In the the last couple of weeks you’ve frequently heard bits and pieces about HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training. Now in this lesson and the next you’ll find out why HIIT is so beneficial… plus how you can start using it ASAP to get great results.
Now before we get into the benefits of high intensity interval training, let me describe briefly what it entails (we’ll go into more detail on this later). Basically, this is where you do a series of 6-12 intervals where you alternate between near 100% output and about 50% output. The type of exercise you do, how intense it is, and the length of each interval is largely determined by your fitness level.
For example: You do some light cardio for five minutes to warm up. Then you do a series of intervals, where you sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then jog for 10-15 seconds, then sprint again… and so on.
Benefits of HIIT
High intensity interval training has a lot of health and fat-burning benefits, especially when you compare it to regular (steady-state cardio). Just look at the benefits…
You don’t have a lot of time. You simply can’t spend hours peddling a bike or jogging on the treadmill. And that’s ok, because you don’t need a lot of time to do high intensity interval training. Most sessions – which include the warm up and cool down period – take no more than 15 to 20 minutes.
HIIT Burns Calories All Day Long
When you do steady-state cardio, you start tapping into your fat stores after about 20 minutes. And you’re burning calories for the duration of the exercise. In addition, your metabolism may be elevated for the next hour or two.
What’s different about high intensity interval training is that you not only burn calories for the duration of the exercise, your metabolism is elevated for the rest of the day. That means that you’ll burn more calories doing a shorter amount of HIIT than you will doing a regular cardio session.
It’s a Good Cardio Workout
Many people do steady state cardio and find it fairly easy, especially if they’re doing a low-intensity version. This sort of low-intensity workout does burn calories (though not as many as a higher intensity workout). And low-intensity cardio is good for your heart, but not as good as a high intensity workout.
Now take a look at HIIT. You can compress the heart-healthy cardio benefits into just a fraction of the time it takes you to do steady state cardio. Indeed, research suggests that 10.5 hours of long-distance training is about the equivalent of 2.5 hours of high intensity interval training!
You Won’t Get Bored
You ever notice that treadmills, elliptical and other machines typically used for steady-state cardio are always faced towards the TV in the gym? Plus, many of them have book holders. The reason is simple: People get bored doing steady state cardio.
Now enter HIIT. It’s so challenging and so fast-paced that you won’t get bored. And you, well I feel like a beast after I’m done. No doubt you’ll be exhausted… but you certainly won’t be bored!
Now you’ve seen all the benefits. The next step is to make sure you’re healthy enough to do HIIT. If you have any questions or doubts, please talk to your doctor. Then keep an eye out for the next post, because that’s where you’ll learn the proper way to do HIIT!
Til next time,