Love it or hate it HIIT (High Interval Intensity Training) is as popular as ever and it’s not showing any signs of disappearing. If you haven’t tried it already, keep reading to learn the top 8 benefits of HIIT and start it now!
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of regular exercise and HIIT really proves that. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a 15 minute HIIT session than jogging on the treadmill for an hour. Just two weeks of high intensity interval training can improve aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training can.
Body weight exercises will suffice when it comes to HIIT – as long as it gets your heart rate up. High knees, fast feet, sprints, jump squats and any plyometric exercise can be used, as can compound movements that engage big muscle groups. The idea behind HIIT is to focus on increasing the intensity of the chosen exercises to challenge your cardiovascular system and you don’t need dumbbells or weight machines to do that.
During the high intensity periods of exercise, HIIT takes you into an anaerobic training zone (where your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available). With regular training in this zone, research suggests HIIT can increase how efficiently muscles use oxygen,improving exercise performance over time.
The harder we exercise, the harder the body has to work to fuel the muscles it’s using, burning a higher amount of calories. HIIT is a great way to burn a lot of calories because the body has to work hard. HIIT can also fire up the body to burn fat. A Canadian study found fat burning was significantly higher after six weeks of HIIT – promoting fat as the fuel being used during bouts of high intensity training.
After a HIIT session you burn through more energy than usual at your resting heart rate as working muscle cells restore themselves back to pre-exercise levels
HIIT can stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450% during the 24 hours post workout. If you’re wondering if that’s a good thing, it is - the presence of HGH is responsible for increased calorie burn.
Since HIIT is such a simple concept of work phase and rest phase, you can take it anywhere with you – to the corner of a playing field, the gym floor, the beach, your tiny spare room or a hotel room on holiday. And you can choose the exercises that you have enough space to complete!
The challenge in HIIT sessions is individual and depends on your own personal fitness levels and abilities. HIIT is based around time periods for work and rest and can be manipulated depending on individual fitness levels. Beginners should try 20 seconds per work phase, while seasoned exercisers can this time.
HIIT training is a convenient workout style to complete and commit to on a longer-term basis, even for the most time-poor.