At BodyRock, we love high intensity interval training (HIIT)! In fact, HIIT workouts are a major part of our philosophy. HIIT can be used to describe any exercise that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of less-intense activity or rest.
Many workouts that claim to burn fat, use these principles. Can running as hard as you can for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of walking -- repeated 5 times, actually help you burn fat? Seems too simple to work, doesn't it? Well, the truth is, it does work. There is a great deal of science that shows HIIT training to be an incredibly effective way to reach your body goals!
Here are 8 benefits of HIIT training:
1. It's Efficient
Having a busy schedule can make it difficult to squeeze in a workout. If all you have is your lunch hour, you want something that is going to be both quick and effective. Research has suggested that if you do interval training for 15 minutes, 3 times a week, you will make greater gains than if you just run on a treadmill for an hour. What's more, if you only have a short window of time to get yourself into better shape, 2 weeks of HIIT training can improve your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training, according to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
2. You'll Burn MORE Fat
HIIT workouts not only burn more calories, they help you continue to do so after the workout is completed! The intervals of intense exertion send your body's repair cycle into top gear. This means that you will burn more fat and calories for the 24 hours following the workout than you would if you had done steady state cardio instead.
3. You'll Build A Healthier Heart
HIIT workouts force you into the anerobic zone -- a place most people never reach. This is that place where you feel like your heart is beating so hard it might burst right through your chest. Pushing yourself to this extreme can produce some incredible results. A 2006 study found that after just 8 weeks of HIIT training, subjects were able to bicycle twice as long as they could before while keeping the same pace.
4. You Lose Weight, Not Muscle
If you have ever been on a typical diet, you know it is hard to lose weight without losing muscle mass. Steady state cardio workouts, tend to promote muscle loss while HIIT workouts help you maintain and build the muscles you have. The energy you expend during a HIIT session comes directly from your fat stores, creating a leaner you! You can further this building of lean muscle by adding a little resistance to your routine. Doing your HIIT workout while wearing extra weight (like the BodyRock Weighted Vest
!) is a really simple way to make your workout harder without impacting your movements or range of motion.
5. You'll Increase Your Metabolism
As you now know, HIIT helps you lose fat and maintain muscle but it also increases your production of human growth hormone (HGH) by as much as 450% for the 24 hour period following your session. HGH increases your calorie burn but it also helps you look young and fresh by slowing the aging process -- inside and out!
6. You Can Do It Anywhere
Because HIIT just means repeated periods of going all out. followed by periods of recovery, you can adapt the workout to fit your needs. If you're on the road, you can make room for it in your hotel room. Want to take your workout outdoors? Parks make a brilliant space for HIIT training. Only have a short period of time? 12 minutes of HIIT is all you really need. Want to put this to the test? Sign up for one of our Bootcamps! 12 minutes a day, for 30 days, and we guarantee you will see and feel the difference! You can get all of our bootcamps here!
7. It's Seriously Challenging
Because HIIT sessions are so short, you won't have time to focus on much more than your efforts. It is worth it. If you are new to exercise, HIIT gives you those fast results you need to stay motivated. If you have been working out for years, HIIT is always challenging. When you adopt this style of exercise, you will never -- ever -- be bored! For over 80 hours of on demand workouts that incorporate all these principles, check out SweatFlix℠
! You can find all your favorite BodyRock HIIT workouts (and so much more)! With new and exclusive content added all the time, you'll always find what you're looking for!
Do you crush HIIT workouts on the regular? Tell us about it!