High-intensity interval training
Class Type: Course
(Suitable for all levels)
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. HIIT is an exercise method in which you switch back and forth between short intervals of high intensity exercise, followed by short rest or recovery periods.
Benefits of HIIT
The benefits of HIIT training are several-fold. Probably one of the biggest benefits is that HIIT usually lasts only 30 minutes. This enables just about anyone to be able to get in a great workout regardless of their busy schedules. After all, we can all wake up 30 minutes earlier to get in a workout.
The best thing is that this short 30 minute workout will probably be one of the toughest you will ever do. By working at close to your maximal heart rate, you will be burning the most calories, and causing the most physiological changes to your body that will be beneficial to fat loss.
You will continue to burn fat for 24 hours!
Not only will you burn fat during your workout, but you will continue to burn fat throughout the rest of the day through EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC is the measurable increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s oxygen debt.
In order to erase the body’s oxygen debt, fatty acids are released and used as fuel for recovery. This all happens in the time after a workout is complete. You will not receive this great benefit simply doing low intensity exercise. You need to be working out in your anaerobic zone at maximal heart rates to really see that added fat loss effect.
This EPOC has been shown to last for over 24 hours. While this is a great benefit, it also means you need to be allowing yourself plenty of recovery time between workouts – at least 48 hours.
Why does HIIT Training work?
To sum up why HIIT works so well:
- HIIT lasts 30 minutes or less – resulting in a short workout time nearly anyone can integrate into their lifestyle.
- HIIT can increase VO2 max for both high intensity and endurance athletes. VO2 max is the max amount of oxygen a person can use and transport during exercise. You want this number to be high because it enables us to use more fat as fuel instead of glucose. Since our fat stores tend to be much higher than glycogen stores, it is preferential to be able to get the highest percentage of fuel from fat during exercise. While sprinting uses a high amount of glycogen because it is such high intensity, the rate at which you change from fat burning to sugar burning is higher in individuals with a higher VO2 max.
- HIIT increases EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) resulting in an elevated fat loss state for up to 24 hours after you finish your workout – something you won’t get from lower intensity exercise.
- HIIT trains the body to effectively remove metabolic waste from the muscles between intervals. By quickly removing lactate and other byproducts resulting from high intensity exercise, you enable the body to be primed and ready for another bout of high intensity exercise with less rest.
- HIIT is one of several ways to boost both testosterone and growth hormone levels. Since these hormones are highly responsible for muscle gain and fat loss, you should be doing all you can to keep levels high.
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