Have you ever heard of HIIT?
Maybe you’ve come across some of its benefits and are interested in getting started? Or perhaps you simply want to know what HIIT is and how it benefits you.
Whatever your reason is, you’re in the right place. We’ll break down HIIT today and go over its most notable benefits.
Let’s dive in.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. As its name suggests, HIIT is a training modality where you do short bursts of intense activity, followed by brief recovery periods. You typically do several rounds of intense activity, interspersed with rest. For example, interval running for 30 seconds, walking for a minute, and repeating that combination five to ten times.
More advanced trainees can also alternate between bursts of maximal effort, followed by moderately intense activity. For example, sprinting for ten seconds, then jogging for a minute, and repeating.
Four Fantastic Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training
- Quick, Fun, and Efficient Workouts
The most notable HIIT benefit is that you can have quick, fun, and efficient workouts. Instead of running for 30 minutes to burn any calories and reap health benefits, you can do an interval workout in half the time and be done with it.
The efficiency of HIIT is also what makes it suitable for people who don’t have much time to train. That’s right - the excuse of “I don’t have the time.” isn’t valid.
- A Good Caloric Burn
At first glance, HIIT doesn’t seem good, especially for weight loss, because workouts rarely last longer than 10 to 20 minutes. But what makes HIIT fantastic is that you’re condensing a lot of work in little time. In other words, you’re increasing training density or unit of work per specific amount of time.
Because of that, HIIT is a great way to invest less time but burn a respectable number of calories. Of course, for HIIT to have this effect, you have to work hard. Even a 10-minute workout needs to be incredibly challenging and leave you breathless and sweating by the end.
- Extra Calories Burned After Training
Another significant benefit of HIIT is that you get to burn extra calories following your workouts. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and refers to your body’s high need for oxygen after demanding training.
As a result of EPOC, you can burn an extra 5 to 7 percent of your training caloric burn in the 12 to 24 hours after working out. Meaning, if you burn 250 calories doing HIIT, you can expect to burn an extra 13 to 18 calories. It might not seem like much, but you burn that amount without doing anything. Plus, the calorie burn adds up over the months and can lead to something significant.
- Muscle Gain and Athleticism
Unlike low-intensity cardio, HIIT is fantastic because it supports muscle growth and makes us more athletic. HIIT activities engage our fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are prone to growth. Aside from that, fast-twitch muscle fibers are responsible for our overall power and strength.
Activities like sprinting, jumping, and using a battle rope are excellent ways to add muscle, become faster, and build explosiveness.