What is HIIT??

What is HIIT??

What exactly is HIIT? What is the all the hype? HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

HIIT training can easily be modified for people of all fitness levels and special conditions, such as being overweight and diabetes. HIIT workouts can be performed on all exercise modes, including cycling, walking, swimming, aqua training, elliptical cross-training, and in many group exercise classes. HIIT workouts provide similar fitness benefits as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time. This is because HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout.

Why is it so important to push yourself until you are breathless?? What is the After Burn?? One of the greatest advantages of HIIT workouts is experiencing the "After Burn". A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery. This afterburn effect is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts. Not only will you burn fat during your workout, but you will continue to burn fat throughout the rest of the day through EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

EPOC is the measurable increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s oxygen debt.  In order to erase the body’s oxygen debt, fatty acids are released and used as fuel for recovery. This all happens in the time after a workout is complete. You will not receive this great benefit simply doing low intensity exercise. You need to be working out in your anaerobic zone at maximal heart rates to really see that added fat loss effect.

This EPOC has been shown to last for over 24 hours. 

This after burn is what causes your body to continue to burn fat for up to 24 hours after you are finished with the workout! I don't know about you.... but, I think that is GREAT!! That is the scientific explanation of why it is so important that you go breathless during the short HIIT interval! So, make sure you push yourself out of your comfort zone for 45 seconds, become breathless, and BOOM!!! Burn fat for the next 24 hours!!!

HIIT increases your metabolism!  Combing high intensity with interval training results in EPOC, which speeds your metabolic rate and translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine! This means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve left the gym!

Another great advantage of HIIT is that it is good for heart health! They say that extreme training helps build extreme results. It’s hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you become breathless and can feel your heart pounding faster and faster. With interval training, it’s easier to push yourself to that intense level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. Exercising and training this way really strengthens and trains the heart muscle. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.  This is why many professional athletes incorporate HIIT training into their routines.

HIIT me with your best shot!! Did you know that there are also some hormonal benefits to HIIT? HIIT is one of several ways to boost both testosterone and growth hormone levels. Since these hormones are highly responsible for muscle gain and fat loss, you should be doing all you can to keep these levels high!

Because we all want to lose fat and not muscle, right?? Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle. HIIT workouts, however, combine weight training (the weight being your body) and effectively allows dieters to preserve their muscle gain while still shedding weight.  Another fantastic benefit of HIIT!!

I don't know about you... But the fact that I can save time AND experience these great benefits is just a Win/Win to me!! So, I say keep HIITing me with your best shot!

Who is great candidate to try HIIT training? Anyone who says that they don't have time to work out!  That's right... I am talking to all of you busy moms out there who say that you just can't find the time to work out and juggle it all!  Well, HIIT to the rescue!! You can find 10 minutes a day, right?  All you need is 10 minutes if you use those 10 minutes effectively with HIIT principles!

Another great benefit is that there is no equipment necessary! HIIT workouts are extremely cost efficient because you need zero equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilize your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometrics, high knees and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. In fact, weights can actually make sometimes make the workout less effective because your main focus in HIIT is getting your heart rate up rather than toning a particular muscle group.

Would you like a couple of examples of some easy and fast HIIT workouts?? Ok... you asked for it! Here you go!

5 minute Total Body HIIT workout

Quick HIIT workout inspired by Insanity:

  • Run in place for 8 counts alternating with 4  hook punches up high, then 4 hook punches down low in squat position (do this for 45 sec with no rest)
  • Rest 20 sec
  • High knees with a twist (45 sec with no rest)
  • Rest 20 sec
  • High low punches with a jump (45 sec with no rest)
  • Rest 20 sec
  • Floor switch kicks (45 sec with no rest)
  • Repeat TWO times!!  You got this!!

Want to join my next 5 day FREE health and fitness challenge??