8 Proven Benefits of HIIT
Known for its intense nature, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been sweeping the nation. HIIT describes any workout routine that involves alternating periods of intense bursts of activity followed by short periods of rest.
A prime example involves running for 1 minute as hard as you can, followed by a two minute period of walking. Rinse and repeat. Doing this for 15 minutes will melt the pounds away. Though you’ll definitely be feeling the burn by the end of the session, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment of having completed the exercise.
With that being said, let’s take a look at 8 benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
1) You don’t lose muscles mass, you lose weight
There’s a thousand and one fad diets out there that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. Often times, for those that work, dieters will find they lose muscle mass along with the extra weight. HIIT, on the other hand, burns through the fat while maintaining muscles mass. Coupling HIIT with weight training will allow you to burn away the pounds while building muscle. Ultimately, as long as you stay consistent, you’ll end up with the body you’re working to attain.
2) It’s very good at burning fat
I’m not saying that other workout routines aren’t effective at burning fat, but the intense nature of HIIT allows you to burn through fat that much more effectively. All of that intense exertion pushes your body to its limits which in turn heightens the body’s repair cycle. Thus, you’ll still be burning more calories and fat even after the HIIT workout routine.
3) No need for equipment
One reason many of us have gym memberships is that we don’t have all the necessary equipment we need at home to truly get into shape. Don’t get me wrong, HIIT workout sessions can be enhanced through the use of equipment (take jump roping and biking for example). However, there are plenty of effective workout regiments you can engage in without the need for any equipment whatsoever.
You certainly don’t need equipment for high jumps, running, and lunging. These are all great exercises that can get your heart rate up which is exactly what you should want from any HIIT workout routine. Sometimes certain types of equipment, such as dumbbells, can even detract from the effectiveness of HIIT because your focus will be more on building the muscles in your arms rather than increasing your heart rate.
4) Your metabolism receives a boost
HIIT does more than boost your heart health. HIIT also gives your metabolism a mighty boost. Studies show that HIIT stimulates the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent (this is up to 24 hours after your workout session). HGH has a lot to do with slowing down the process of aging in the human body. Have you noticed that many people who work out in their elder years still look youthful and healthy? Perhaps they’re on to something!
5) It’s Efficient
One of the primary benefits of HIIT is its efficiency. This is the perfect workout for a person always on the go. Let’s say your busy schedule only gives you about thirty minutes of free time during the day (during a lunch break for example), or perhaps you may be training for an upcoming event that you need to get into shape for quickly.
It’s been proven that a fifteen-minute session of high-intensity interval training is all you need (done consistently throughout the week) to achieve the physique you need quickly and efficiently. Some HIIT workouts take as little as four minutes to complete!
6) HIIT can be done anywhere
When it comes to HIIT you don’t need a gym. You can do it in your living room, in the parking lot of your job during your lunch break, in your backyard — you can do it anywhere! THIIT is all about putting in maximum effort for short spurts of time before resting and going once again. You can pretty much fit it around whatever schedule you have.
7) You’ll improve heart health
There’s a lot of Americans out there who’ll tell you that they’re not used to working out until their heart rate is practically hammering away in their chest cavity. While feeling light headed and out of breath is something most of us try to avoid, pushing our hearts to such limits ultimately improves cardiovascular health. The high-intensity nature of HIIT will ultimately force your heart to work that much harder which will allow you to push yourself to your limits and beyond. Your heart is just like any other muscle in your body — if you want it to be strong and healthy you need to work it out regularly.
8) It forces you to push yourself
Don’t think of this as the sort of exercise where you can run on a treadmill and leisurely watch TV as you work up a sweat. HIIT doesn’t last very long. However, that means you’ll be working extremely hard during that short period. It’ll push you to your limits and will likely make you consider quitting. If you’re able to push through it you’ll find you’ll be stronger in both mind and body. You can take the lessons you learn from HIIT and take it into your everyday life. It’ll make you a tougher individual overall and make you proud that you can push yourself so hard and come out the other end a stronger person.
High-intensity interval training isn’t for those who aren’t up for the challenge. The end result, however, is well worth the sweat and tears you pour into the effort you put forward. Discipline yourself to meet your goals and try to work harder each time you workout, and you may be surprised with the results that are produced through your hard work.