5 Benefits of HIIT Training
Curious about HIIT? Check your club’s class schedule for our new M7 HIIT class.
Juggling work, family commitments, and a thousand other things on our to-do lists makes it hard to fit fitness into the schedule – even though we all know consistency is key to succeeding on any fitness journey.
But that doesn’t mean you have to spend two hours at the gym to get your gains. That’s where HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, comes in. HIIT is all about short bursts of high intensity exercises, and moments of rest or recovery. Arguably, the best thing about this type of workout is that it only takes half an hour to be effective.
It should definitely be part of your arsenal if burning more calories or losing weight is one of your fitness goals. Your heart rate will soar, then you’ll fully recover before doing it all again.
Intrigued? Read on to learn all about the benefits of this type of exercise.
1. It’s fast.
Most HIIT protocols take as little as 30 minutes for a full body workout. Since you give 100 percent during the work periods, and rest completely during the recovery periods, it requires less time in the gym to achieve the same results. Your only goal for the session: make it as challenging as possible.
2. It’s effective.
According to the American Council on Exercise, your body burns calories at a rate of five calories per liter of oxygen consumed. In general, using exercise to increase the oxygen demands on your body will increase total caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and the recovery periods. HIIT workouts also train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-intensity exercise.
3. It’s fun.
Knowing rest and recovery is coming makes it mentally and physically easier to perform at your peak for the designated work time. It also makes it A LOT more fun! You’ll push yourself harder than ever, creating a massive sense of accomplishment. Combine that with a rush of endorphins and you’ll be smiling while you sweat.
4. It burns fat and builds muscle.
It’s no surprise that to instantaneously up your heart rate to max capacity (well kind of...), your body is going to work HARD. Plus, your body will metabolize fat for fuel during the workout. It also triggers the release of testosterone and human growth hormone which both help you metabolize fat better and build muscle. Go for gold and use compound movements like lunges, squats and, yes, you guessed it, burpees for peak hormone activation.
5. It burns calories after you’re finished.
If you thought it couldn’t get any better, you were wrong! HIIT is one of our favorite ways to train because your body will still burn calories hours after you leave the Club. It does this through something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Most people refer to EPOC as afterburn. It’s great to incorporate HIIT into your morning routine because the afterburn is amplified if you stay active afterward. So, HIIT the gym in the morning before you take the stairs to your office, park further away at the grocery store and run around the park with your kids.
If all of this sounds good to you, slowly build HIIT into your workout routine. A great way to start is with high-intensity movements for 30-60 seconds, then rest for 30-60 seconds. Build the intensity progressively so you don’t burn out on it after the second week.
Due to the high level of intensity and the amount of time necessary to appropriately recover from the exercise session, ACE recommends no more than two days of HIIT per week, allowing at least one full day of recovery between training sessions.