High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a training technique in which you give o100% effort through, quick, intense burst of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This technique gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. Our time is precious, numerous tasks need to be completed in limited time which often results in exercising being pushed to the back-burner. However, the idea that a short workout (anything from 4 minutes to 30) can burn the same, or even more, calories than a longer workout is trending fast. This is also scientifically backed, proving the maximising your high-intensity workouts over shorter periods of time boosts metabolism and burns fat. They are hugely adaptable, creating targeted and fun workouts, suited to everyone’s goals.
Along with how super-efficient HIIT workouts are for a busy schedule – there are numerous other benefits. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour or other continuous aerobic training. Not only do you burn more calories during the workout, but the effect of the intense workout kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. This, therefore, means you continue to burn calories and fat for hours after the workout.
Heart Health and Endurance
Pushing your body into anaerobic zone (can’t breathe and feels like your heart is trying to get out your chest) is typically avoided, however, this method produces extreme results over very short periods. This high-intensity training allows cellular structures of muscles to adapt and increase endurance while doing any type of exercise. A study has demonstrated that people who participated in HIIT for eight weeks, could ride a bicycle at the same pace for double the length of time than they did in the beginning. Effective energy use also aids the endurance of the individual muscles. HIIT works on a system of work hard and then recover intervals, therefore, your body learns to efficiently use energy. It also helps to remove toxic wastes from your muscles during resting periods and alternating between the exercises also aids effective breathing. This in turn, also enhances heart health as well, this is seen through improved blood pressure and higher counts of mitochondria.
HIIT workouts consume more oxygen than a non-interval workout routine, thus the excess amount consumed helps increase the rate of your metabolisms for up to four hours after training. This increased metabolism also helps burn more calories at a faster rate. It also stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) which is responsible for increased calorie burn as well as slowing down the aging process!
They are extremely cost-effective, no equipment is needed and there is no need to go to the gym. Therefore, you can do this from your home in a spare half an hour, when you don’t have time to do a full workout. HIIT workouts utilise your own body weight, so workouts that increase heart rate quickly can be implemented into a HIIT workout. Doing lots of various movements that target multiple muscles will quickly increase your heart rate. Using weights can be less effective because this reduces the focus of pushing your heart to its max and not your biceps.
Lose Weight not Muscle
Steady cardio and aerobic workouts are typically associated with losing muscle. People who are currently dieting will be all too aware of this, however, HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their muscles whilst most weight loss comes from fat.
Challenging and Adaptable
HIIT workouts offer workouts at various difficulties and provide beginners a quick way to see results, thus more likely to continue on their fitness journey. Each workout is short, however, encourages you to push just outside your comfort zone (moves and intensity) so you’re constantly trying something new. You are also not limited in what you can do in your workouts. You can pick any kind of cardio workout and make it into an interval workout, you can work with cycling or running, or you can combine a variety of moves that target numerous areas of your body. This allows you to be flexible, if you don’t want to run because the weather is bad, it’s all good because you can do it in your living room. HIIT workouts are very simple and can be adapted to whatever time, space and move constraints you may have.