What is HIIT Training, and Is it Right for You?
New scientific findings about the optimal functioning of the human body are improving the world of fitness by the hour. In accordance with this, there has been a noticeable shift towards HIIT training, or High-Intensity Interval Training. What is HIIT training and is it right for you? Find out about the health benefits of HIIT in this article.
Everyone agrees that exercising is crucial for keeping your mind and body healthy and strong. However, some estimates show that as many as 20% of people who work out do not get enough exercise to stay healthy. This trend is mainly attributed to inefficient exercising routines and insufficient knowledge about nutrition. In other words, a more extended workout does not necessarily mean more impactful training.
Furthermore, different age groups require different exercise routines. In that sense, the types of workouts that suit teenagers may not be suitable for people with a slower metabolism. Due to the sheer number of myths and unclarities about workout routines and their benefits, we are here to discuss how you may benefit from HIIT training.
What is HIIT?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a workout regime in which you alternate between short bursts of high-intensity movements and short recovery periods that involve low-intensity movements. This exercise dynamic allows the body to maximize output while keeping the overall workout time relatively short. A typical HIIT session lasts from 10-30 minutes.
Although this might sound too good to be true, HIIT training is actually twice as effective as continuous moderate-intensity training like running or jogging. The typical HIIT activities include a combination of different movements, which is also great for keeping the workout routine engaging.
So, your HIIT workout may consist of high-intensity activities such as resistance training, sprinting, fast cycling, jumping rope, calisthenics, or pilates-inspired bodyweight exercises with or without weights. A good example of what HIIT looks like is Crossfit, a relatively new workout routine that has garnered a huge following due to its versatility and accessibility. Namely, the many health benefits of doing Crossfit combined with the fact you can participate regardless of your fitness level and age make it the perfect HIIT-based workout.
Something as simple as a jump rope can make up a great HIIT routine.
What does a HIIT workout look like?
As we mentioned, a HIIT workout revolves around “rounds” or “repetitions” of high-intensity and low-intensity movements. For instance, a HIIT round on a stationary bike would involve 30 seconds of quick and high-resistance cycling followed by a couple of minutes of slow and relatively easy pedaling.
These intervals are repeated 4-6 times in a single workout. The whole point of a high-intensity interval is to get your heart rate to speed up. Research has shown that increased heart rate followed by longer, less straining exercising actually stimulates fat loss as well as muscle formation.
Therefore, HIIT training allows you to significantly cut down on the overall workout time. In addition, your muscle activation is significantly higher in comparison to a monotonic, moderate-intensity workout.
Short bursts of activity should raise your heart rate.
Is HIIT training right for you?
Given the variety of workouts you can adjust to the high + low-intensity repetition training, HIIT is a great way to start your fitness journey by doing the exercises you like. HIIT can be adjusted to any activity, fitness level, age, or body shape. You can avoid paying excessive amounts to get the best workout results. You can easily keep working out in your home gym with the equipment that you like to exercise with.
Therefore, if you implement HIIT into your workout routine, you can say goodbye to your sports equipment if you decide to move. You can relocate it with ease to your new home since you will change the intensity dynamic of the workout but not the activity itself. So, you do not have to sell your trusty old treadmill before the move. Just make sure you pack and transport sports equipment, so it does not get damaged in the process.
HIIT is great for people with health problems
Even more importantly, the HIIT workout principle is extraordinary for people who are not in shape or have certain health problems. So, people who are prone to injury or suffer from a heart condition may be risking their health by forcing their bodies to keep up with a consistently high-intensity workout routine. Jumping into sustained vigorous exercising can be quite dangerous for your health and constitution, especially if you are not used to or prepared for such physical strain.
HIIT can be as challenging as you want it to be
However, HIIT training can be as difficult as you want it to be. So, by increasing the weight or resistance of your equipment, you can have an immensely effective workout routine even if you have been exercising for years.
A single HIIT session can burn A LOT of calories
If your goal is to shave off those few extra pounds, HIIT is a great way to do it. So, whether your primary workout routine is weight lifting, jogging, or cycling, HIIT will burn up to 30% more calories compared to moderate-intensity exercise. Or the other way around – HIIT allows you to burn the same amount of calories in a shorter period.
Switching between high and low-tempo running is a great way to modify your jog.
Another benefit of HIIT training involves higher metabolic activity after the workout session. You do not only burn calories while training but also after the workout. Higher metabolic rates let you easily digest food hours after exercise, contributing to more efficient energy consumption and digestion after the training.
We hope you have found this article informative about what HIIT training is and if it is right for you. All you need to do is stay strong and keep up the pace, and you will reap the HIIT benefits in no time!