Many people ask whether or not there are significant benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and whether or not it should be part of their regular workout regime. The truth is, and when I say that, this is information which is scientifically-proven, it is the ideal type of workout to make-up part of your exercise routine, especially if you have a hectic schedule or are short of spare time.
You can actually achieve more in a single 20-minute HIIT session, than a drawn-out hour-long session on a treadmill – FACT.
After just a fortnight of HIIT, you can enhance your aerobic capacity to the same extent as if you had done 8 weeks of endurance training – FACT.
If these two facts alone aren’t enough to convince you, here are some of the key advantages to HIIT training to further solidify why you should be training like this for 2-3 sessions weekly.
Improve your Heart Health
Whether or not you are accustomed to peaking your sessions to the dizzy heights where you almost can’t breathe, and your heart is pumping so hard, it feels like it’s about to break out of your chest. HIIT is proven to increase your heart health, improve your blood flow, and strengthens the capabilities within just a matter of months. It is also considered easier to push yourself to an anaerobic level because you have it firmly set in your mind that an immediate rest period is coming along very shortly.
No Equipment Required
HIIT can be anywhere, at any time, without the need to invest in or have the use of any machinery. No gym memberships are required, just commitment to the cause and an appetite for success. Although, a towel is recommended for afterward!
Burn Fat Like Never Before
If you are trying to slim-down and retain muscle mass, it can be a real balancing act. It is scientifically stated that by doing HIIT, those who are trying to lose weight, can do so while retaining their muscles with the weight loss predominantly coming from the fat stores. The other obvious advantage is that you will burn more calories in a much shorter space of time too. After doing a HIIT session, the repair cycle of the body goes wild! In the 24-hours following your session, the body is still burning away calories and fat.
Boost your Metabolism
As well as the increased fat-burning capabilities, HIIT encourages the production of your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) by as much as 450% for the day following your session. For those of you who don’t know, HGH can slow down the aging process, improve caloric burn and generally make you feel stronger and more youthful from the inside out.
Build-Up Your Endurance
This type of training allows you to enhance your endurance by adapting to the cell-structure of the muscles. You can significantly build up your endurance over a short period of time by doing regular HIIT workouts.
Enhanced Oxygen Consumption
So, you might be asking, what difference will this make? Well, quite a big one. Oxygen consumption is important for the effective functioning of the muscles. HIIT training is the perfect way to improve this. Traditionally, endurance training was considered to be the most effective way to do this. However, there is evidence that states you can get the same benefits in less time through this type of training.
How to Get Started with HIIT
One of the other great benefits of doing HIIT is that you can choose your preferred type of exercise and mix-it-up whenever you fancy a change or get bored of your current regime. Running, biking, rowing, squats, skipping and more; there are so many different options. We also have a handy My HIIT Guide for those looking to do one-off HIIT workouts.
To get started, simply choose what activity you want to do. Experts suggest that you do 3 sessions a week, however, at the start, and because everyone is different, you can experiment with the duration you do your HIIT for, and how long you give yourself to recover afterward.
Typically, those who are looking to get started with HIIT will begin with 30 seconds of hard pace, followed by a 2-3-minute resting period, and continue this sequence for between 15-30 minutes. This is ideal for cycling or running.
If you prefer to do squats or skipping, you can apply the same principle. Do either of these for between 30-90 seconds, then rest for the same period. Continue this pattern for between 10-15 minutes.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started, and you can easily vary the timings and types of exercises you do with HIIT.
This is one of the best things about it and probably the reason why so many who start out training in this way, continue to do so with drive, determination and of course, with results.