What is HIIT?
HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training, is a method of training where one would give a short burst of max effort, followed by an active recovery period. The set would then be repeated a couple of times.
A common example would be sprinting at about 80% effort for 1-2 minutes, rest and repeat.
Most people have turned to hiit workouts for weight loss simply because it’s scientifically proven to burn more fat in a lesser amount of time, as opposed to traditional steady state cardio.
What most people don’t realize is that this method of training have been around since forever and is especially practiced by fitness professionals and athletes. Just take a look at sprinters. Notice how ripped and dense their bodies are?
Hiit benefits both athletes and everyone alike due to the many stimulation found in a workout.
Burns More Fat for You
Just this first benefit will get you sold on the idea of incorporating a hiit routine into your regime:
Traditional steady state cardio burns calories for you only during the workout. High intensity training on the other hand, burns calories and fat up till 38 hours, even after your workout is done!
Takes Lesser Time
It is a total myth that you need to run for hours before your body starts burning down fat. If only you knew from the start that you could burn more fat within a fraction of time, you wouldn’t be spending hours doing cardio – ever!
You would definitely spend all week getting in hiit workouts for weight loss. This phenomenon of burning fat faster is due to the intensive nature of any hiit routine. Your fitness results is based on how hard you work rather than how long you work
No Equipment Needed
Incorporating weights into your hiit workout plan can be great, but you can achieve the same results even when training without them.
The point of a hiit routine is to push your heart rate to it’s max to create an after-burn effect known as EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This is a process where your body continues to burn calories after the workout, in order to replenish your oxygen levels after a hard training session.
The best of all hiit benefits is having the luxury to workout wherever you want to:
Because you don’t need any equipment, High Intensity Interval Training can be done practically anywhere. Busy? Can’t make it to the gym? A 20 minute hiit routine at home will do the trick.
Increases Your Metabolism
Your body at any given moment, is in a process of burning calories for you 24 hours around the clock. This refers to your metabolism.
When you turn to hiit workouts for weight loss, your metabolism gets a boost help you burn even more calories.
You’ll Build More Muscle
If the only thing you do is long cardio sessions without any form of muscle hypertrophy, you’re just going to end up looking skinny and flimsy…which doesn’t make you look any better at all or become fitter.
High intensity training engages more muscle fibers and have been proven to build even more lean muscle while you shed fat away.
More importantly, a pound of muscle burns more calories at rest than a pound of fat. This is due to the “body’s effort” at maintaining the muscles. Therefore, a good weight loss program should not just focus on cardio and fat loss. Grab yourself a decent pair of dumbbells and pump those muscles away!
Improves Cardiac Health
Did you know that hiit benefits your cardiac health too?
Intensive workouts will increase your VO2 max and according to Science News, this will translate to better cardiac health and even prevent major diseases such as type II diabetes and heart problems.
HIIT Can be Challenging
Most people would hit a plateau after doing the same exercises at the same level of intensity week after week. Fitness professionals know that you need to change it up every once in awhile to trigger the body into a new level of intensity for greater gainzzz!! Any hiit routine will challenge you out of your wits.
Interval training is a good measure of how quickly you recover in between sets:
If you train with a hiit workout plan regularly, you will notice how quickly you start to recover in between sets and adjust your workout to further challenge your now-improved endurance.
There is no single way to carry out a hiit routine. In fact, the possibilities of putting together different hiit exercises are infinite. There are literally thousands of interval training routines that you can find online and follow through.
Does this mean that you should completely disregard traditional cardio?
So, of course here comes the all-time great debate; Which is better? Both traditional cardio and hiit workouts for weight loss, has their own unique benefits. Though, we won’t deny that a hiit workout plan is definitely more efficient for fat-burning protocols.
Here’s a look at some major differences between these 2 schools of training method:
Steady State Cardio Only Burns Calories During the Workout
We highlighted earlier that hiit training creates an after burn effect that makes your body continue to burn fat – even after your workout session. Steady state cardio unfortunately doesn’t. The moment your workout ends, your body won’t be burning anymore significant amount of calories.
Technically, if you intend to put yourself at a deficit of 500 calories for a specific day by doing cardio, you’re better off saving your energy and simply eating 500 calories less of food. Makes sense?
Aerobic vs Anaerobic
High intensity training is anaerobic and slow cardio is aerobic:
Aerobic refers to exercises that is intended to improve the efficiency of the body’s cardiovascular system. Aerobic depends on the absorbing and transporting of oxygen while performing the exercise. Apart from weight loss, aerobic exercises helps in improving your cardiac health and fitness endurance.
On the other hand, to train anaerobically is to train without oxygen. Instead, the intense work of anaerobic exercises will result in the creation of EPOC, also known as an after burn effect of calories post workout. This is actually a process for the body to make up for oxygen deficit during the workout.
Do both. By having both a cardio and hiit workout plan, you reap off all the benefits from these 2 types of training for a better overall health and fitness.
Most coaches found that their athletes whom thrive in anaerobic performance but neglect cardiovascular training, would put on a great performance in sports but burn out quickly. This is where traditional cardio must be worked on more.
While there are a ton of hiit benefits, it can also be taxing on the body and too much of it would result in overtraining. The solution to this is to have some days of slow cardiovascular workouts for the body to recover.
For starters, here’s a super quick and effective hiit workout plan by the Dailyburn. This workout makes a great illustration that getting in shape doesn’t have to take long hours and can be pretty fun too!
P90X3: Get Shredded in 30 Minutes
One of the best hiit workouts for weight loss in our books, is the P90X3:
Created by the internationally-known fitness trainer, Tony Horton, the P90X3 is designed to get you in shape just by working out 30 minutes a day. You would probably be familiar with the P90X program and its huge success.
Well, the P90X3 is similarly created by Tony and it promises to give its users even better results. Similar to a hiit workout plan, the program incorporates lots of interesting exercises and will take your breath away – literally and also at the sight of your physique by the end of it.
Over the recent years, circuit training workouts such as Crossfit and Tabata, have been increasingly popular among the fitness community. Workouts like these allows you to train according to your own terms, make every session an interesting one and accelerate your fitness goals.
To get started with a hiit workout plan, simply list down a few different exercises, execute them in a circuit-fashion and you’re set to get in a grueling yet fulfilling workout!
Hiit training can benefit everyone. If it have helped fitness professionals, it can definitely do the same for you. If you are a beginner, be sure to start off with a less challenging routine. Start with fewer sets, have longer rest periods in between and work your way up as you get fitter.
If you’re down for an exciting and challenging workout, it’s about time you reap off all hiit benefits!
Tags: hiit benefits, hiit routine, hiit workout plan, hiit workouts for weight loss