High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular form of exercise that combines two of the most effective fat burning methods. HIIT is composed of alternating periods of intense effort with periods of moderate-to-low effort. By combining the two, you can maximize fat burning and muscle building potential through significantly shorter workouts.
HIIT training can include just about any exercise as long as it involves cardio. You can do an all cardio HIIT or you can do a partial cardio with strength training. Determining the length of your intervals really depends on your current conditioning level and your specific workout goals. Starting with a few repeats of shorter intervals of work and longer intervals of rest, over time your conditioning will improve. You can then increase the work interval duration, decrease the recovery interval, and increase the number of sets.
Some fun little facts:
- The harder you work, the more oxygen your muscles require. It takes approximately five calories to consume one liter of oxygen.
- Working your body to it’s VO2 Max (the highest amount of oxygen consumed by your body during exercise), triggers an afterburn affect. An afterburn affect is when your body continues to burn calories even after your workout. HIIT training can trigger that afterburn affect for up to 48 hours post workout.
- Interval training boosts your metabolism significantly longer than a steady workout of an even longer length. For example, a 20 minute workout of alternating high/low intensity periods burns more calories than a 20 minutes work out of steady intensity.
- Interval training also builds lean muscle tissue faster than a steady state training.
HIIT training is not for everyone. It is an incredibly effective method for improving fitness in a short time, but is extremely taxing on your body. It requires discipline, dedication and determination. Do you have what it takes?!