The Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
We’ve been talking a lot lately about HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – and for good reason: HIIT workouts are a convenient, flexible and effective option for building up your cardiovascular strength while burning major calories.
They can be performed almost anywhere and require little to no equipment. HIIT is the perfect cardio workout for anyone who is bored with their traditional treadmill workout, who is busy and wants to get in and out of the gym quickly, or who just wants to ramp up the intensity of their cardio routine. If you’ve been wondering what exactly makes HIIT training so effective, you’ve come to the right place!
Why is HIIT the best workout?
High Intensity Interval Training boasts a slew of benefits from fat-burning potential to weight loss, boosted metabolism, heart and lung health, and more. But the most important thing to remember and what you need in order to reap all of these benefits, is that HIIT is about giving 100% effort.
You must truly push your body to it’s limits in order for your HIIT workouts to be effective. So, if you’re looking to get in shape, get leaner and improve health outcomes, all in a shorter amount of time than it takes to complete most steady-state cardio, then HIIT could be a great option for you.
HIIT is good for losing weight
First and foremost, HIIT workouts are all about burning fat. You’ve most likely already heard about their fat-burning potential, and luckily there is research to back it up! So, is high intensity interval training good for weight loss?
This study found that High Intensity Interval Training actually caused the body’s metabolism to use fat instead of carbs as an energy source- and not just during your workout but also in the 24-48 hours post-training, commonly known as the afterburn effect. Discover the best hiit workout for fat loss and start tracking your progress.
HIIT is safe for the heart
HIIT has also been shown to improve various health outcomes, including heart and lung health. Studies have revealed that HIIT can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, while improving your cardiovascular system’s VO2 max or the rate at which you consume oxygen during exercise.
HIIT Burns Calories
All that intensity translates to more calories burned over the course of your workout – especially when compared to steady-state cardio. In fact, just 10 minutes of HIIT torches more calories than a whole half hour on a treadmill.
This study found that HIIT burned an astounding 25-30% more calories than weight training, running or biking over the course of a 30 minute workout. And the benefits don’t end when your workout does, either- you’ll continue burning calories post-workout as well.
HIIT Increases Metabolism
Piggybacking on that last note, HIIT raises your metabolic rate for hours after the exercise has been completed. An elevated metabolism means you burn more calories while simply at rest.
Another study showed that in just two minutes of HIIT sprints, metabolism increased over 24 hours as much as 30 minutes of steady-state jogging!
HIIT Maintains Muscle Mass
Here’s the thing: HIIT shouldn’t be your go-to form of exercise if you’re looking to gain muscle or get stronger. It just doesn’t offer the muscle-building abilities that regular strength training does.
But it’s not all bad news! HIIT can definitely help maintain and preserve muscle mass while also fostering weight loss. Plus, you can include HIIT into your training regimen along with strength and resistance training in order to both lose weight and attempt to build muscle.
HIIT Requires Zero Equipment
Finally, one of the major benefits of HIIT workouts is that you can put your body through a phenomenally hard workout with zero equipment whatsoever. No gym membership, track, or even weights are necessary, as you can put together a great HIIT routine with bodyweight exercises only.
This, combined with the fact that you really only need 20-30 minutes to get in a great workout, and HIIT becomes an excellent choice for those of us who are short on time, space or resources.