You probably have heard of HIIT or high intensity interval training before. Its is a very specific type of training in which you repeated give almost 100% effort through quick and intense bursts of exercise, followed by short periods of recovery. During your intervals, you’ll be challenging yourself nearly to your limit – if you are just starting, remember to start slow, and work your way up, even if you aren’t at your maximum, you’ll still get good cardiovascular benefits, as well as improvements in strength and muscle endurance.
When your body is going all-out during HIIT, you are performing an anaerobic exercise, breaking down glucose without oxygen, to produce the energy it needs to fuel you, providing a very limited but immediate supply of energy, for this reason, the length of time you can maintain that maximum effort is short.
This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. A HIIT workout increases the body need for oxygen during the intervals and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery, this is known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic steady-state workouts.
The recovering before the next interval is essential: Forcing your body to repeatedly adapt between two very different states provides excellent cardio conditioning and recovery periods are needed to prepare the body to perform at its best during the high-intensity bursts.
Still not sure? Here are a few other benefits of HIIT:
- Increases your metabolism: Thanks to the afterburn effect, which speeds your metabolic rate for hours after you complete your HIIT workout. You’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve left the class.
- Increase overall health: HIIT can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals, who often have high blood pressure. It can also reduce blood sugar in improve muscle mass.
- Quick and convenient: You don’t have much time to exercise? No worries, you don’t need it! Most HIIT classes are just 30min to 45min long! Who can’t spare that? Also, high intensity interval training workouts can be done anywhere: home, park, office, gym, etc.
- No equipment required! You don’t have any equipment? Not to worry! HIIT workouts generally use only your bodyweight since the focus is to get your heart rate up and keep it there. The result? Optimal muscle building and retention as well as fat loss and increased calorie burn.