HIIT. You’ve heard about it, maybe you’ve even tried it, but do you know exactly what it is?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of anaerobic exercise that alternates between short, intense bouts of exercise and a less intense recovery period. It’s popularity is starting to grow in the fitness world however when I walk into a commercial gym, I still witness so many individuals sluggishly walking over to their elliptical machine and floating around at the same pace for the duration of their workout. This, also known as steady-state cardio , has always been the “go-to” prescription for losing weight and burning calories. The protocol: hop on your machine of choice and pedal away for 45-60minutes at a time. From the time I began working out seriously to just about a year ago I used to be the Cardio Queen. Sure I started to lift weights also but I never felt my workout was complete unless I slaved away on the stair master for a half hour or ran my legs off for 7-8 miles per day. Now this is totally fine (and awesome) if you are training for an endurance activity and during some of that time I was in fact training for my half-marathons. Most people, however are in the gym trying to lose weight, or more accurately lose body fat. Is torturing yourself on the dreadmill the most efficient way?
Not anymore! Let’s get back to HIIT. You’re probably wondering how it can possibly work better than steady-state cardio when it comes to fat loss. Research shows that HIIT not only burns calories during your exercise, but for up to 24 hours after it can increase your resting metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest). This is known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). I mean how could you not love the idea of burning fat while sitting on your coach?! (after your intense session don’t forget!)
If that’s not enough to convince you to incorporate HIIT sessions into your fit life then maybe the fact that they only last 5-20 minutes will be the icing on the cake? Yup! Crunched for time? Jump on the rowing machine for a quick 10 minute interval session. That’s obviously just ONE example of what you can do but regardless of what exercise you are performing, 20 minutes will fly by way faster than your boring 45 minute dreadmill session. With that being said, since we are chopping off time, that only means your intensity has to go up. High-Intensity truly means all out WORK or as Josh & I like to say “Empty the tank!”.
Since I started performing HIIT cardio 1-3 times per week, I have not only lost body fat but found that I actually enjoy my workouts a lot more. I am almost always looking forward to them regardless of how fatiguing they may end up being! My gym time was cut in half and I have more time to focus on my true love of lifting weights. Nearly all of our clients who have a goal of weight loss are prescribed HIIT into their training programs and even some of our endurance athletes have one or two sessions a week since it has also been studied to improve athletic performance.
So there you have it. You now know what HIIT exactly means so it’s your turn to figure out how to incorporate it into your weekly schedule. Not sure where to start? Luckily for you we just launched our new download: HIIT & Evolve which consists of one month of HIIT workouts to add to your strength routine or to simply do on their own. Check out more info on that at the bottom of our website linked here: HIIT & EVOLVE
As always if you have any questions regarding HIIT or ANYTHING fitness related we would be happy to help you! Email us: FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com
Happy Hump Day!