What is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an exercise method used to quickly burn fat. It’s characterized by periods of intense anaerobic exercise followed by periods of less intense exercise or rest. Typically, HIIT workouts will have your heart rate (HR) elevated between 80%-95% of your maximum HR during the exercise periods. These working periods tend to last anywhere from 20 seconds to about 2 minutes. The subsequent recovery periods can also range in duration. To increase the effectiveness of these workouts, the key is not to allow the recovery periods to last too long. Rather, your recovery should be just enough time to lower your HR a little as you catch your breath. In short, be prepared to work hard!
Not only is HIIT great for fat loss but studies have shown that it can also help to contribute towards muscle growth and development. Sounds like a win-win situation to me! With the start of summer just around the corner, HIIT is the perfect tool to implement into your routine. Compared to your traditional steady state cardio, HIIT has the ability to burn the same amount of calories in significantly less time. Furthermore, HIIT provides a greater afterburn effect which means that again, compared to your typical 30 minutes on a treadmill, you’ll see faster results.
Who is HIIT for?
HIIT is for a variety of different people! Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain your current physique, various levels of HIIT can be incorporated into your workout regimen to help you achieve your fitness goals. Due to the fact that this dynamic training method also improves endurance and increases metabolism, many people have come to love the efficiency of workouts following the HIIT format. As with any form of strenuous exercise, I would advise those with known heart issues to consult a physician prior to engaging in HIIT as there may be an increased probability for complications due to your body’s inability to adapt to the rapid HR changes.
Did you know that similar to HIIT, circuit training is another great way to condition your body while developing endurance? Check out my friend Berri’s post all about it here and also go follow her on Instagram!
Benefits of Interval Training
- Promotes cardiovascular health by switching between high and low intensity exercise periods.
- Greater caloric expenditure compared to steady state cardio, which means more fat burned.
- Keeps workouts both fun and challenging by providing room for customization while still achieving optimal results.
Quick 5 Minute HIIT Workout