If you want to get fit, healthy and stronger in no time at all then high-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise is the way to go. The reality is that fat loss and fitness don’t need to take up hours upon hours of your week. Getting in shape in a short period of time is possible if you’re willing to put in the effort required.
High-intensity interval training is an effective and efficient form of exercise that only takes 20-30 minutes at a time. Compare this to 75 minutes at the gym or an hour on the treadmill and you can already see one of the main advantages. The reduced amount of time makes it perfect for those with a busy schedule due to work, family or other priorities.
The workouts consist of short bursts of various exercises. You may only do one exercise for 30 seconds but for that 30 seconds you need to go as hard as you can. These vigorous exercises are followed by low intensity periods to allow you to catch your breath and recover before the next burst.
As the working periods are so tough you actually burn as many (and sometimes more) calories than you would doing steady state cardio on a treadmill. Your metabolism receives such a burst that you’ll enter into something called ‘the afterburn effect’ once your session has finished. This means that you’re still burning lots of calories even though you’ve stopped exercising. Cardio alone doesn’t offer this benefit. With cardio you burn more calories while you’re doing it whereas with HIIT you burn more after doing it. That’s why you need to do such long cardio sessions to burn a significant amount of calories which can really affect time management.
Though, high-intensity intermittent exercise is not just for losing fat. It’s been proved time and time again to rapidly increase muscle mass. Ladies, please do not be afraid of HIIT or heavy weights – you’re not going to get bulky because the levels of testosterone in your body compared to a man are drastically lower. However, intense training can help women build lean muscle and gain strength. Muscle burns more calories than fat which means that even when you’re resting if you have more muscle then you’ll be burning more calories. Building muscle is one of the best ways to lose fat simply for this reason. It allows you to eat more at meal times as well as lose more from your waist line.
In addition to being one of the quickest ways to improve fitness level, high-intensity interval training also have amazing cardiovascular and metabolic effects on your body, making you healthier and feel better than ever before.
Have you tried or have any experience with high-intensity interval training? Please share in the comment section below.