If you have any interest in health and fitness then you have probably heard of HIIT Training but what exactly is it and why should you be doing it?
What Is HIIT?
HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. A HIIT workout alternates between short work intervals (70 to 90 percent max heart rate) and rest periods (60 to 65 percent max heart rate).
HIIT can be applied to sprinting, cycling or to exercises such as squat jumps and burpees. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.
HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.
1. Burns more calories
In research, HIIT has been shown to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise - up to 50% more efficiently. It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
2. It's quick
As the intensity is high, it is impossible to keep going for long a duration and this is not the goal. Tabata training (a form of HIIT training) requires the participants to work at their maximun intensity for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds completing 8 rounds which adds up to 4 minutes. Complete 4 rounds of this and your metabolism will remain elevated for hours.
3. It will get you fitter than steady state cardio
Working into your anaerobic zone (without oxygen so struggling to breathe!) makes your heart and lungs work much harder therefore getting much stronger. One 2006 study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
4. Increases your metabolism
Ever heard of the oxygen debt? Or EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). This is essentially when our body uses more oxygen after exercise than before exercise, and we expend more calories during our recovery from exercise than we do before exercise. During EPOC your body replenishes it energy resources, re-oxygenates the blood and restores circulatory hormones whilst decreasing body temperature, and returning your breathing and heart rate to normal. All these processes require energy thus raising your metabolism.
That's not all, HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. Not only does HGH increase the number of calories your body uses up, it also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
5. No equipment needed
HIIT can be the ultimate versatile workout with much of it being body weight. Think burpees, squat jumps, mountain climbers, press ups. It is best to include full body compound moves that will recruit more muscles for the biggest bang for your buck.
Here is a 20 Minute HIIT Workout you can do anywhere. Work for 40 seconds, rest for 20 and repeat 4 rounds:
Hand Forearm Plank
Diamond Sit Ups
For some HIITspiration head to my YouTube channel where I post a new workout every Monday.