Whether you are a gym enthusiast, an aspiring athlete, or researching new workouts online, you would have probably heard of high-intensity interval training or HIIT. It is one of the most popular workouts in recent years, and all for good reasons. Most of us have heard this term but don’t know how it is different from other cardio or strength training workouts. Let me walk you through 10 important things that you need to know about HIIT.
What Is High Intensity Interval Training Or HIIT?
HIIT is a highly efficient way to burn calories and get the heart rate pumping. Just as it sounds, it is an intense workout that involves bursts of intensity intervals paired with rest intervals. Typically, a HIIT workout lasts for 10–30 minutes. Theoretically, you can apply it to any form of exercise if you can reach 80-95% of your max heart rate for 30 seconds to 8 minutes (depending on the workout). This is followed by recovery intervals that should be as long or slightly longer than the workout interval (or until breathing is quick, but under control).
Some famous HIIT exercises are listed below:
• Running up and downstairs
• Rope exercises
• Jump squat
Benefits Of High Intensity Interval Training
1. Time Efficient
With high-intensity interval training, you can burn exactly the same amount of calories as with other cardiovascular exercises but in a much shorter time frame. This means that you can get in heavy-duty and efficient workout done without logging hours in the gym. Also, HIIT targets both aerobic and anaerobic fitness unlike the standard cardio exercises that only target aerobic. Some researchers have found that 15 minutes of HIIT three times a week can be as effective as running on the treadmill for an hour. So, when you are swamped with work and family obligations, HIIT is an excellent choice to get the most bang for your fitness buck.
2. Higher Calorie Burn
When it comes to burning fat during exercise, HIIT burns more calories than typical aerobic workouts of same intensity and duration.
We know that our body is constantly burning calories, even at rest. HIIT not only helps burn more calories during the workout but also helps burn calories at a higher rate after your workouts.
This process is termed EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). EPOC is how much oxygen your body needs post-workout to get your body back to normal.
EPOC generally occurs 2 hours after an exercise when the body is restoring itself to pre-workout levels. Since HIITs are tougher on your body, the EPOC on average tends to be higher, adding about 6% to 15% more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure.
3. Aids Fat Loss
One of the many factors why HIIT is so popular is because it is extremely effective in weight loss. Since HIIT helps burn more calories because of EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), it urges your body to burn fat and utilize energy instead of carbs, and so you lose weight.
We know that it’s hard to lose fat while maintaining muscle. But research has shown that with HIIT, you can preserve those hard-earned muscles while burning the maximum amount of fat.
4. Greater Muscle Strength and Endurance
HIIT also benefits in terms of building muscle strength: HIIT is an effective whole-body workout that targets all muscle groups in a short time. HIIT is even more effective when combined with a strength training routine.
5. Boosts Metabolism
In addition to increased calorie burn and muscle strength, HIIT workouts stimulate the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) up to 450%, so your metabolism will be raised for the next 24 hours. So if you are consistent with your HIIT workouts, it can help increase your overall metabolic rate. An improved rate of metabolism makes it less likely for you to gain weight. A healthy metabolic system can rid toxins from your body more efficiently. Doing a HIIT workout kick starts your body’s metabolism to a level that the fat-burning effects last hours after the session is complete.
One of the best things about HIIT is that you don’t have to go to the gym to perform this workout. You can do this workout anywhere. Any aerobic exercise with short and intense bursts like Running, biking, jump roping, and rowing can be used as HIIT. Activities such as high knees, jumping jacks, or jumping rope can also do the job.
As we mentioned earlier, the concept of HIIT is really to do high-intensity intervals for a short span of time and then recover for a short period. You can modify it to fit any time and space constraints and still get all the benefits!
7. Relieves Stress
Research shows that any form of exercise can help stimulate your happy hormones, called serotonin. This is the reason why you feel great after a good workout. HIIT does the same; it not only helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression but also increases resilience. So, you reap both physical and mental health rewards using HIIT.
8. Helps cure diseases
A key benefit of HIIT workout is improving your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that when you push yourself hard for short intervals with interspersed resting times, it produces equal or more significant improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar compared with moderate-intensity exercises. Moreover, HIIT workouts have been shown to help people with diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure, obesity, coronary artery disease, or metabolic syndrome. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) speeds up your metabolism, while also improving your cholesterol profile and insulin sensitivity.
9. Increase Stamina
HIIT is a great workout model for anyone looking to push their athleticism to the next level because with HIIT, you push your body to anaerobic zone (heart rate between 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate) doing so forces your heart to work extra hard to pump oxygen to your hungry muscles eventually increasing muscles’ ability to use oxygen efficiently. Over time, performing regular HIIT workouts improves your stamina and builds agility.
10. Keeps you Young
Exercise is beneficial for our health, inside and out. Any form of physical activity especially HIIT not only helps to improve your physiological health but it is also proven to stimulate the production of collagen (a protein responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity). Studies show that collagen is in a constant cycle of creation and destruction in the body; age and environment play a factor in the breakdown. HIIT training and resistance workouts are the best forms of exercise to focus on in the gym for collagen production because they stimulate the human growth hormone in return, slowing down the aging process.
If you feel stuck with your fitness journey, consider giving high-intensity interval training a try.
At Vision Sports club, we have a variety of different HIIT classes and personal trainers to help you out. So what are you waiting for!! Try us for free now and get started on an intense and effective fitness journey with Vision Sports Club.