HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is basically a workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and less-intense activity or sometimes complete rest. HIIT is also known as high-intensity intermittent exercise or sprint interval training. It is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. This kind of training keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
HIIT is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, which is then followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. For e.g. running very fast for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval 5 times for a 15-minute fat burning workout.
Some of the HIIT workouts are jumping jacks, pushups, chair step-ups, wall sit, crunches, lunges, plank, side plank, pushup rotations, triceps dips, etc.
HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio as the intensity is higher which enables you to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.
There are so many benefits of HIIT of which some are as follows:
- Increase in metabolism: Metabolism can be increased for the next 48 hours, helping to burn 50% more fat than steady-state cardio. As per the study at Colorado State University, 150 seconds on intense exercise can burn as many as 200 calories over the course of the next 24 hours.
- Healthier heart: According to some research, bursts of high-intensity activity can get your heart and lungs just as fit in less time, than the traditional prescription of 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise, five days a week.
- No equipment necessary: HIIT exercises only use your bodyweight and don’t need any equipment. For e.g. running, jump roping, fast feet, etc. work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. This results in muscle building and helps in losing fat while increasing the calories you burn.
- Quick and convenient: HIIT workout can be done anywhere at home, in a park or at a gym and is short and sharp. Most HIIT workouts are of 30 minutes or less.
- Makes you smarter: As per the study from a Montreal Heart Institute (MHI), participants scored significantly higher on cognition tests and had boosted their brain oxygenation, after doing two HIIT workouts a week for four months.
- Challenging: You cannot do HIIT workout while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. This workout is too short and your work hard the whole time while doing this. You may feel pain in your chest when your heart rate increases but you definitely won’t be bored.
- Losing weight but not muscles: Research studies show that, both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their muscles while ensuring most of the weight loss comes from fat stores.
- Helping in building endurance: HIIT training adapts to the cellular structure of muscles which enables you to increase your endurance while doing any workout.
- Effective energy use: By doing HIIT workouts, your body learns to effectively use the energy that comes from your body’s energy system. HIIT also helps in removing toxic wastes from muscles during the resting periods.
- Option for choosing your own workouts: The best thing about HIIT is that you can choose your own workouts. You can pick any cardio workout and make it an interval workout. You don’t limit yourself to running or biking.
- Better body composition: HIIT exercises prevents catabolic states from arising and consuming muscle tissue, but at the same time also elicits a strong fat burning effect, which means less fat and more muscles. Anabolic hormone production may increases, which allows to gain muscle mass.