You have seen that certain person that hits the gym and is doing cardio exercises all over the place at high intensity and suddenly, he lowers it down and starts taking his breath; that is high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short.
What exactly is HIIT?
HIIT is a short, high intensity, energetic short bursts of energy paired with intervals of quick rests. This sort of training raises your body’s metabolic rate by increasing heart rate and dropping it suddenly and could lead to your body burning calories long after your workout is over. It also reduces insulin resistance, improve heart health, and produce faster gains in your training.
Where can you exercise HIIT?
The best part of it is that you can do it anywhere. You can set a treadmill program that makes you walk then jog then sprint then repeat. Or you can develop your own circuit outdoor with medicine balls, cones, ropes, and whatever you can use. No equipment? No problem, you can enjoy 15 mins of it outdoors doing burpees, jumping jacks, running in place, and literally any cardio exercise that comes to your mind.
Why should you exercise HIIT?
For a lot of reasons that we will try to sum up in the following few paragraphs.
We have already covered that you can do it anywhere and without any equipment whatsoever, but that’s not all there is to its convenience; it is also super time convenient. Why spend 30 mins jogging on the treadmill when you can do 15 minutes of HIIT and get better results? Of course, you might think to yourself that 15 mins are not a big deal but again; better results! It is very efficient and can be squeezed in a very tight schedule for people who have hectic ones.
You will burn more fat; it really is a simple equation, better metabolism and higher heart rate means you will shred the fat off faster. HIIT doesn’t just make you lose fat, it actually strengthens your muscles when it is done with exercises such as pushups and burpees. You will also have a healthier heart, meaning that you will be able to walk longer, cycle longer, and take the stairs instead of the elevator so no more standing in lines.
It is seriously challenging and not on the physical level only, it takes a lot of dedication and willpower to complete your workout. This might not seem like much of a benefit at first glance but it teaches you to be resilient and challenging in all aspects of your life, just don’t overdo it or you’ll get injured.
How to get best results?
You have to ease in gradually into your training. Start with basic fitness before you start adding intervals, you have to know that at the very beginning you won’t be able to complete a full HIIT circuit, and that’s perfectly normal, overtime you will get the hang of it and increase the interval times.
You should also choose an enjoyable mode of exercises; if you hate running, don’t do interval runs because you won’t stick around for too long. Fun circuits can be planned with a partner to make it fun and challenging as long as you make sure to use larger muscle groups and exercises where you can accelerate and deaccelerate just as fast.
We can’t stress enough the importance of fueling up for your HIIT as it demands a lot of energy from your body. You cannot run a Lamborghini on corn oil, can you. You need to consume fast absorbing carbs and proteins the closer you get to your workout, or simply pick a fine pre-workout that matches your style.
And finally, the most important tip of them all is to always listen to your body. If you are feeling tired ahead of an HIIT session, you probably should take the day off.
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