After this, you’ll be singing, “HIIT me, baby, one more time!”
All jokes aside, HIIT workouts are genuinely excellent. So, what is HIIT? HIIT, or high intensity interval training workouts, refers to short bursts of intense effort coupled with periods of complete rest.
If you like to run, you could sprint for a minute and then walk or sit for two minutes. If you repeat this circuit five times, you’ll have a 15-minute workout that will exhaust you.
HIIT exercises are also incredibly versatile. Running can become jumping squats, burpees, or anything else that requires explosive actions. Still, HIIT gets even better. Here are some other unexpected benefits.
1. HIIT Workouts Promote Weight Losses and Muscle Gains
Diet is 80% of getting your ideal body. However, diets also commonly lead to muscle losses as your body burns both to stay alive. Cardio also naturally leads to muscle loss as your body reshapes and lightens itself to move continuously over long distances.
HIIT, on the other hand, encourages gains because it focuses on building explosive power. So, we encourage HIIT while you’re trying to cut.
2. HIIT Burns More Fat
A lot of people don’t know that a workout’s effectiveness often isn’t determined by how much you sweat during the workout. Instead, your weight loss is determined by how your body reacts after the workout.
By and large, HIIT exercises create a better lasting effect in your body than running or other forms of steady-state cardio. Because HIIT workouts burn many calories in a short amount of time, your body goes into repair mode, burning significant calories and fat steadily over 24 hours.
3. HIIT Increases Your Metabolism
One of the benefits of HIIT is that it stimulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH).
We think that this is incredible. HGH is the hormone your body produces to kick your energy production into overdrive (think puberty without the acne). HGH increases your metabolism to help your body recover from the workout you just did.
While most workouts can help stimulate HGH production if they’re intense enough, no training stimulates HGH as a HIIT workout does.
4. HIIT Is Great for Your Heart
Even though HIIT promotes short bursts of energy, it trains your heart as well as any cardio routine.
Steady-state cardio and HIIT are both often a form of anaerobic exercise. Think of the times you could hear your heart after a run, or you struggle to breathe after running stairs.
However, HIIT takes anaerobic exercise to a whole new level. The short bursts of 100% effort these workouts encourage shock your system into realizing that it needs to up its blood pumping game.
This study shows that you can double your anaerobic output (a sign of better heart health) in just eight weeks.
5. HIIT Doesn’t Require Equipment
So long as an exercise is explosive or plyometric, then you’re good to go.
Surprisingly, weights can also make HIIT less effective. High intensity interval training is all about ushing your heart, so exercising only your biceps won’t be net you the results we’ve been describing.
6. HIIT Trains Your Body to Use Oxygen Better
Your body’s oxygen consumption refers to the ability your muscles have to use oxygen effectively. Consequently, the better your muscles are at consuming oxygen, the healthier you will be.
Steady-state cardio is the most commonly accepted way to improve oxygen consumption. While steady-state cardio is good at this, HIIT yields better results in a shorter amount of time.
One study compared the gains of a group who performed HIIT workouts for 20 minutes per day four days a week to a group who performed traditional cardio 40 minutes a day four days a week.
Both groups experienced a 9% increase in their oxygen consumption. This means that HIIT gives the same benefits in half the time.
7. HIIT Is Efficient
Many people we hear from are having trouble fitting a workout into their busy schedule. Often, people who want to up their workout game only have 20-30 minutes to spare. Because they can do a full HIIT workout in as little as 15 minutes, busy people should look into intervals as a great way to train.
Busy people might even be better off doing HIIT than they would be setting aside an hour to jog after work. 15-minutes of HIIT exercise is proven to be better than an hour on a treadmill. Research from the American College of Sports Medicine shows that two weeks of HIIT exercise can net the same results as six to eight weeks of steady-state cardio.
You can even shrink your workout further with a “Tabata” workout that alternates between 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest repeated 8-10 times. That’s a 3-5 minute workout!
8. HIIT Doesn’t Require a Gym Membership
It doesn’t matter if you can afford a gym or not; you can take HIIT anywhere. (Honestly, HIIT might be better outside of a gym—fresh air and all that.)
When you’re doing HIIT, literally all that matters is that your heart is pumping. You can run, you can row, you can leap through the air with joy because HIIT training is nearly infinitely flexible.
HIIT also doesn’t care about standards. People get intimidated by the gym, feeling like they have to lift heavy to fit in. With HIIT, everyone’s max is their max. Whatever that limit is, you’re okay because you’ve done your best.
9. HIIT Exercises Are Challenging to Anyone
From the newbie to the seasoned muscle maniac, HIIT hits the same.
Because HIIT relies on your physical limitations, everyone can push themselves at the perfect rate. No waiting for the weight you want or for the bench press bar to open up.
This method gives gym rats a new challenge and newcomers an easy way to turbo-charge their fitness journey.
HIIT Us Up
Terrible joke, great message! At Alloy Personal Training, we’re well versed in HIIT and its many benefits. For many people, the most challenging part of interval training is consistency and motivation.
Many people need a personal trainer to help them stay motivated.
If you’re in the Roswell, GA, or the Summerfield, NC areas, come visit us to talk about HIIT. Our passion is helping you.