You may have seen and heard a lot about 30 min HIIT sessions and that they are really good to do. But what exactly is HIIT? and why are they the buzz class at the moment?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This type of training has been used by athletes to improve performance, but the scientific evidence has shown that this is one of the MOST effective ways of burning body fat fast! So pro or novice alike will get massive benefits from these sessions.
Does HIIT burn more calories than a regular workout?
Yes. By raising your metabolism and creating an oxygen debt, your body uses more calories. It’s called the after-burn.
How does HIIT work?
EPOC or Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) after a HIIT class as your body uses energy to recover from the strenuous exercise session. For the first few hours after a HIIT session EPOC is at its highest and some studies have shown it to continue for as long as 38 hours. That means you continue to use energy to recover from the session for a long time after it finished which is why HIIT is so effective for fat burning. HIIT may also improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than longer aerobic workouts. If that doesn’t make you want to get in on a class immediately, here are just some of the benefits of HIIT training:
- It improves performance – Put a little HIIT into your routine and you’ll notice a distinct difference in your other workouts, namely that you have more stamina and endurance.
- It helps you burn more fat – This is where the real benefits come in, especially if you want to lose weight and burn fat. Studies have shown that HIIT training allows more fat to be burned within the exercising muscles, pretty amazing since we’ve always found that spot reduction doesn’t work.
- It helps you burn more calories all day long – The other great thing about HIIT is that, because you’re taking your body well out of its comfort zone to work that hard, it has to burn more calories to get your body back into balance after the workout. That means a greater afterburn, meaning you’ll burn extra calories even if you’re just sitting around after your workout.
- Your workouts are shorter – A typical HIIT workout usually lasts about 15-30 minutes and involves a 2:1 ratio, meaning your recovery intervals are twice as long as the work intervals. An example would be 5-10 high intensity sprints (working at a Level 8-9 on the perceived exertion chart) lasting 30-60 seconds interspersed with recovery intervals of 1-2 minutes (working at a Level 4-5).
I often mix up my training with HIIT bursts, it keeps things fun, breaks the monotony of long cardio training by introducing multiple body movement/load, weight training elements. This helps improve calorie burning, fibre recruitment, improving cardiovascular output (especially when using a heart rate monitor to time load and rest periods)