The purpose of High Intensity Interval Training
The key to improving your fitness level is to shock your body. If you stick to walking or running on the treadmill for 60 minutes at the same pace, or even lifting weights with the same old routine, the body will adapt to what you are doing. You need to overload your body beyond what it is accustomed to in order to get better results.
High Intensity Interval Training is any exercise performed at a high intensity for a short period time followed by a rest period. HIIT is an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. If you train intensely in short bouts, you can get more benefits in less time.
Some mistakenly believe the best way to burn fat is to workout at a low-to -moderate intensity (staying between 65%-85% of your max heart rate zone), for longer periods of time to burn body fat. What some may not know is the total energy expenditure is higher when working out for shorter bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a low intensity recovery throughout the work out. In other words, the total amount of fat burned is greater doing HIIT for 30 minutes as opposed to strolling on a treadmill for 60 minutes.
You can take any cardio activity and perform intervals. For example, you can take your workout outdoors using a park, track, or bleachers. Start to jog for the first 4-5 minutes to warm up, then go into a sprint for 30-45 seconds, go back into a jog or fast walk for just 30 seconds to a minute to recover and repeat. Instead of just sprinting, you can do “high knees,” “side shuffles,” “plyometric skips,” and “leap frogs” for 30 seconds each (just to name a few). This will keep your body guessing and targeting different muscle groups. You can perform high intensity intervals cycling, swimming, on the treadmill, elliptical, and even the rowing machine. The lists of options are endless.
Aside from being a huge time saver, HIIT creates a longer post-workout fat burning reaction in the metabolism by increasing the resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24-36 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This means, the more intense your workout, the longer you will burn off fat after the workout is completed. When there is an increase in exercise intensity, there is also an increase in the release of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone is known to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle.
Interval training may feel uncomfortable because of the lactic acid build up (burning sensation when pushing muscles to the next level), causing many people to resist the challenge. With the understanding of how HIIT can save time, rev up the metabolism, produce more growth hormone, stimulate fat loss, change your body and your cardiovascular fitness, you will shock your body and take your results to the next level.
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