Eight Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Why high intensity interval training needs to be part of your regular workout routine.

By: Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Original Article: https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit

Calorie burning, Cardio, Fat burning, HIIT, Interval training

Is super-efficient HIIT the ideal workout for a busy schedule? Do you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or get in shape for a fast- approaching event? Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than by jogging on the treadmill for an hour. According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

That’s not even the best part! Using the Tabata training method, you can complete an effective HIIT workout in just four minutes.

Not only do you burn more calories during an HIIT workout, but also the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after an HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-paced run.

You’ll Build a Healthier Heart

Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe, and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. One 2006 study found after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle for twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.

There’s No Equipment Necessary

Running, biking, jumping rope, and rowing all work great for HIIT, but you don’t need any equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. In fact, some equipment like dumbbells can make HIIT less effective because you want the body’s focus to be on pushing your heart to its max, not your biceps.

You Lose Weight, Not Muscle

Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it’s hard to avoid losing muscle mass along with fat. While steady-state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win/win!

You’ll Increase Your Metabolism

In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450% during the twenty-four hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!

You Can Do It Anywhere

You can do it in a boat, you can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there, you can do it anywhere! Dr. Seuss would have loved HIIT. Since it’s such a simple concept, go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat. You can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.

It’s Seriously Challenging

This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. Because it’s so short, you will be working hard the whole time. The trade-off is that this format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results. You may be in pain, you may be sucking wind, but you won’t be bored!

There is tremendous buzz around High Intensity Interval Training.

Our goal at The Greenlaw Report is always to make you aware of what is available and then you can make your own decision as to what you want to do with the information.

As many of you know, I travel up to forty weeks a year. Getting enough exercise can be a huge challenge for me. I have interviewed celebrity trainers who opened my eyes to the concept that less can be more. In essence, that is what HIIT Training is all about.

HIIT training has been described as an intense all-out workout for one minute with one minute of recovery for those in shape.

For beginners, the studies suggest that one minute of intense exertion with two minutes of rest in between alternating periods of high-intensity workouts would be ideal.

The studies further recommend that a beginner should start out with four sets of one minute of all-out exercise and two minutes of rest in between sets.

For someone who is already in shape, a series of six sets of one minute going all out and one minute of rest is recommended.

The other key for those in shape and also for beginners is to do four to five minutes of warm up at a slower pace before beginning.

HIIT can be done on a treadmill, elliptical machine, running track, or bicycle.

Research estimates that fifteen minutes of HIIT training is the equivalent to jogging on a treadmill for one hour. Additionally, in two weeks you may increase your aerobic capacity as much as in six to eight weeks of endurance training. The reason for this is that your body will continue burning fat for twenty-four hours. This is caused by something called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, which helps to burn fat. It is also important to cool down for five minutes after your workout.

The Greenlaw Report always recommends that you check with your healthcare professional before embarking on any diet or exercise program, including HIIT.

If your healthcare professional is okay with your trying HIIT training, we urge you to go to a gym or professional trainer to get started for the best outcomes.