Benefits of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
As trainers, we get asked all the time: What do I do to lose weight? Our number one recommendation will also be to modify your diet and focus on proper nutrition but a form of exercise called HIIT is also at the top of our list. HIIT is a broad term for workouts that involve short periods of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. Typically, a HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration. The actual activity being performed varies but can include sprinting, biking, jump rope or other body weight exercises.
Despite how short the workout is, HIIT can produce health benefits similar to twice as much moderate-intensity exercise (i.e. elliptical for 30-60 minutes). You can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, which is great if you have limited availability to workout. Studies show that 15 minutes of high intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour. One of the ways HIIT helps you burn calories actually comes after you are done exercising. Due to the intensity of the workout, HIIT can elevate your metabolism for hours after exercise. Your body’s repair cycle goes into hyper drive so even 24 hours after a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories and fat whereas in steady-pace workouts, you may not be. Moreover, HIIT will allow you to lose fat and not muscle. Whereas steady state cardio is often associated with losing muscle mass, HIIT workouts combine weight training effectively allowing you to preserve muscle gains while dropping pounds.
I often incorporate HIIT into a client’s session or make a recommendation for a HIIT workout they can easily do on their own. Here are some simple ideas
Using a stationary bike, pedal as hard and fast as possible for 30 seconds. Then, pedal at a slow, easy pace for two minutes. Repeat this pattern for 15 to 30 minutes.
After a 3-5 minute warm up, sprint (or even jog) as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Then, walk or jog at a slow pace for one to two minutes. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.
Perform 10 pushups followed by 10 squats then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 5 rounds (or as many as you would like)
1 minute of light jump rope, 30 seconds of Mt. climbers, 30 seconds of Burpees. Repeat for rounds or time