The acronym is short for high-intensity interval training and this is a training technique where you give an all-out effort for a short period of time followed by a period of rest are active recovery.
So, It’s basically fast cardio followed by short intervals of recovery.
A few basic examples would be 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of rest repeated for 10 minutes 45 seconds of fast jumping jacks, followed by 15 seconds of rest repeated for 12 minutes or you could do a Tabata style hit workout which is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest repeated usually for a duration of only 4 minutes.
Both the work and rest interval can last for however long you like but with most workouts you usually find the intervals last for around 10 seconds to 1 minute and the total workout lasts between 4 minutes and 20 minutes.
And a 2:1 work-rest ratio yields the best best results.
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But How It Works?
Before we proceed, you must understand the science behind the breakdown of fats.
Fats are the most stubborn molecules in our body and our body loves to preserves them as a backup source of energy in extremely harsh conditions like when you are dying of starvation, or when there is an instant demand of energy that just can’t be fulfilled by the break down of glucose.
So, that’s why it’s so difficult to remove that extra fat from your body.
And here’s when HIIT comes into play.
Whenever one performs a high-intensity workout, the body’s sudden need for oxygen increases drastically which causes the body to ask for more oxygen during recovery.
As a result, the body starts breaking down fat molecules to supply the sudden demand for energy.
And it’s not just for HIIT.
It’s the basic principle for all the exercises and diets that claim to remove fat from your body and this is the reason why running is the worst way to lose fat.
yep, you heard it right. Because in running you actually burn calories not fat, well that means you are basically killing the burger that you ate in the morning. As a result of which, most people end up eating more.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying running is bad or you should stop it.
Clearly running on a regular basis promotes amazing health benefits including improving your mental health, immune system, weight control, stress and many more.
Just saying, If you are targeting running for fat loss then it be might be a really bad idea.
And if we talk about regular cardio exercises, their efficiency to depends upon how you perform them.
Let’s say Eric does eight sets of 15 jumpings squats, 15 crunches, 15 situps, 15 deadlifts, 15 push-ups on a regular basis and takes 45 seconds of rest between each exercise and surprisingly even chills for minutes before starting a new set.
Now you probably are wondering, wow, Eric is so crushing his workout thing.
Well, I assure you it may look like he is crushing the workout thing but he is not, instead of it, he is putting all his weight loss efforts in vain.
The culprit here is not Eric, but the time that he is taking between the breaks. See this type of full fat burner workouts only works when you do it with high intensity and shorter breaks mostly 5-10 seconds.
And you won’t believe, a diet actually changes the primal source of energy of our body.
Yes, I am taking about the trending ketogenic diet.
During this diet your body starts the break down of fats instead of glucose and you even burn fat when you sleep.
I know I’m talking a bit off topic but I’m trying to prove a point here.
It all comes down to the breakdown of fat molecules when you are focusing for an effective weight loss.
But now you might be wondering why do this does this have any advantage over regular cardio well there’s quite a bit of scientific merit behind the HIIT and here are the seven proven benefits and why it works.
It Will Help You The Time
The number one excuse that I hear from people for being out of shape is always about time.
People say things like I’m just too busy or it takes too long to get to the gym.
If you’re one of these people who literally run out of hours in the day it might be perfect for you to do HIIT instead of regular cardio where you give a lower effort for a longer period of time also it’s much shorter than regular cardio workouts.
No Equipment Is Required
You can perform HIIT with all sorts of exercises but it can also be done from almost anywhere with no weights or equipment.
So if you can’t make it to the gym that day doing a HIIT workout from home is always a great second option.
You Can Save Yourself From Boredom
Another serious advantage of hit is that it gives you the ability to mix things up.
A lot of people complain not being able to stick with the routine because they get bored because HIIT is a simple protocol and not a specific exercise it can be done with Sprint’s, jump, ropes, battle ropes, kettlebells, burpees and really whatever you can think of.
You will always be able to create some sort of variety in your workouts and keep things fresh.
You Will Enjoy Sticking to It
With high-intensity workouts, people seem to stick with it in. One study of 44 participants performed by the School of Health and Exercise Sciences we see that people greatly prefer to hit workouts over other forms of cardio and the more you enjoy a particular workout the more likely you’re going to be to stick with it.
Improved Vo2 Max
Time for some science stuff.
Your vo2 is the amount of oxygen you can use during intense maximal exercise. The better the vo2 max a person has, the longer and harder the person can work out intensely and the better health you will likely be in.
We see in multiple studies that those who use HIIT versus steady-state cardio have a much greater improved vo2 max cause you know your body has to fight for the oxygen deficiency during the workout.
HIIT Matches Regular Cardio’s EPOC
Now there’s a lot of hype around HIIT EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
This is basically the burning of extra calories long after a workout while most of the claims I found greatly exaggerated HIIT effect on EPOC.
It is true that a 20-minute session of hit will give you a similar afterburn effect as steady state cardio for 60 minutes.
Also, HIIT burns just as much fat as cardio. In multiple studies we see that hit burns just as many calories of steady-state cardio and one half the time are even in some studies one third of the time.
In other studies, we see that hit targets and burns more body fat than traditional cardio, so in a much shorter period of time, you’ll get the same amount of calorie burn and potentially more fat burning by using HIIT.
Now if you are wondering, HIIT is the magical formula for getting rid of my belly fat and getting a sexy six-pack no you can’t do HIIT, eat 13 burritos post-workout and expect to get a washboard
While HIIT can definitely help in your fat loss efforts but you need to be eating a great diet. As the research suggests, exercise only contribute 35% as a success factor in your weight loss efforts while the stuff you eat decides the rest 65% of your success.
You can even maintain or shed some pounds by eating healthy foods in place of processed foods.
So, if fat loss is your goal that being said it can be a helpful fat burning tool.
It’s important to note that your body will take longer to recover from super high-intensity workouts, so you shouldn’t do this kind of training daily.
Performing it on alternate days will be best.
But how to do it the right way
As I have said earlier, you can mix it up with the normal workout.
But for better understanding I am adding the best training video for HIIT, you can check it out.
So, that was all for today folks. If you have any suggestions or doubts regarding the articles, ask them on comment section , I will love to serve you.