High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) – Getting Really Fit In A Lot Less Time
I don’t know about you guys, but time is not always something that I have a lot of. Between running this blog and life in general, I just do not have the time to spend exercising for hours each day. Ideally I want a workout that I can get done in 45 minutes approximately 3 times a week. I thought that kind of workout is the stuff of legend and cheap TV infomercials. That is until I heard of HIIT…
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What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) is an exercise strategy alternating periods of short, intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods (basically you alternate a maximum-effort activity with a recovery period consisting of lighter work).
Why is it effective?
HIIT targets fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are designed for short-lived, powerful bursts of energy. Fast-twitch fibers require more fuel, which means you burn more calories during and after the workout.
HIIT also stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) during the 24 hours after you finish your workout, which promotes weight loss, higher energy levels and fights ageing.
HIIT stimulates lean muscle growth. More muscle = more calories burned.
The Benefits of HIIT
There are a lot of benefit to employing HIIT as your method for training. Below are a few benefits to keep in mind.
Saves you a lot of time
- Research shows that 3 minutes of intense intermittent exercise per week, within a total time commitment of 30 minutes, is as effective as 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity continuous training.
Burns more fat
- A university study found that HIIT cardio helped trainees lose 9 times more fat than those who trained the traditional way.
Gets you healthier
- Blood vessel function and markers of blood vessel health are more improved than during moderate-intensity continuous training.
- Insulin resistance is significantly reduced compared to moderate-intensity continuous training and leads to decreased fasting blood glucose levels
Improves your maximum volume of oxygen (VO2 max)
- This means better aerobic capacity. Research found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could cycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
You can do it pretty much anywhere anytime
- You can do HIIT with running, cycling, or jump roping, which ever works for you! You can also do it with body-weight training (crossfit is a form of HIIT)
Keep This in mind
HIIT is definitely a training method that is becoming very popular amongst people looking to lose weight or getting fit. But there are a few key things you need to keep in mind if you want to start doing HIIT>
It is not for everyone – It is intense and hard, so you need to be very motivated.
You need to be somewhat fit already – This is to ensure you use proper technique and to prevent injury.
Rest is important – Due to the intensity, your muscles need enough time to recuperate and restore.