It’s often said that nothing worth doing is easy, and that couldn’t be truer for High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. One of the most popular styles of exercising in recent years, HIIT workouts are a highly effective way to work out and see results. We break down the main benefits of HIIT and how you can see results from doing in regularly.
Nothing Worth Doing Is Easy, but It Is Easy to Burn More Calories Doing HIIT
Due to how hard you’re pushing your body during HIIT, you’ll be burning a lot of calories. So many, in fact, that you will continue to burn calories after your workout.
This is due to how the body reacts to depleting your energy reserves after a workout by running your metabolism (i.e. how you get energy) for longer. Thus, your body will be repairing more muscle tissue after a workout (a good thing) as your body attempts to give you more energy to continue to function from your energy reserves.
You’ll Burn Fat During and After the Workout
As we mentioned above, you burn a lot of energy during a workout, but your body still needs more energy to continue to function so where does it pull it from? Answer: the fat cells in your body. In order to get your body back to your regular resting state, it uses the energy you have in your fat cells to get back to normal.
Or, in other words, you burn more fat, even after your workout is over.
You’ll Grow More Muscle
The “high intensity” part of HIIT is there for a reason. You will be pushing your muscles to their limits. Nothing worth doing is easy, after all.
In particular, HIIT puts a significant amount of metabolic stress on your muscle tissue. In response to this, your body produces several hormones and chemicals to repair them. Namely, both human growth hormone (HGH), testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor-1. All of these contribute to increased muscle volume and definition.
How to Maximize Your Benefits
Of course, for HIIT to be most effective, it’s important to be able to gauge what intensity actually means for each person since everyone is different.
With respect to HIIT a scale is used to measure exertion, where 1 is low intensity and 10 is the highest intensity you can tolerate. To reap the most gains from HIIT, you should exercise at the level of an eight or higher for exertion for periods lasting 30 seconds or less (or to the point of breathlessness).
Recovery in-between sets is especially important for HIIT. These intervals should be as long or slightly longer than the period you were working out (or until breathing is quick, but under control). An effective workout should have a roughly five to seven-minute warm-up period to get your heart rate going, a minimum of five high-intensity interval training exercises and a roughly four to six-minute cool-down period to help start the recovery process.
Don’t neglect the cool-down period as that is crucial to help your body after coming down from the strain it was under. Jolting it back in normal operation will shock your system making you take longer to recover.
HIIT is one of the most efficient ways to work out, especially for people who consistently have busy schedules. Many routines can be done in around half an hour, making them the perfect choice for people on the go who still want to get fit. Despite its effectiveness, you should only be doing it two to three times a week max with at least a forty-eight-hour break between sessions. This ensures your body has enough time to properly recover and build muscle properly.