High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.
It sounds too simple to be effective, but science doesn’t stretch the truth. Read on for five proven benefits of HIIT.
1. Helps build endurance
High intensity training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any type of exercise. “Journal of Physiology,” posted a study where people participated in HIIT for eight weeks and the results showed that they had doubled the length of time they could ride a bicycle while keeping the same pace.
2. Burn calories and fat hours after you leave the gym
When participating in such high intensity workouts your body’s repair cycle goes into hyper drive. This means in 24 hours after a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories and fat whereas in steady-pace workouts, you may not.
3. No equipment necessary
HIIT workouts are extremely cost efficient because you need zero equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilize your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometrics, high knees and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. In fact, weights can actually make sometimes make the workout less effective because your main focus in HIIT is getting your heart rate up rather than toning a particular muscle group.
4. Lose fat and not muscle
Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle. HIIT workouts, however, combine weight training (the weight being your body) and effectively allows dieters to preserve their muscle gain while still shedding weight.
5. You’ll Increase Your Metabolism
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!