Are HIIT workouts good for you? Or is it just some more of that hype created by those Youtube fitness influencers?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), is the secret weapon that some of the world’s most successful athletes utilize to keep them on top of their game. We are not talking infomercial-style quick-fix, but a REAL exercise method that brings REAL results!
The training form involves bursts of intense activity followed by low-intensity recovery periods. The list of benefits is as long as the Great Wall of China, but there are some that you simply can’t afford to miss.
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you should be incorporating HIIT into your workouts TODAY!
- 1 Are HIIT Workouts Good For You? 7 Amazing Benefits of HIIT
- 2 Is it Bad to do HIIT Everyday?
- 3 How Many Times Per Week Should you do HIIT Training?
- 4 Are 30 Minutes of HIIT Enough?
- 5 Which Exercises Can be Used for HIIT?
- 6 HIIT Workout Video
- 7 Final Word: High-Intensity Interval Training for Better Health
- 8 Other Helpful Resources
Are HIIT Workouts Good For You? 7 Amazing Benefits of HIIT
As you already know from reading my popular list of cardio exercises, there are TONS of different methods and ways to do your cardio.
You’ve got long-duration, low-intensity exercises like LISS or low-intensity steady-state cardio on one side and HIIT workout like guerilla cardio on the other.
And all of the different methods come with their own science.
But if you are like me, you will rather do quick, EFFECTIVE, hardcore sessions – than spinning on a bike for an hour – just to gain weaker results.
Here is why you should embrace HIIT workout and enjoy the pain:
High-intensity interval training is the perfect solution if you want time-efficient results from your workout.
Just one 15-minute HIIT workout session has been proven to burn as many calories as an hour on the treadmill. Why not squeeze a couple of intervals into your lunch break?
HIIT also improves your aerobic capacity up to 3 times faster than less intense workouts.
If you want to spend less time working out and get better results, HIIT workout is the answer. It is worth the effort!
Burn Calories AFTER You Finish Your Workout
As you work out, HIIT puts your heart into overdrive. Your heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to your muscles, and it puts it into debt for oxygen.
This triggers your body’s recovery cycle, burning fat and calories up to 24 hours after finishing your workout. Low-intensity training does not achieve this, only burning calories while you work out.
The so-called “afterburn effect” is more officially known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or simply, EPOC. And it isn’t new in the world of fitness. Several studies suggest there’s a strong correlation between the number of calories burned post-exercise and the activity’s intensity.
Reference: greatist.com – How to Keep Burning Calories When Your Workout Is Over
No Equipment Needed
HIIT workouts don’t require expensive gear or gym memberships. As they utilize your body weight to create resistance, all you need is some open space!
As long as your heart rate is pushed up, it doesn’t matter how you get it done. Burpees, high knee jumps, and jumping squats are all perfect examples – and none of them require equipment.
Lose Fat, Not Muscle
Studies have proven the muscle-wasting properties of low-intensity cardio. On the other hand, HIIT workouts use your body as weight training to build lean muscle mass while effectively shredding your body fat!
Take a look at any practitioner of HIIT, and you’ll see the living truth of this. Why do you think sprinters like Usain Bolt are THAT shredded? You guessed it! They do HIIT workouts!
If you want to burn fat and lose weight – without sacrificing your muscle mass – a HIIT workout might just be what you are looking for!
Lower Your Heart Rate And Blood Pressure
Not only do HIIT workouts increase your fitness level, but also your heart health, and general health.
Extensive research and several case studies have found that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is effective at lowering the heart and blood pressure of overweight and obese individuals – significantly lowering the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiac arrest.
Tune and Boost Your Metabolism
One of the main reasons your body continues to burn calories after a HIIT is that it boosts your metabolism. Studies have conclusively found that your metabolic rate is increased for hours after you finish exercising.
During this process, your body is encouraged to shift its energy source away from carbs to help you shed unwanted fat.
Improve Oxygen Consumption
Aerobic fitness is the traditional method for increasing your muscles’ ability to use oxygen (oxygen consumption).
Yet, HIIT has been proven to achieve the same results in a shorter amount of time.
Oxygen consumption is one of the main factors in your fitness level, so improved consumption means you can go harder, faster, and longer during your workouts and enjoy a higher level of fitness.
Is it Bad to do HIIT Everyday?
Doing HIIT every day will take a big hit on your muscle tissue – but also, your mind will suffer.
The fact is:
Working out seven days a week with the kind of intensity associated with high-intensity interval training can lead to overtraining, and eventually – injury.
Your muscles need time to recover, repair, and grow in between your sessions. Going crazy with high-intensity exercise every day prevents your mind and body from getting needed rest – often resulting in you feeling tired and fatigued.
How Many Times Per Week Should you do HIIT Training?
Two to three days per week is enough to reap the health benefits of HIIT. Do no more than four HIIT sessions per week – always be sure to grant your body 24 hours of rest between your workouts.
If you are doing other workouts between the HIIT, they should be low impact like calisthenics or resistance training. Plan your week, do not train your legs the day before high-intensity sprints. Doing so will make sure your legs are recovered and up for the task!
The key to great results and staying injury-free is maintaining a balanced workout regime. Listen to your body, and take a break from HIIT if your body and mind are not up for it.
Are 30 Minutes of HIIT Enough?
For many people, 30 minutes of HIIT is the sweat-spot to reap the health benefits from this type of high-intensity exercise. It is short enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel and long enough to get a feel of your vo2 max.
My personal experience is that anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes works well, but I always try to keep my sessions under half an hour.
Which Exercises Can be Used for HIIT?
I could list hundreds of different exercises and variations suited for HIIT, but to give an example, I’ll stick to a few.
- Stair Runs
- Jump Rope
- Knee Lifts
- Jumping Jacks
- Hey, even a simple exercise like jump squats will do wonders.
Just remember to keep your effort at a maximum through all the intervals. Even though it hurts, keep going like it is a matter of life or death. The key to unlocking the benefits of HIIT is doing it properly – going “all in” through all the intervals. Be sure all the repetitions count; never relax during the short bursts of painful exercise!
HIIT Workout Video
In this video, you’ll see a full-body HIIT workout that can be used for both weight loss and strength training. It will touch into all your muscle groups and get your blood flow going at warp speed! Burn more calories and build lean muscle mass – at the same time. How about that?
If you need help getting started with HIIT – or you just want someone to set up a HIIT workout program for you, I would highly recommend hiring a couple of personal trainer sessions. FYT (Find your trainer) would be an excellent choice to get started.
Final Word: High-Intensity Interval Training for Better Health
If HIIT isn’t part of your fitness schedule, you might want to think again.
HIIT workout is a time-efficient, supercharged form of workout that brings results both DURING and AFTER your exercise. Research has found that people doing periods of HIIT lose body fat, reduce their blood pressure, build muscles,
It can be incredibly effective and brings several benefits when incorporated into any fitness regime. If you like the sound of fat loss, time-efficient results, improved health, and greater physical ability, you won’t find much better than HIIT.
If I’ve scared you while preaching about high-intensity interval training, and you want to get in better shape using a less intense type of exercise regime – visit my GIGANTIC resource on cardio workouts and exercises instead. Here you’ll find fat loss tips – helping you burn fat EFFECTIVELY while maintaining muscle mass, endurance training programs for maximum cardio effect, and much more exciting fitness stuff!
See you there!