Whether your goal is weight loss or fitness, or both, it’s likely that you have heard of HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training. If you have heard of it it’s likely you’ve thought to yourself “that sounds a bit too intense for me”. But let me tell you why it can become your best friend for both your weight loss and your fitness journey. Much has been made of the benefits of HIIT over the years and scientific studies support them, but the primary benefit, and the goal for its fans, is weight loss.
What is HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)?HIIT is a form of interval training that includes cardiovascular exercises alongside bursts of anaerobic activity such as bodyweight or strength movements. The two most common types of HIIT are:
- Bodyweight (CrossFit, Weight lifting, bodyweight, etc.)
- Cardiovascular (aerobic exercises like spin class, running, etc.)
What are the benefits of HIIT?No matter what type of HIIT Training you choose, the benefits spread far and wide, particularly in relation to fat loss and overall fitness. I’ve listed a few of these benefits below.
Fat LossOver the years a number of studies have shown that HIIT can help with fat loss. Through burning a large number of calories in a short period of time HIIT is in a league of its own, but it also improves your metabolic rate (BMR) so that you can continue to burn fat hours after you have completed the workout (EPOC).
EPOCOne of the best benefits of taking part in HIIT workout is a process known as excess post- exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Simply put, EPOC is a biologically-induced process that results in your body burning energy (calories) for many hours even after you stop working out! The more intense your workout the bigger the EPOC effect.
ConvenienceOne of the best things about HIIT is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. From bodyweight squats (use bounce squats for an even bigger challenge) and lunges to sit-ups and press-ups you can do a HIIT workout almost anytime, any place. But it’s not only the convenience of location, but also the length of time required to see benefits.
Increased HGH (Human Growth Hormone)Studies have shown that high intensity exercise can increase HGH by huge amounts. “So what?”, you may ask. Not only does HGH help to increase calorie burning, it also helps to build muscle, which in turn boosts your metabolism. However, the benefits don’t stop there. HGH is also recognised to ‘slow down the aging process’ through the strengthening of bone density – this combined with muscle growth and fat loss are all known to keep your body from aging too quickly.
How to do a HIIT sessionMy personal training and group exercise clients are all familiar with at least the concept of HIIT workouts and for my personal training clients I offer advice on programmes they can do in their own time, however, here’s a quick HIIT session that most people can do in their own homes:
- Using your phone’s timer or stopwatch, set it to 30 seconds on, 15 seconds rest.
- Start by jogging on the spot, with high knees, for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
- Then do 30 seconds of bodyweight squats, then resting for 15 seconds.
- Next do 30 seconds of sit-ups, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
- Finally, do 30 seconds of star jumps, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
- Repeat the routine 4 times. That takes less than 15 minutes, yet it will give you a boost in energy, boost your heart rate and boost your metabolism. Just remember not to undo the hard work by making poor food and drink choices!!