Build muscle and burn fat with high intensity interval training
Let’s begin with the basics:
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of fast-paced cardiovascular exercise that alternates repeated periods of short and intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.
The intense exercise portions may range from seconds to full minutes and are aimed to be performed at 80- 95% of a person’s max. heart rate. (Note: Your max. heart rate is the number of times your heart will beat in a minute to not overexert your body.) Recovery periods may last for a similar length of time and are usually performed at 40- 50% of your max. heart rate.
The entire HIIT exercise typically lasts from 20 minutes to an hour and is short and intense. Many researchers consider HIIT to be more effective than normal steady state cardio because of the high intensity and ability to increase both aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning fat.
You have to be ready if you’re going to HIIT it, however. This type of high intensity exertion requires a lot of motivation, willpower, and the overall ability to handle its extremes. That said, just because you’re new to fitness, does not mean that you need to stay away from it, either.
Very important: Go at your own pace, drink lots of water and breathe. Sometimes we forget to check in with our breath and this is an activity that you certainly don’t want to lose sight of proper breathing with.
If you’re ready to put in the work, this type of exercise can pay off BIG.
Benefits of HIIT:
1. Abdominal fat and body weight loss while maintaining muscle mass.
Burn calories fast!
2. Speed up your metabolism to burn calories throughout the day.
3. Improve endurance and athletic capacity.
A recent study showed that one minute of high intensity exercise with a not-so-hard workout can boost your endurance and your overall health, shown through measures like improved blood pressure and higher counts of mitochondria.
4. Great for the woman on the go.
Because these short sessions deliver high impact results, you don’t need to spend hours upon hours at the gym. You can burn lots of calories in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts provide similar benefits as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time.
5. Body’s Response Compared to Steady State Cardio.
A recent study was done on two groups of women — one set doing moderate walking every day, the other with HIIT. The study showed that the HIIT group was superior in three ways: Improving cardiorespiratory fitness; improving the normal response to exercise; and improving the nitric oxide response to exercise.
7. Easily modified.
HIIT training can be modified for people of all fitness levels and can be performed on all exercise modes, including cycling, walking, swimming, and many group exercise classes.