What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is any type of training that alternates between high-intensity bursts of movement and then fixed periods of rest or low-intensity movement. There are many ways to perform HIIT, anything from body weighted moves, cardio machines and even weight training works. As HIIT is so demanding on the body, it is normally only executed in its entirety (including rest) for 10 – 30 minutes. Despite the quick duration of the session, it has the ability to double the health benefits of low and moderate-intensity exercise.
What are the benefits?
HIIT is proven to burn more body fat than its low-intensity counterpart. What makes this type of training so effective is its ability to produce EPOC, or excess post oxygen consumption. EPOC increases the resting metabolic rate for up to 48 hours, meaning you continue burning fat long after your workout is finished. Studies show that those who train to 80%- 90% of their max heart rate, burn significantly higher amounts of body fat compared to those who only reach up to 70% of their max heart rates. If this isn’t magic enough, HIIT stimulates increased production of HGH for a day after your session. HGH helps us burn additional calories, promotes protein synthesis, strengthens your immune system and helps keep us youthful.
If you think you need to spend hours in the gym to change your body composition, you might be wrong; in addition to burning high amounts of body fat, HIIT training is incredibly efficient. No matter how busy your schedule is, you can always manage to fit in a 10 – 20 minute session into your day. Studies show that you are able to achieve more progress in a measly 15 minutes of HIIT, 3x per week than someone who jogs for an hour a day.
As well as being super-efficient, HIIT can be done anywhere, anytime making it the perfect workout for when you are traveling, short on space or don’t feel like heading into the gym.
Sprints, skipping, plyometric bodyweight movements, they all work perfectly and require little to no equipment.
Lastly, my favorite facet of HIIT is that it allows you to burn fat and not muscle. Unlike steady-state cardio which can actually promote muscle loss, HIIT allows you to preserve muscle mass, whilst targeting fat which is incredibly important to anyone who wants to keep their gains.
To conclude, HIIT is an extremely efficient way to exercise, which may help you burn more body fat in less time, preserve and build muscle whilst boosting your metabolism for hours proceeding the session.
HIT IT WITH HIIT
There are many ways to implement HIIT into your exercise routine, so find what works best for you in terms of time, equipment and enjoyment. I have included an example session for you below, give it a try!
Jump on the treadmill and work at finding your max pace. Once you have selected this pace, set the treadmill to an incline of 10, so that your sprints will be uphill.
Complete 10 sprints, 10 seconds on absolute max, all-out effort and then take 1-2 minutes rest either at a walking pace or complete rest. Allow your heart rate to come all the way down before starting your next set.