What Is HIIT?

HIIT has been a buzzword that has been bandied around gyms for the last 20 years, however the origins of this approach to exercise date much further back. Runners for hundreds of years have trained interval workouts, alternating between sprinting and jogging to incrementally improve endurance, step cadence and dynamic speed.

What does HIIT stand for?

HIIT is an acronym that stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. 

What is a HIIT workout?

A HIIT workout is a form of cardiovascular exercise that combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short intermissions of rest of low-intensity exercise. HIIT workouts while cardiovascular focused, often integrate resistance training elements to deliver the ultimate workout session. The objective in periods of high-intensity exercise is to get your heart rate working over 80% of its maximum capacity, while in the low-intensity periods letting your body adapt to a short recovery window. Typically, HIIT workouts last 15 to 20 minutes which is part of the reason why they’ve become a staple in many gym-goers schedules as people search for the best workouts in the shortest amount of time.

What are the 5 key benefits of a HIIT workout?

Almost all exercise is considered to be good for you generally, but after thousands of hours of science and mathematics, many believe that High-Intensity Interval Training ( or HIIT) is one of the best forms of exercise for the average gym goer. There are no shortage of reasons to try it, but 5 of the key benefits to adding it to your fitness regime are:

1) A Healthy Heart

Anaerobic exercise means that your body is working at such a high intensity, that your heart can’t get oxygen to your muscles fast enough; while this might not sound great, it can improve endurance and heart health. HIIT, when you are in the high-intensity period of the workout is an anaerobic exercise. Regular HIIT helps you to improve your heart’s efficiency which can lead to a much healthier body.

2) Increased Metabolism

HIIT stimulates your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by over 400% during the 24 hours after you have completed a HIIT workout. When your HGH levels are higher, you have a higher calorie burn rate, and your body kick starts itself into a phase of regeneration with an increased metabolic rate.

3) It’s A Fat Burner

If you have pushed yourself hard through a HIIT workout and have lifted your heart rate above 80% of its maximum capacity you can expect to hit fat burning territory for the next 24 hours. Following a HIIT workout, your body’s repair system goes into overdrive and will burn more fat than the steady-state cardio.

4) Needs No Equipment

Unlike the vast majority of gym workouts, HIIT doesn’t need any equipment. This means that you don’t even need to do it in the gym. Any location with enough space for you to move around is the perfect location for a quick 30 minute HIIT workout.

5) Weight Loss Without Muscle Loss

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before, you will know first hand that losing weight without losing muscle is one of the biggest challenges. Most steady state cardio workouts are one-dimensional in the stress that they put your body under; consequently your body drives muscle weight loss before fat weight loss. HIIT pushes multiple muscle groups, builds up lactic acid on the muscle, and drives your body into the anaerobic zone; which drives fat loss and calorie burn before muscle loss.

How many calories does HIIT burn?

HIIT workouts are super efficient calorie burners. As with all exercise, the harder you work your body, the more calories you are likely to burn; and HIIT really hits the calorie counter hard. You can expect to burn between 300-400 calories on the back of a 30 minute workout, add to that the increased metabolic rate for the 24 hours after the workout and you’ll be looking at a 400-500 total calorie burn from HIIT.  

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