Whilst we all know it is important to stay active, some of us don’t have the time or patience for a regular gym session.
Sometimes, a demanding work-life or home life leave us with little or no time to exercise.
If this sounds like you, you should learn about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
But what is HIIT?
HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
For example, it could be sprinting on a treadmill, pushing as fast as you can for 30 seconds followed by a light jog for 30 seconds.
HIIT sessions usually last between 10-30 minutes, so they are ideal for people who are short for time.
Are HIIT workouts effective against burning fat? Does HIIT help burn belly fat?
It is believed HIIT provides better results than a normal cardio session, in a shorter time, as well as some unique health benefits.
The ultimate question is, is it worth doing HIIT over a steady cardio session?
To burn fat you need to get your heart rate up, the most effective way to do this is through HIIT. However, you can still burn fat through a normal cardio session.
It is all dependant on what you prefer and how much time you have to dedicate to exercise.
High-intensity workouts are so effective due to the fact they keep your body guessing. You never get used to training at one specific speed.
HIIT workouts are perfect for building stamina and endurance.
You may gain some muscle when doing HIIT but the main focus of a high-intensity workout is for the effective weight loss, let’s not forget about the time saved too.
Over time, you will be able to extend your HIIT sessions which will help improve your overall health as well as burn more calories.
What are the benefits of a HIIT session?
Benefits of HIIT
High-intensity interval training helps to build endurance. HIIT adapts the cellular structure of the muscles to enable the rise in endurance.
The longer you can exercise, the better. If you start off with a 10 minute HIIT session you will soon be able to double that and reap in the benefits.
Studies show that a 15 minute HIIT session burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for 1 hour. HIIT is ideal for burning more calories in a shorter time frame.
It teaches your body to learn how to effectively use the energy your body produces, this is from alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity periods.
It is believed that high-intensity training boosts your metabolism. Due to your oxygen consumption being higher, your metabolism increases meaning you burn calories at a faster rate.
Even when you have finished your workout, your body goes into hyperdrive, meaning you burn calories even whilst resting. This is not always the case with steady-paced cardio.
HIIT is perfect for losing weight and burning fat whilst preserving muscle.
Improve your heart and cardiovascular system with HIIT and keep your blood flowing efficiently.
What Does HIIT Consist of?
There are 5 main variables to a good HIIT session. These are work duration, rest duration, work intensity, recovery intensity and volume.
Work duration – If you want to build power then shorter but harder intervals are better for this. If you are looking to build endurance then longer and more builds are important.
Rest duration – Rest is essential when it comes to HIIT, but less rest will promote fat loss and power, whereas more rest build cardio endurance.
Work intensity – Understand and learn your target heart rate, stay consistent and keep your effort levels constant across every interval.
Recovery intensity – After your HIIT session, it is important to consider a cool down, like a slow pedal to flush away lactate.
Volume – Concentrate on your reps, constant effort is better than more reps with less effort. Over time, you will be able to do more reps with constant effort.
Where Can You do a HIIT Session?
High-intensity interval training can be done anywhere.
No equipment is needed.
If you do have access to a gym then you can do a HIIT session on any cardio machine and incorporate weights.
There are no excuses when it comes to getting in a short HIIT session, stay focused. If you really want to reach your goal then you can.
HIIT for the Win
HIIT sessions are ideal for burning fat, but it is important to remember to control what you eat.
Nutritious meals will also help towards losing weight and help to build muscle.
Remember to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest, after all, you will still be burning calories whilst resting anyway.
Staying focused on your goal and being consistent with HIIT will definitely get you towards your goal.
Remember to incorporate some weights into your training or try weight HIIT sessions with kettlebells. If you’re looking for a bodyweight only HIIT workout, check out this HIIT workout from The Fitnessista.
Burning fat is just the beginning, so add some weights to help build muscle. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest.