7 Reasons Why You Should Add H.I.I.T to Your Workouts

H.I.I.T. and weight loss

Did you know that you don’t have to spend hours on the “dreadmill” to achieve weight loss? What if I told you that you could achieve the same if not better results and spend no more than 30 mins a day doing cardio? Well you can and the trick is High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T). You may have heard the term before on infomercials for popular at home fitness programs such as P90x or Insanity, but what is H.I.I.T and how does it help you achieve your weight loss goals? The age old way of doing cardio is walking, running, biking, etc.., and these activates can be done both outside or inside on some sort of cardio equipment. You would typically do these activates at a steady pace for an extended period of time, in some cases hours, to burn calories. With H.I.I.T. you will be exerting maximal effort for short burst of time.

An example of a H.I.I.T session on an elliptical: 2-5 minute warm-up at a steady pace, then start 30 seconds where you would go as hard as you possibly can, after that 30 seconds you would slow down to your warm-up pace for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. This would be repeated for 5-8 rounds followed by a 2-5 minute cool down.

Now the trick to H.I.I.T. is to make sure you give it your all during those 30 second intense burst, you should be begging for the slow down at the end of those 30 seconds. H.I.I.T. may be extremely intense to begin with but stick with it and before long you will be ready to push your intense rounds to 45 seconds or even higher. One of the great things about H.I.I.T is that it doesn’t have to be done on a piece of cardio equipment, it can be done with weights in a circuit or even in a class like GRIT.

The benefits of H.I.I.T:
1) “HIIT burns more calories during and after a workout than continuous aerobic training,” says exercise physiologist and athletic trainer Scott Weiss, C.S.C.S.
2) “The bursts of increased intensity simply increase the caloric expenditure, thus, more total calories are burned aiding in better body composition.”
3) Even more: You burn more calories for about two hours after exercise, adding to the greater caloric fire”, he explains.
4) “With HIIT, the total calories burned is greater in EPOC than with continuous exercise.”
5) A study in PLoS ONE found that just one minute of high intensity work on an otherwise not-so-hard workout can boost your endurance and your overall health, seen through measures like improved blood pressure and higher counts of mitochondria, which help fuel your body and brain. And that improved endurance will carry over to your more moderate-intensity runs, rides, and other workouts. H.I.I.T. is great for your heart.
6) Flexibility isn’t just important when it comes to touching your toes. “HIIT increases the flexibility and elasticity of arteries and veins better than continuous aerobic exercise,” says Weiss. “Because of the increased pressure demand of HIIT, the vessels actually get a workout as well.”
7) One study that looked at people with coronary artery disease found that high intensity interval training was not only safe—but better tolerated than a more moderate level workout.

Exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) is the body’s natural ability to return to homeostasis after exercise. H.I.I.T can also boost your endurance. Next time you’re slogging on a run, pick it up—just for 60 seconds. These are just a few benefits of H.I.I.T. Lastly, a question that I know many of you have, is H.I.I.T for everyone? In general as long as you are in decent shape and don’t have any major joint or bone issues then you could benefit from H.I.I.T. However as with any change in exercise you should consult your physician.

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jason1Written By: Jason Worthy
SAC Personal Trainer
NASM Personal Trainer Certification