By now, you’ve probably heard the term HIIT (pronounced like “hit” a baseball) tossed around in the gym or on your preferred workout app, but it’s completely acceptable if you’re still uncertain about what the workout style actually entails or how HIIT workouts are advantageous. Well, to begin with, HIIT is an acronym for high-intensity interval training. What exactly is a HIIT workout? Essentially, it’s any exercise that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of moderate activity or even complete rest.
For instance, a great introductory HIIT workout is sprinting as fast as you can for one minute and then strolling for two minutes. Repeat that three-minute interval five times for a demanding 15-minute routine — you’ll be astonished at how efficient the brief workout can be. Continue reading for just some of the incredible benefits you’ll reap from engaging in high-intensity interval training.
The Advantages of HIIT Workouts
One of the perks of HIIT workouts is that they’re ideal for a busy timetable — whether you want to squeeze in a HIIT routine during your lunch break or simply don’t want to spend your entire evening at the gym. You can achieve comparable benefits with HIIT in comparison to endurance training (think: jogging and biking), but in a significantly shorter amount of time, as indicated by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Furthermore, a small study discovered that young, healthy adults who performed only three bodyweight HIIT workouts per week experienced improvement in their cardiorespiratory fitness after just four weeks of following the regimen.
Even if you only have four minutes to spare, you can incorporate an effective HIIT workout using the Tabata training method. Tabata is a variation of HIIT that entails 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated a total of eight to 20 times. Start with one of these unbelievably quick workouts to begin experiencing the benefits of HIIT workouts.
Quick Tabata Workouts:
- The 30-Day Tabata-Style Workout Challenge That Will Have You Perspiring Like There’s No Tomorrow
- The Tabata Treadmill Interval Workout That’ll Make You Robust and Speedy
- This Bodyweight Tabata Workout from Shaun T Is the Ultimate HIIT Routine
They’ll Have You Feeling More Powerful, Stat
You’ll Work to Construct a Healthier Heart
The majority of individuals aren’t accustomed to pushing into the anaerobic threshold (when your body needs to enlist energy stores already accessible without the assistance of oxygen). But HIIT requests that you enter this anaerobic zone often since there is a very limited time for rest. The brief bursts or sprints of work necessitate your muscles to burn glucose (energy) anaerobically as there isn’t enough time for oxygen to aid in the production of additional ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which serves as your body’s primary energy source.
Furthermore, high-intensity interval training helps your heart and body enhance their anaerobic threshold (or the highest exercise intensity that you can maintain for a prolonged period without depleting ATP). One 2006 study discovered that after eight weeks of engaging in HIIT workouts, individuals were able to ride their bicycles for twice as long (while maintaining the same pace) as they could before they began HIIT workouts.
You Don’t Require Equipment
Running, biking, jump roping, and rowing are all excellent options for HIIT, but you don’t need any equipment to accomplish it. High knees, fast feet, or any plyometric movements (such as jump lunges) work just as effectively in raising your heart rate quickly and reaping the advantages of high-intensity interval training. Here are a few no-equipment HIIT workouts to help you get started.
No-Equipment HIIT Workouts
You Can Perform It Anywhere
Since it’s such a comprehensive concept – working at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a period of recovery, and then repeating the cycle – you can modify high-intensity interval training based on your time and space limitations while still enjoying the benefits of HIIT workouts. These sessions showcase the adaptability of HIIT cardio.
Do-Anywhere HIIT Workouts
You’ll Target Fat…
Not only do you burn more calories during a high-intensity interval training workout than steady-state cardio, but the impact of all that intense exertion propels your body’s repair cycle into overdrive.
That implies your body incinerates more calories in the 24 hours subsequent to a HIIT workout than you do after, articulate, a continuous-speed jog. (Here’s all the research on precisely how to construct muscle and incinerate fat.)
…Without Losing Muscle
While continuous cardio appears to promote muscle loss, research indicates that both weightlifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) enable individuals to maintain their hard-earned muscles while ensuring that the majority of weight lost comes from fat reserves. (
You Might Increase Your Metabolism
In addition to increased fat oxidation and greater muscle preservation, HIIT triggers the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours following the completion of your workout. HGH not only contributes to a higher calorie expenditure but also decelerates the aging process — one of the covert advantages of HIIT sessions.
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