HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is something I do a lot of and will be a big part of my slim down plan starting on March 1 (make sure to follow my blog to get the updates on 8 week slim down plan). This is because of both it effectiveness and efficiency. It’s a great way to get a good workout in a short period of time and burns more calories than a long, drawn out low intensity workout.
Most of you have probably heard of High Intensity Interval Training, but do you know exactly what it is and the benefits of this form of exercise?
HIIT is a form of interval training that consists of a brief warm up followed by several intervals of high intensity (usually above your normal aerobic max) exercise followed by moderate to low recovery exercise. An example of this is the Tabata regimen which I have spoken about several times on this site. This is a very simple exercise that burns a lot of calories. The break down with tabata is 20-10, so you perform 20 seconds high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of recovery and you repeat this 4 to 10 times in row. Take a few minute break, then repeat. You can perform this workout on a bike, elliptical or treadmill. It’s a great, easy way to get the benefits of HIIT.
- HIIT trains and conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. You train your anaerobic system with brief, all-out efforts, like when you have to push to make it up a hill, sprint the last few hundred yards of a distance race.
- HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn during your exercise session and afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each exercise session.
- HIIT causes metabolic adaptations that enable you to use more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions. This will improve your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential.
- HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional steady-state cardio exercise of longer duration.
- To get the benefits HIIT, you need to push yourself past the upper end of your aerobic zone and allow your body to replenish your anaerobic energy system during the recovery intervals.