High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become so popular in the recent past.  Most fitness enthusiasts, from athletes to recreational exercisers are incorporating it into their fitness routines.

Interval training can help you burn fat faster and can dramatically improve your fitness levels in the shortest time possible. Most athletes rely on high-intensity interval training to improve their fitness without having to spend countless hours in training.

You can also train like an athlete to get in shape faster with the help of Interval Training.

What is HIIT?

High-Intensity Interval TrainingHIIT is a method of training that involves alternating short bursts of exercise at maximum effort paired with equal or slightly longer rest intervals. A typical interval workout can only take you from between 20-30 minutes to complete. And, the benefits are much more than when you spend an hour doing your normal moderate intensity workout.

Are you short of time and feel like fitting in a workout session is a huge task? Resist that temptation to skip your workout by doing a high-intensity session so long as you can handle it without risk of injuries. I believe you can spare at least 20 minutes of your day for exercise. That’s all you need to be fit and healthy.

You don’t need to spend hours in the gym sweating your butt off and killing yourself to see results. Whether you want to build more muscle or lose fat, interval training can help you get fitter in no time. Don’t train longer, instead work smarter using shorter and faster HIIT intervals. Here is a sample HIIT workout from FitnessBlender.

Is it for everybody?

All forms of exercise and physical activity, whether of low or moderate intensity, are strenuous to the body. You must, therefore, be careful when increasing the intensity of your workouts. Be vigilant especially if you have any condition that requires a release from the doctor before embarking on any intense exercise programs.

If however, you’ve been exercising regularly and want to take your fitness to the next level, then HIIT will be perfect provided you tailor it to your needs and goals.  Also, remember to factor in any limitations you might be having. If on the other hand, you’re just starting out, be sure, to begin with, short work intervals and longer rest intervals. As you improve your fitness levels, you can progressively shorten the rest intervals.

Why I love HIIT

I love interval training and I include it in my programs for clients who are looking to shed fat within the shortest time possible. Over the years, I’ve tested different training methods to come up with the most efficient at burning fat.  HIIT is the most effective in getting my clients toned and ripped without spending hours doing endless boring cardio.

Benefits of HIIT

  • You’ll burn huge amounts of fat during the actual workout and,  you will continue to burn fat hours after your workout. Also, Interval training is anaerobic (without oxygen) meaning it primarily uses the body’s reserve energy. It also keeps your metabolism high after your workout which results in greater gains.
  • It stimulates a higher EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption)- After a high energy exercise session, oxygen consumption and muscle cells work to restore the body to pre-exercise levels. As a result, you burn more calories for longer.
  • Stronger heart and lung capacity- Research shows that doing interval training followed by 3 minutes of active rest results in a 10% greater improvement than long slow distance running. Moreover, it also improves the amount of blood pumped by your heart and you become fitter.
  • More Growth Hormone and Testosterone production- HIIT places the body under enormous amounts of stress stimulating the release of Growth Hormone and testosterone. These hormones are vital for increasing the amount of muscle you have and will help you become leaner.
  • Improved mood- Exercising at 80% of your maximum capacity significantly raises your endorphin levels. Furthermore, pushing yourself to your physical limits stimulates the production of these feel-good hormones.

Sample Treadmill HIIT Workout

Below is a simple HIIT routine you can do on the Treadmill or outdoors:

Warm-up, 5 minutes at 5.0 mph
After your warmup, gradually increase your speed then:
Run for one minute at 7.0 mph
Recover for one minute at 4.0 mph
Run for one minute at 7.5 mph
Recover for one minute at 4.0 mph
Run for one minute at 8.0 mph
Recover for one minute at 4.0 mph

Continue to increase the speed at each interval and repeat this pattern for 20 minutes.
Cool down for 5 minutes at 3.0 mph.

Conclusion

You can incorporate interval training in your programs to break the monotony and to push yourself to new limits. The only thing you need to look out for is your intensity level. Likewise, it should never be a one size fit all. Choose an intensity based on your level of fitness. On a scale of 1-10, you should be working out at level 8-10.  Rest intervals should be at level 5-6.

High-intensity interval training done at an appropriate intensity and frequency is a time efficient way to reach your fitness goals faster.

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