May 30 2012
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Lately it seems that pumping iron or running on a treadmill is out of date. Lot of people now turn to what is called HIIT which is an English abbreviation of high intensity interval training. It is getting more and more popular especially since the world moves in a super fast pace and people have no time to work out. And also spending an hour in a gym and doing a 2-hour long cardio is really old fashion. Not that there is anything wrong with it. So what is HIIT (high intensity interval training)?
It is exactly what it is called… A workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. So for example when running, you can start running as fast as you can for let’s say one minute and then walk or just stand still for about two minutes. Repeat this three minute mini workout for the next 15-20 minutes and you will do more for your body than spending 2 hours in a gym. I know it sounds simple and unbelievable but it really works.
Why is it so popular? Mainly because you can burn more fat much quicker, than during regular workouts. Apparently it’s 9 times more. Which is great if you have finally added some muscle to your body, but it is still underneath a layer of fat. HIIT might be the answer for you. This way you don’t have to spend hours and hours on the treadmill. This obviously has to be an intense workout. That’s when you get to that place where you can’t breathe, your heart wants to jump out of your chest and slap you and you are very close to throwing up (in fact lot of people do). You really have to push yourself. This way you’ll spend half the time training than you would in a gym but with much better results.
This brings us to another reason why it is so popular. It is efficient. It’s ideal if you are extremely busy because you can do it during your lunch break. This way you can’t use the old “I want to work out but I don’t have time” excuse. You can really have more success and achieve more with only 15 minutes three times a week than somebody spending an hour three times a week on a treadmill.
The cool part about it is that it’s free. You can run, bike, jump, etc. with almost no equipment. You can do it in the park, track or in a swimming pool (when trying swimming HIIT).
With HIIT you don’t lose muscle while burning fat like you would doing cardio. But it has to be coupled with a muscle building diet. If you eat the right foods you will start building muscle rather that losing it.
In addition to burning fat and building muscle HIIT increases metabolism. So there is really no downside to this.
The one thing I love about HIIT is that it’s challenging. You always want to push yourself and do better than last time. This way you will never get bored.
If you lift weights 2-3 times per week I recommend you add HIIT to your training regime but only during your off days. Don’t ever do your weight lifting and HIIT training the same day. You won’t have enough energy to do them both properly.
Do the best you can to get the body you always wanted. With the right tools you can achieve your dreams and have everyone around you admire you. I highly recommend you try it out! You won’t regret it.