High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has caught on like wildfire in the world of fitness in the last few years, and for good reason.
What is HIIT and why is it so popular?
Specifically designed to push your body harder, faster, and further than traditional Standard Intensity Training (SIT) ever could, plenty of people taking advantage of HIIT to melt fat faster, build muscle quicker, and dramatically improve their overall health and athletic capabilities in the blink of an eye.
Below we break down some of the biggest benefits of HIIT training, using HIIT for fat loss and strength gains, and how to make the most of everything that this training protocol has to offer.
Shall we get started?
What Does HIIT Stand For?
As we touched on just a moment ago, anyone wondering “what does HIIT stand for” will be pleased to know that is merely an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training.
We’ll dig a little bit deeper into everything that HIIT is and how to make the most of it in just a moment, but as a general rule you can think of this training protocol as a much faster, much more intense, and much more focused way to train and build your body compared to more traditional approaches.
It’s these radical different approaches to fitness that offer all the advantages of interval training that you’ll be able to notice almost immediately. That’s what makes HIIT so special.
What is HIIT Training?
One of the biggest benefits of high intensity exercise – and something that really makes HIIT training so different than everything else – is that there’s no real one way to approach this training protocol, and no real way to box this system into a narrow little definition.
Instead, HIIT training is much more of an umbrella term used to describe any training that is designed to be performed over short bursts of high intensity activity in a short block of time followed by a short rest and recovery cooldown before rinsing and repeating through as many cycles as you can manage.
There are a couple of different ways you can structure HIIT training protocols, but most people go for a 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 ratio of high intensity to cooldown timelines.
The general gist is that you want to push yourself just as quickly and as intensely as possible for say 30 seconds in a specific exercise (maybe sprinting, maybe jumping rope, maybe lifting weights, etc.) – really putting your body through its paces – and then rest for anywhere between 30 seconds and 90 seconds before you get back into the high intensity efforts again.
How Many Calories Does a HIIT Workout Burn?
Again, it’s impossible to determine exactly how many calories you’re going to be able to burn during a HIIT workout – just because there are so many different ways you could move through a HIIT workout, with none of those training protocols consuming the same amount of calories across the board.
At the same time, as a general rule most people that ask “how many calories does a HIIT workout burn” are told by fitness professionals and nutritionists that they’ll burn up to three times as many calories with a HIIT approach than they would have with a standard intensity level.
This is a big part of the weight loss benefits that HIIT brings to the table, that’s for sure. Anyone wondering how does HIIT burn fat faster will find the ability to chew through calories three times as quickly as you would have been able to before to be a big benefit.
Benefits of HIIT Training
While we’ve already covered does HIIT burn more calories above (making HIIT very effective for weight loss), there are a whole host of other benefits you’ll enjoy with this training protocol as well.
For starters, you’ll not just be able to melt fat faster while practicing HIIT exercises – consuming more calories while you work out – but you’ll also be able to boost your metabolic rate for hours and hours afterwards, too.
A number of clinical research studies have shown that you can increase your metabolic activity for 24 hours with just 30 minutes of HIIT training. That’s a fast track to melting fat even while you sleep!
Researchers have also shown that HIIT exercises are better for building lean muscle mass faster, for improving your overall oxygenation throughout your body, and even evening out your heart rate and your blood pressure.
Some folks getting started with HIIT wonder “is HIIT training good for your heart” and want to know how HIIT and blood sugar levels are linked, and those are valid concerns to have. But you’ll be happy here that you can take your fitness and your overall health and well-being to the next level with HIIT.
At the end of the day, the question everyone wants to have answered is simply this:
Is HIIT effective?
Now that you know what HIIT is, what it has to offer, and how easy it is to implement we are sure you will agree with the general consensus of the fitness community worldwide that it’s not only effective but it just might be the most effective way to jumpstart your body transformation journey.