By: Martin Ebner
What is HIIT or High intensity interval training?
HIIT is a training technique in which you give maximum effort during short bursts of exercise, followed by short rest or active rest periods.
What's the different between HIIT and interval training?
Quite simply, the intensity of the session. HIIT requires that you give maximum effort for a specific period of time. A good sign that you've gone all out is if you're unable to hold a conversation immediately following a max effort burst.
Benefits of HIIT
- Not only burns fat but incinerates it.
- Builds lean muscle by boosting testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) levels in your body.
- Improves cardiovascular fitness.
- Creates what's know as the after-burn effect, allowing you to burn more calories whilst resting.
- Conditions both your aerobic and anaerobic energy system
- Zero equipment required and can be done anywhere.
- Promotes all of the benefits of conventional long distance cardio in half the time.
Why is HIIT so effective for fat-loss?
When you work out at maximum effort you push your body to its limit. Your heart rate skyrockets, you're muscles fill with lactic acid and your oxygen stores become depleted. Following these intense stints of exercise, your body has to work extremely hard to build these oxygen stores back up. This effect is what's called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC.
Let me dumb it down a little. The more intense the exercise, the harder your body has to work to recover.
Is HIIT dangerous?
Not if you're careful. Make sure to warm up properly before going all out and have a cool down and a stretch at the end of your workout.
If you are new to exercise, take it slow. Keep an eye on your heart rate and make sure to get a medical check before beginning any sort of exercise program.
How often should you do HIIT?
Again, if you are new to exercise, start slowly with 1-2 sessions per week, gradually building up to 3-5 session as your fitness and confidence improves.
Simple HIIT workout for beginners.
The great thing about HIIT workouts is that they're so simple. Here's one to get you started.
Dynamic 7 minute warm up.
100 metre sprint followed by 100 metre walk - repeat as many times are you can.
7 minute stretch