Fitness fads come and go, but this new fad called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) might be here to stay.
HIIT uses a combination of quick intervals of intense exercise and short recovery periods to increase your heart rate, burn fat and work muscles in a short amount of time. In fact, HIIT is becoming the go-to training method for many professional fitness instructors. The allure lies in the ability to complete an entire workout in less than 20 minutes and burn fat. In fact, this type of training burns more fat than a regular 45 minute cardio session since it keeps your heart rate up and gives your metabolic rate a boost.
Mike Volkin, creator of HIIT the Game, now on Kickstarter states “HIIT is just fun, it’s a fun way to mix up any routine and it can be done by just about anyone, and anywhere.”
A study performed at Laval University in Canada used two groups of participants. One group followed a 15-week program using HIIT while the other group performed only steady-state cardio for 20 weeks. The steady-state cardio group actually burned 15,000 calories more than the HIIT group. But, the HIIT group lost significantly more body fat. There are many scientific studies with similar results.
Aside from being quick and very effective at both burning fat and increasing metabolism, HIIT is appealing to many because no equipment is required. This training method uses bodyweight exercises so a workout can be done anywhere from a gym to a living room.
Another great aspect of high intensity interval training is variety. Everyone has complained that their workout routine gets boring and stale after a while, but with HIIT it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change things up and try something new every week if you want. Variety not only maintains enthusiasm during training but it will benefit the body immensely through a process called muscle confusion. Targeting a wide array of muscle groups and performing different exercises regularly is going produce results fast.
Lastly, even though HIIT workouts are short, usually 20 minutes, they actually improve endurance. HIIT works, if you’re skeptical, give it a try for a week and see how you feel, at the very least, it is a great plateau breaker of your current routine.