What if I told you that the long, dreadful sessions on the treadmill or never-ending aerobic workouts are no longer deemed as the solution to weight loss? Over the years, studies have shown that short, intense bursts of activity are far more effective for burning fat and getting fit. I touch upon this as well as provide some HIIT workouts in my previous post here.
HIIT refers to high intensity interval training and it has skyrocketed in popularity as more and more people discover how powerful it really is. HIIT is a cardiovascular protocol that uses short, extreme workouts to get you in your maximum heart rate zone.
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
There are many benefits to including HIIT in your training regimen. Thousands of people have made HIIT a part of their life because the workouts are short and the results are phenomenal. Let’s look at why HIIT is so effective.
Reduces food cravings
Unlike normal steady state cardio, your body will not crave carbohydrates after a workout session. The HIIT workouts are so exhausting that you’ll also be more aware of what you’re eating just because you expended so much effort during training. Undoing a hard workout with an easy snack just doesn’t seem worth it.
Trains Your Heart to Work Efficiently
HIIT is exhausting and because it is so tough, it improves cardiac output which directly reduces heart related health problems from taking root in your body. HIIT training may be explosive in nature because of the speed involved. This speed of activity will recruit different muscular functions and aerobic pathways.
Improves Steady State Performance
It is very common to see many women on treadmills or stationery bikes at the gym. Women sure love their cardio and they’ll do anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of it. However, in most cases, the cardio is steady state. It is not fast or explosive. Hence, why it’s called steady state.
HIIT, however, can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. It is totally draining and will leave you breathless. Yet, by engaging in HIIT often, you’ll actually become better at steady state cardio.
HIIT is far more difficult and really improves your stamina in a way that steady state cardio never will. Oxygen and fuel is diffused faster into your muscles and this will improve your level of fitness. Therefore, it’s better to train with HIIT.
EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It is impacted by the duration and intensity of the workload. In simple terms, it just means that your body will be in fat burning mode for hours after your workout is over. You could be burning calories anywhere from 5 to 12 hours after a HIIT session.
There is higher fat oxidation when you engage in high intensity interval training. The size and amount of mitochondria in your cells will increase. This will boost your metabolism and speed up fat loss. Short HIIT sessions burn just as much fat as long steady state sessions.
So, you spend less time working out and get better results. It’s a win-win situation.
Last but not least, HIIT sessions barely give you time to breathe much less let your mind wonder and get bored. Long treadmill sessions can get boring because the pace is slow or moderate and your mind starts to ‘space out’ and you ponder in boredom about the other things in your life.
HIIT workouts are fast and you don’t even have time to think. The rest periods are short and only give you just enough time to catch your breath before jumping into the next set. You’ll feel a burst of energy during the session and will bask in the warm afterglow of exhaustion and pride when you’re done with a HIIT session.
Everyone should include HIIT in their workouts. It’ll save you time and get you to your dream body faster than most other training methods. Your strength, stamina, metabolism and energy levels will get a boost. It doesn’t get better than this. Give it a try and let me know what you think!