We used to believe that spending long hours at the gym is the only way to reach our body goals. Unfortunately, we live in a busy world and not everyone has the luxury of time. Others try to learn all about HIIT to help them maximize their workout without sacrificing too much time.
What exactly is HIIT and how does it work?
Read on to find the answers to these interesting questions.
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training or simply known as HIIT is short yet intense and unsustainable bursts of physical activities combined with intervals of quick rests.
This type of training is not only convenient because of the lesser amount of time that you use. You can also do it almost anywhere and does not necessarily require any equipment. Most of its workouts last for 10 to 30 minutes. Regardless of how short the workout is, it delivers result twice as much moderate-intensity exercise.
There are various actual activities performed in HIIT. This includes jump rope, biking, sprinting or other body weight exercises. There are tons of HIIT workouts that are popular now. These workouts share the same framework: Brief, high-intensity workouts separated by rest periods.
When you put your body through intense training, it goes through a metabolic disturbance. As a result, your body burns more calories at a higher rate up to 48-72 hours later.
HIIT requires intense work periods where you perform at 80% to 95% maximal heart rate. This is the maximum number of times that your heart beats in a minute without overexertion. The recovery period of HIIT can last as long as the work periods. It is also performed at 40% to 50% of your estimated maximal heart rate. High-intensity interval training requires alternating between work and recovery periods.
You must be familiar with interval training. It’s a cardiovascular exercise strategy used for better endurance and improved performance. High-intensity interval training, on the other hand, is a more intense version of interval training.
HIIT is popular on serious athletes as it improves conditioning. Athletes who work out competitively in a weight lifting competition, track and field or team sport practice HIIT regularly.
The Benefits of HIIT Workouts
HIIT does not only allow you to maximize the use of your time. It also provides a lot of health benefits.
Helps burn calories and fat
If you want to burn calories but don’t have much time to spare, HIIT is your best option. You can burn as much fat when you spend 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training compared to jogging on a treadmill for one hour.
Helps maintain muscle mass and build more muscle
HIIT does not only help burn calories and fat. It also stimulates the production of muscle building anabolic hormones. This is why it’s an effective workout if you want to develop lean muscle.
Surprisingly, HIIT works better in building and maintaining muscle mass compared to regular sustained steady-state workouts. Muscles can be burned up and utilized by the body as fuel on prolonged exercises.
Boosts your endurance and strengthens cardiovascular activity
You strengthen and improve your oxygen intake and cardiovascular activity when you push your oxygen consumption and heart rate during HIIT workouts. As a result, you build endurance and faster recovery.
Helps utilize the use of effective energy
HIIT involves a system of work-hard-then-recovery intervals. It alternates high-intensity workouts and short resting periods. Because of this interval training, your body adapts how to use your energy system efficiently. In addition, you’ll be able to breathe effectively when you alternate between exercises. HIIT removes toxic wastes from your muscles on your resting periods.
You consume more oxygen in a High-Intensity Interval Training than a non-interval workout routine. As you consume excess oxygen, you increase your metabolism rate from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after your workout. As a result, you burn more calories at a faster rate.
Helps you lose fat and not muscle
Some workouts would enable you to lose muscles, steady cardio is one of those workouts. HIIT workouts, on the other hand, uses a combination of weight training which prevents you from losing muscles while you shed weight. In fact, you can still preserve your muscle gain while you lose fat.
Initiates fat and calorie burning hours after your workout
The repair cycle of your body goes into hyperdrive when you participate in high-intensity workouts. This means that your body is still burning calories and fats even 24 hours after your workout. This does not happen in steady-pace workouts.
Promotes heart health
Most people find it hard to put themselves to an anaerobic zone where their heart is pounding faster and they are losing breath. If you’re aiming for extreme results though, it’s imperative that you go through extreme training as well.
It’s easier to push yourself to anaerobic zone when you’re doing HIIT. This is because you have the rest interval after you go into the anaerobic zone. As a result, your blood flow runs effectively throughout your body and you keep a healthy heart.
When Should You Avoid HIIT?
It’s clear that HIIT provides many health benefits. However, you should take precautions when you have the following:
- Suffered from a recent injury
- Recently undergone cardiac surgery or have a heart condition
- Sick or have suppressed immunity
- Suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Suffering from pelvic floor weakness, prolapse, or any form of incompetence
- When you are extremely new to exercise and does not have a foundation of knowledge on the proper form of basic exercises
Many fitness enthusiasts believe that high-intensity interval training is the holy grail of workouts. HIIT provides many health benefits – from boosting your metabolism to faster fat burning compared to regular interval training. And more importantly, it’s a great time investment. You can spend as little as 30 minutes yet accomplish as much.
On the other hand, is HIIT for everyone?
Many may claim that it’s a “one size fits all” type of exercise. However, to ensure safety, you must develop muscles, core strength, mobility, and flexibility before trying HIIT. This way, you don’t just maximize the benefits that you will gain from performing high-intensity interval training but you’re also making sure that you lower your risk of injury and damage.
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Top 10 Health Benefits of HIIT (High- Intensity Interval Train. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-hiit-high-intensity-interval-training/
Weik, M. High-Intensity Interval Training: Not for the Faint of Heart. Retrieved from https://www.vaxxenlabs.com/high-intensity-interval-training-not-faint-heart/
What is HIIT and how does it work?. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.holmesplace.com/ch/en/blog/fitness/what-is-hiit-and-how-does-it-work