo games), locksport, cooking, chess, tournament poker, fishing, hiking, camping, and sleight of hand, just to name a few. On some platforms, you can find me as the self-appointed “Jack of all Hobbies” I am a proud husband and father of 2 children, a.k.a. gremlins, and I am super excited to help as many people as possible on their individual fitness journeys.