With my newly found and super endearing devotion for the “Science of Exercise”, I have been spicing up my workout routines with a variety of training methods. And amongst several, the one I have truly fell in love with is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. It is 100% amazing and I have become a die-hard fan of this training technique. My personal reasons for loving this method is that firstly, it is simple, super time-saving and extremely effective. And secondly,it leaves me with this breathless “I am about to die” sorta feeling after each intense session, which being an exercise maniac I simply love 🙂
So, what does HIIT exactly mean, how does it differ from other workout techniques and why is it so wildly effective in burning fat.
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio-vascular exercise. I guess it is more easily understood when termed as Sprint Interval Training. This means that it is the combination of short intense periods of anaerobic exercise with lesser intense resting periods. For example, you can do Burpees for 20 seconds and then jog for 10 seconds OR you sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds.Unlike other workout techniques, HIIT doesn’t make you go on and on with the same exercise moves for a long period of time. It is one of the most loved training techniques amongst fitness buffs worldwide.
Let me take you directly to the facts that will make you a HIIT fan as well:
- You burn for a long time even after you are done with the routine. Since you are constantly working out during a HIIT routine (even though there are resting periods in between), your body is unable to bring in enough oxygen into your body , especially to compensate for those high intensity reps. As a result, there is Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC, which revs up your metabolism and fat-burning for hours after you leave the gym. Research has shown that HIIT is 50% more efficient in burning adipose tissue than prolonged duration of low intensity exercises.
- It is time saving and effective. A normal HIIT routine can be as short as 4 minutes and extend up to a maximum of 30 minutes. When done in proper form, it is much more effective then an hour of slogging at the gym.
- You can do it both anaerobically (using body weight or free weights) and aerobically with cardio. This means it has the ability to increase your anaerobic as well as aerobic endurance.
- HIIT hits the flabby zones much more effectively. Unlike other workout regimes, HIIT not only burns your excess blood glucose but also burns glycogen (i.e. the stored fat).
- It is a metabolic conditioning technique.The higher intensities in a HIIT regime boosts up muscle building growth hormones. And we all know that the more lean muscle mass we build, the more fat we shed.
- It improves your insulin sensitivity. We all know how important it is for our body cells to remain insulin sensitive ( I have written an entire article on this).HIIT makes your body more insulin sensitive i.e. your body cells utilise more of the blood glucose so that very less or no glucose is left to be converted into stored fat.
- No science but this is my personal reason to love this technique, you can never get bored doing HIIT routines 🙂
Thus, HIIT is all about intensifying your inner fat burn. However, here a few points that I would suggest you to keep in mind to see the absolute best results:
- Incorporate exercises that involve several muscle groups and target your entire body in designing your HIIT routine.
- Make sure the higher intensity exercises are challenging enough. As you stay diligent with your HIIT regime, keep raising the bar of challenges.
- Just like any other form of training, proper form is a must.
- Your diet will always play a key role. Consume your calories efficiently and effectively.
So, no more excuses. Whether you are an exercise pro or just a beginner or even someone who needs motivation; you should definitely try HIIT and feel amazed by it’s wonderful results 🙂