High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has become a popular form of exercise in recent years. HIIT workouts is based around short, intense bursts of exercise followed by a set rest period.
Many people are attracted to its promises of losing body fat and gaining muscles. High intensity exercise has been shown to induce a superior anabolic hormonal environment, which means that more of your testosterone and growth hormones are released per time, resulting in better fat loss and muscle gain. Also, high intensity exercise has been linked with increased human growth hormone release.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT workouts consist of alternating between intervals of intense exercise and less intense recovery periods. For example, someone doing HIIT might sprint for 30 seconds, then walk or jog for 1 minute to recover before repeating the 30 second sprint again. HIIT workouts can be done with any type of exercise, including cycling, running, weightlifting and even burpees!
The Benefits of HIIT workouts
The benefits of high intensity interval training are plenty. HIIT workouts have been linked with numerous benefits including:
1. Burns More Calories than Traditional Cardio
One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is that it burns more calories than traditional cardio exercises like jogging or biking. This is because HIIT uses the anaerobic energy system for a greater portion of the workout – causing you to burn more calories.
The intense exercise burn calories not just during the workout, but also for hours afterwards. This means that calorie burn is faster and more efficient than traditional cardio.
2. Metabolic Benefits
HIIT has been shown to improve your body’s ability to burn calories even when you’re at rest. This is known as the “afterburn effect” and is a result of HIIT’s ability to increase your metabolic rate.
The afterburn effect means that you’ll continue to burn calories long after your workout is finished!
3. Increased Endurance
One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is that it can help improve your endurance very quickly. This is because HIIT trains your body to use both its anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, which in turn improves your overall endurance.
High intensity interval training workouts are therefore a great way to improve your endurance for running, cycling or any other activity that requires stamina.
3. Gives You Health Benefits in Less Time
HIIT workout is also very time efficient. You can get many of the same health benefits in a fraction of the time by doing HIIT rather than traditional cardio.
4. Cardiovascular Health Benefits
The heart is a muscle, just like any other in the body. HIIT workout helps to train your heart muscles to get stronger and healthier. The result? Your resting heart rate (the speed at which your heart beats when you’re relaxed) decreases over time, resulting in improved cardiovascular health!
5. Weight Loss
High Intensity Interval Training is very effective for weight loss. In fact, a study published in the “International Journal of Obesity” found that HIIT was more effective for weight loss than moderate-intensity exercise.
Weight loss is achieved by burning more calories, which HIIT can accomplish in less time.
6. Muscle Mass
High Intensity Interval Training helps build muscle mass. This is because high intensity exercise causes the body to release more testosterone and growth hormones, which are essential for muscle growth.
7. Improved Athletic Performance
Many athletes use HIIT to improve their performance. This is because HIIT helps to increase speed, power, and strength.
HIIT workouts also improve recovery time from intense exercise, so HIIT increases the amount of time you have to work out.
In addition, muscle building hormones are elevated even during recovery periods – which is why HIIT can be as beneficial as weight training as well as cardio exercise!
8. Increased Mitochondria Development
HIIT workouts are also great for increasing production of mitochondria, which are the “powerhouse” of cells. Increasing the amount of mitochondria in your cells makes you more aerobically efficient since there are more energy-releasing pathways to use!
9. HIIT Benefits Your Brain Too!
You might not think that your brain needs to be in shape, but it does! Benefits of HIIT workouts include improved memory and the ability to learn faster.
10. HIIT stimulates your nervous system
The high intensity of HIIT also helps to stimulate your nervous system. This can help to improve overall athletic performance, as well as increase your alertness and focus.
11. Low Intensity Recovery Periods
HIIT also comes with low intensity recovery periods built in. This is because the high intensity intervals are followed by short, low-intensity recovery periods.
This allows your body to recover properly so that you can continue to push yourself hard during the high intensity intervals.
12. HIIT is easier than you think!
HIIT workouts can be performed by almost everyone, since it doesn’t take much equipment and you only need to do a few minutes of intense activity as opposed to long periods of low intensity exercise.
What are High Intensity Interval Training Workouts like?
In general, HIIT workouts involve a lot of sprinting or other high intensity exercises alternated with short periods of low intensity rest. The length and type of HIIT workout you do will depend on your own fitness level and what you’re comfortable with. As you get more advanced, you can add in more challenging exercises or increase the duration of your high intensity intervals.
Here are some examples of HIIT workouts:
– Sprinting on the treadmill for 30 seconds between periods of walking or jogging at a slow pace.
– Jumping rope for 30 seconds followed by 60 seconds of rest.
– Swimming laps at full speed for 20 seconds, then resting with easy paddling for 40 seconds.
– Alternating between a minute of jumping jacks and a minute of rest.
– Jumping on a trampoline for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds.
– Cycling at full speed for 20 seconds, then resting with easy pedaling for 40 seconds.
As you can see, no matter your fitness level or what equipment you have available, you can do HIIT. All that matters is that you perform short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by the same length or shorter rest periods.
So, if you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, and improve your overall health, high intensity interval training is for you.
What do you think about joining high intensity programs? Comment down below!
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