What is HIIT and Why is It So Effective?
HIIT the most effective way to get an AWESOME workout!
HIIT is an acronym for high intensity interval training. This style of exercise has taken the fitness industry by storm over the past decade. HIIT is a way to get a quick workout, no more than 45 minutes with high intensity to get the best out of it and finish drenched in sweat and fatigue. It is the most effective way to build cardio and strength at the same time, instead of working out cardio one day and then strength the others.
In the past, most fitness professionals believed that long sessions of steady state cardio were the secret to fat loss (it worked). Therefore, they asked people to run or jog for 45 minutes to an hour outside or on the treadmill. The prevailing idea was that more is better.
However, after excessive research and testing, scientists discovered that short, intense sessions of training yielded far better results than longer training sessions since your entire body is moving and working hard for a short period of time with minimal to no rest at all.
If you stopped to think about it, you’d realize that no animal in the wild runs continuously for an hour. It’s always short and extremely fast bursts, followed by rest. The lion that chases its prey explodes into action for less than a minute. If it can’t catch the prey, it stops.
The same applies to any other predator. Man is the only animal that runs marathons and subjects himself to long sessions of cardio and later wonders why his joints are giving out.
You’re probably wondering, What makes HIIT so effective?
The answer is EPOC. Oh great! Another acronym. EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
What this means is that when you engage in a HIIT session, your body experiences an oxygen deficit. It’s similar to taking a huge loan from the bank. It’s going to take you a long time to repay that loan.
In the same vein, when you are panting and gasping for air while engaged in a HIIT session, your body will be in fat burning mode for hours after your workout is over, no matter if you sleep after or stay active. It’s repaying the oxygen deficit.
Here’s what most people don’t understand:
You don’t burn as many calories DURING a HIIT workout session as you would if you were to jog for 45 minutes.
For example, if you jogged for 45 minutes, you may burn anywhere from 370 to 450 calories, depending on your weight and age. The same person who does a HIIT session may burn only 180 calories within the 15 minutes of training.
However, since his body is in calorie burning mode for 12 to 16 hours after the workout is over, so at the end of the day, he will burn far more than 450 calories overall, even if the workout has been done for hours!
This is what makes HIIT so powerful. It is a fast intensity workout that will leave your entire body burning fat even after you are completely done! Isn’t that amazing?! I think YES!
The fat burning benefits of jogging and steady state cardio only last during the workout session and quickly taper off after even if you stay active.
With HIIT workouts, you’re a fat burning machine round the clock. This is the reason why people who do HIIT workouts see much faster results when loosing weight or even gaining muscle mass.
The Benefits of HIIT Workouts
The HIIT workout system improves your stamina greatly. You’d think that the long cardio sessions would do a better job of this, but nope…HIIT sessions forces your body into a state of discomfort.
You’re constantly operating at your VO2 max. This will greatly improve your endurance.
When doing a HIIT workout, you are doing high repetitions, high intensity, low rests, and lower weight that usual. So when your body is going through a 30 minute session with no rest and high intensity workout, your whole cardio (endurance) will build up so much faster and you will be able to run for much longer, since your stamina will be far greater than before.
Helps build lean muscle
While HIIT will not make you gain as much muscle as weight training, that is focused on hypertrophy, it does help to build lean muscle because of the full body workouts. So, you can burn fat and build some lean muscle.
Earlier I mentioned that HIIT workout can get some muscle mass. This is what I am talking about; learn muscle mass. Unless you want to be a bodybuilder and want to become bulky. HIIT workouts are a great way to gain lean muscle mass without gaining too much weight or looking much bigger than before.
Taps into stubborn fat stores
HIIT workouts will force the body to burn the stubborn belly fat that it loves clinging onto. The body has no choice but to burn fuel because of its energy needs, and HIIT sessions demands a lot of energy!
Fat is stored as energy sources throughout your body but when working out or when first losing weight, you will notice the same spot losing weight first. That is the recent fat stored. Then when you get into working out with HIIT sessions, it will exhaust that area first and when no more fat is available, it will go and look for energy in stubborn areas of stored fat.
This is when you will loose weight in your entire body, since it will be digging for more energy to burn and that is found in fat.
To conclude, HIIT workouts are NOT an easy style of training. It is hard, tiring and most people will dread it. That’s the way it is. You’re going to be in the pain box for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on how long the session is.
However, once you’re done, your body will be burning fat for hours after that. You’ll end up losing more fat, start looking leaner and feeling much better. HIIT is definitely something you should include in your training regimen.
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