HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) seems to be the biggest craze to have hit all of the fitness fanatics across the globe! So what is it that makes HIIT so successful? How does it work and why should we do it? In this week’s article, I will be discussing the benefits of HIIT and the various ways it can be performed.
What is HIIT Training?
For those who aren’t familiar with HIIT, it is an enhanced form of interval training involving longer periods of high-intensity exercise followed by shorter low intensity intervals of exercise or complete rest. For example, if you were to take a circuit workout, and cycle it so that every exercise (Minimum of 3) could flow into one another without any rest/ or with minimal rest in-between, this would create a mammoth HIIT session. You could also use the original ratio of 2:1 (work: rest period) and perform 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of light jogging or walking if you wanted to opt for just a cardio workout.
What does HIIT do?
HIIT is effective at improving both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness capabilities. By building up a routine and incorporating HIIT into your daily training will only benefit and compliment any other training you take part in whether that is martial arts, weight lifting or maybe contact sports. Your body will become more efficient at producing and using energy from the anaerobic energy system and more effective at removing metabolic waste from the muscles during recovery intervals, resulting in increased performance.
As this form of exercise if so intense, you can still reap huge rewards by only performing it for around 20 minutes. This is because these short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism and improved fat burning, meaning that it is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time.
Why should I do HIIT?
HIIT was originally developed by track coaches to train runners. Since then it has crossed over to the fitness industry mainly due to its fat-burning benefits confirmed in many scientific studies. As HIIT is proven to significantly reduce more body fat in less time than steady-state cardio, it has proven very popular indeed.
The major reason HIIT works so well at burning body fat is due to the greater calorie burn that’s maintained after the workout is over. Your body will actually burn more calories and more body fat while you’re sitting around doing nothing after performing HIIT!
It’s a no brainer! (Well yes there is one problem, please read on)
HIIT is extremely difficult and as it was designed for athletes I wouldn’t recommend any beginners to take part in any HIIT activity unless you are already leading a healthy lifestyle and train daily. To become fit takes time and patience so build it up, make sure you can run before you can walk then when you feel ready, take the challenge and reap the rewards that HIIT can provide including;
- Time efficient and convenient
- Improved Aerobic & Anaerobic fitness
- Stronger heart
- Increased metabolism
- Create it yourself – no equipment necessary
- Improved endurance
- Massive Calorie burner during and after
Sound good? Give it a go and see your body transform!
Rayner Jordan – Women’s fitness specialist