What is HIIT?
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is short, repeated bursts of strenuous activity in between rest periods, rather than conventional, longer and more consistent training.
Why is HIIT so effective?
HIIT turns your body into a fat burning furnace! The benefits of HIIT are far reaching and long lasting when compared to other cardio workouts. Not only do you burn more calories during HIIT workouts but your body will continue burning fat and calories for up to 24 hours after. So while you are sitting on the couch watching your favorite reality tv show your body will still be in fat burning overdrive! Research shows you can burn 9 times more fat with HIIT. HIIT has a direct impact on your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is a measurement of how many calories your body burns when you are resting. In other words, HIIT significantly increases your metabolism. When you perform cardio at such an intense level your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the butt-kicking you gave it. This is referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from that exercise bout than you would have if you'd just done a steady-state workout.
The science behind HIIT
Does this sound too good to be true? Science doesn’t stretch the truth. Research shows that you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training than jogging on a treadmill for an hour! In a study done at the University of Guelph in Canada, participants were monitored over a 2 week period to determine the affect of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the body's ability to burn fat. The study found that this sort of training dramatically improved the fat and carbohydrate burning process within the body. A 2011 study presented at the College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting showed that just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of regular endurance training. One 2006 study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before, while maintaining the same pace. In a study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, participants doubled their endurance after just 2 weeks of engaging in HIIT.
What does a HIIT workout feel
Most people aren’t used to pushing themselves into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you cant breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. Remember, the intervals are short but intense. When you safely push yourself out of your comfort zone you will see real results!
Other benefits of HIIT
Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it's hard not to lose lean muscle along with fat. While steady state cardio encourages muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win/win! And remember ladies, muscle is your friend. It is what will give you the tight and lean body you desire. In addition to increased fat burning and muscle preservation, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after your finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
This method of training even improves your blood sugar. According to a recent study by a Canadian research team, people with full blown Type 2 diabetes were able to improve their blood sugar regulation significantly over 24 hours, after just one interval training session. Using this method two or three times a week, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals much faster and improve your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation.
You get out what you put in!
As always, it’s all about the effort you put in to your workout. Intensity is key with this form of training. Push yourself! While you may need to slowly work yourself up to this point, you will see optimal results from vigorous bursts of activity in between periods of rests. HIIT offers experienced exercisers a new challenge and a way to break through their plateau. For new exercisers it offers a quick way to see results.
This method of training is an excellent strategy because it will benefit your overall health, boost weight loss, improve your muscle tone and even improve your blood sugar. Give it a try!