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What is HIIT training?

05

You may have heard of high intensity interval training (HIIT) it has become popular over the last years and so many people love this type of workouts but, is it right for you? Nowadays you can buy so many different weight loss programs on DVD and do them at home, most of them are based on HIIT and circuit training which are awesome training tools but this is also the reason why most people end hating exercise and are not able to sustain their results.

HIIT is an intense form of cardio where you work in intervals, from there the name and even when some guys are able to do the routines some of them get so anxious and angry because it´s hard. On the other hand you have the people who love it.

The reason why so many guys prefer this type of cardio apart from being shorter in time is because so many experts claim about being the answer to fat loss which is not necessary true. There are more things that come into play for any fitness goal like nutrition, sleep, stress and they all work together so if your diet is right, you are in a calorie deficit then yes high-intensity interval training will help you lose fat and it has more benefits.

Studies show that HIIT burns more fat than steady state cardio and there are studies that show that HIIT can also increase body mass so considering this studies then this type of cardio is the way to go right? The problem I see with HIIT is that it impacts the central nervous system and it takes at least 48 hours to recover and if you don´t consider this it can lead to over training.

So how does HIIT help you burn more calories than traditional steady state cardio? The answer is EPOC. Actually if we compare the calories burn on each type of exercise (HIIT and steady state) we´ll see that we burn more calories with steady than with HIIT, but the benefits of HIIT come after you are done with your workout. Once you´ve finished your HIIT session your body´s metabolism stays high burning more calories for some period of time, this is called excess-post- oxygen consumption. It´s the amount of oxygen your body needs to get back to normal.

One of the biggest problems with this type of cardio training is hunger, HIIT increases hunger so if you are fasting you´ll need to schedule your meals around your workouts or it´ll be harder to continue the fast or you´ll over eat in your meals. If your goal is fat loss you need to be in a caloric deficit and it may be hard for you to do this types of workouts, you may feel a lack of energy so it´s hard to give your all and push to your max and it may be harder for you to keep calories low so you may consider steady state cardio which can also help you burn fat.

 This type of training is based on intervals, you choose one exercise for example sprint and perform it for a short period of time, it may be from 20 seconds to 45 seconds and then you take a rest of 30 to 45 seconds and repeat those intervals 5 to 10 times. The time you are performing the exercise you need to make it as hard as possible, you need to give your all and then you recover to do it again.

I used 20 to 45 seconds of work and 30 to 45 seconds of rest, you can adjust this times according to you level and intensity of your workout, if you a really giving your all you may do the exercise for 20 or 30 seconds and take 45 or 60 seconds or more of rest to recover so that you can do it again.

Since you are giving your all for small periods of time this type of cardio takes less time to complete compared to steady cardio which we will see in the next post. In 10 or 20 minutes you are done with cardio so if you hate it this can be a great option.

You can choose 1 or more exercises to perform for this type of workout, sprints are the most common but jump rope or even burpees are great. Choose the one you like and perform the exercise for 30 seconds try to go as fast as you can, this workout is supposed to be intense so you need to put it all, then take 30 seconds rest. As I´ve said before you can adjust the time of the intervals.

If you are just starting you fitness lifestyle I don´t recommend you start with this type of training, if you are out of shape it will be so hard and you will hate it so steady state is the best option for some weeks or months then you can try HIIT.

I also don´t recommend you take this cardio as your only option, 2 or 3 days a week is all you need to get amazing results and avoid over training or burning out.

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Pam