High Intensity Interval Training is a topic I’ve discussed before, but I’ve never dedicated a post solely to the subject. So, it’s about time for a little explanation! No doubt you’ve heard of HIIT – it’s everywhere nowadays. But for those of you that don’t really understand the concept, I’m here to help.
HIIT is an ideal form of exercise for those aiming to shed some body fat. We’re talking maximum calorie burn, minimum amount of time. It all sounds a bit too good to be true, right? Keep reading to find out how it works…
What is HIIT?
It’s a method of training which involves alternating between timed periods of high and low intensity. For example, circuit training with 40 seconds of hard work, followed by 20 seconds rest. The idea is to exercise at maximum capacity during the ‘work’ phase, before allowing your muscles to partially recover, and then repeat.
How does HIIT work?
Training at maximal effort shifts the heart rate into its anaerobic zone, meaning that muscles are forced to work without oxygen for a short period of time. An ‘oxygen debt’ is therefore established.
However (alike to all debts) this must be repaid; a process referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This is the increased rate at which muscles take in oxygen, after having performed strenuous exercise. The result? The body’s metabolic rate will remain elevated for hours after you finish working out. In simple terms, you’ll burn more calories whilst at rest, all because of that HIIT session.
- No gym? No problem! HIIT can be done at home. Basic, functional movements, such as squat and lunge variations (jumps are ideal), push ups and mountain climbers are all suitable.
- HIIT doesn’t have to be hours long. It can be short and sweet – even just 25 minutes will do the job, provided you’re working at maximum capacity!
Now, get out there and give it a go for yourself.