HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it is a technique wherein you exercise intensely for short periods of time followed by short recovery periods and then restart the whole cycle again. Such technique gets you to keep your heart rate up, while burning the extra calories (and fat) in a shorter time span.
The benefits of HIIT are as follows:
HIIT Style Workouts Speed Up Your Metabolic Rate—Burn Calories While You Sleep!
Colorado State University concluded that only 150 seconds of intense exercise can burn off as much as 200 calories. This is because the resting metabolic rate is boosted, and constantly gets the body to shed those extra ounces.
You Retain Muscle, But Lose the Fat
An added benefit of HIIT is that you do not lose muscle in these high intensity workouts; you simply lose the fat – which is what almost everyone wants. Weight trainers and weight watchers both get to lose weight coming from stored up fat but retain their muscle mass.
HIIT workouts are quick, convenient, and no heavy equipment is required
HIIT workouts can be done just about anywhere and everywhere, due to the lack of need of specialized training equipment. Inside or out, at home or in a hotel, gym or park, it takes all of 30 minutes and less to be done with your whole routine – and that too only 2 – 3 times a week.
Whether it is running or biking, jumping or rowing everything can be incorporated into an HIIT session – so long as it gets your heart rate up (and running).
Who should try an HIIT workout?
People who are healthy enough to withstand these high intensity workout sessions, while those with heart ailments should surely avoid them at all costs. There should be a minimum level of fitness for someone to get into HIIT, as beginners or those who have taken a break from the gym should also not attempt them.
This is because there is a risk of a person collapsing due to the intense exercise even if it is for a short period of time. Stamina should be built accordingly and only then should people be fit enough to start.
How much is too much?
Interval training is highly intensive. So less is more in this case! We often see that when someone is achieving great results with a steady HIIT Training regimen, they are eager to step it up even further to get even better, faster results. Unfortunately, the body needs time to recover from these intense workouts (especially the nervous system). Exercising too much at this intensity will not only give you diminishing returns, but you risk injuring yourself in the process. For best results, limit these sessions to three times a week. Try weight training on alternate days to keep yourself active!
It is a smart move
Not only is it a smart move, but it makes your smarter as well. It’s true! A study at the Montreal Heart Institute showed that after only two HIIT workout sessions a week over a period of four months, the subjects were able to perform much better on cognition tests. This may be correlated to the higher levels of oxygenated blood pumped to the brain.