What is High Intensity Interval Training?
Otherwise known as HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training is a form of working out that consists of short bursts of intense activity, with even shorter rest periods in between. For example, 60 seconds of burpees followed by 60 seconds of jump squats, with a minute rest period, would be one set during a HIIT workout. This style of HIIT workout is in a 2:1 ratio, and is the most popular approach when creating a HIIT workout. Most HIIT sessions range from 10 minutes, to 30 minutes. The majority HIIT workouts won’t last longer than 30 minutes because. Since a HIIT workout is a short period of time, and mainly only uses your body as weights, they’re great additions to a workout routine because you can customize them to your athletic ability.
So, what does a HIIT workout do differently than a regular cardio session or lifting weights?
When we first begin working out, our body goes into the first sources of energy it can find. This is typically coming from the food we’ve eaten and are digesting. After a while the body will tap into its secondary energy stores, fat. That’s why you hear it takes so many minutes of running to start burning fat. After an extended period of exercising, your body will start to break down muscle tissue to use as energy. It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that to lose weight, you’d rather burn the fat, than burn the muscle.
During a high intensity workout, your body burns the fat stores and doesn’t burn muscle tissue.
Additionally, the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is increased more than it would be with any other workout form. What is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption? For any function the body makes, it needs oxygen. Oxygen is vital to our blood cells and all bodily functions. When you exercise, your body heats up and it requires more oxygen than when at rest. EPOC is similar to how a car cools down after being in use. While in use, the engine heats up. After being shut down, the engine is still hot and cools down slowly over the course of time. If you think of your muscles like the engine of a car, EPOC is the slow, gradual cool down. When we do a high intensity workout, the effects of EPOC stay with us long after the workout. Essentially, the car, our body, heats up much quicker, to a higher temperature so it’ll take longer to get down to our normal resting temperature.
Why should I incorporate HIIT into my workout routines?
Personally, my workouts tend to be short, sweet and to the point. So to know that I’m getting the best possible workout for the most minimal amount of time, is a key selling factor for me when looking for a workout. As opposed to an hour on the treadmill, time at the gym lifting tons of weights or figuring out how to use the equipment, a HIIT workout is simple. It’s typically a maximum of 30 minutes, requires little to no equipment, and you can do it virtually anywhere. I wouldn’t recommend doing it at work, but you can do a HIIT workout at home, at the gym, or outside. These workouts use your body weight and due to the intense movements, cardio is added in as well. Therefore you get strength training as well as cardio, all wrapped up in less than 30 minutes.
High Intensity Interval Training is one of the best ways to workout. The effects last long after the workout is over, it takes less time than a trip to the gym, and you can customize it to your level of ability. A HIIT workout is a great way to burn fat, and build muscle. Try incorporating a HIIT workout into your routine!
By: Quinn Donahue