The journey to fitness consists of many different paths. A fitness junkie may run every day, or spend a day at the gym hitting every machine except the treadmill. There seems to be a new fitness trend every day, but not all workouts are created equal. You don’t want to waste your time at the gym; how will you know that you are burning calories or building muscle effectively?
The trend right now is HIIT, and scientists agree: this is one of the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Workouts consist of intense exercises done in a short period of time. During each minute or so of HIIT exercises, you’re giving all of your effort without holding back. Once the high intensity period is over, you get a short rest, and then you continue with another exercise. Most HIIT workouts last for up to 60 minutes, but often, workouts are shorter.
Why HIIT is more effective than your average workout
Many attribute HIIT workouts to burning more calories and fat than other types of workouts. In fact, some studies show that a 20-minute HIIT workout can burn as many calories as an hour of steady cardio. How’s that for an effective workout.
What about HIIT allows you to burn so many calories?
Even during recovery periods, your body is working really hard. Working with such high intensity saps your body of oxygen, and as you rest, your body is working to get that oxygen back. A workout that encourages excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC,) like HIIT, keeps the calories burning even as you are resting or recovering. Just remember that you gain these benefits when you put in the effort to complete the HIIT workout with all of your effort.
As you do a HIIT workout, you boost the production of the human growth hormone (HGH.) Studies have suggested production of HGH spikes up to 450% in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout. The presence of this hormone is great for boosting your metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the faster you burn calories, and the more effective your workout becomes.
Other benefits of HIIT
HIIT is certainly effective, but there are more reasons why this type of workout has become one of the hottest exercise trends.
One of the top reasons people love HIIT is how convenient it is. You don’t need to buy fancy equipment in order to complete a HIIT workout. Show up to a class or pull up a workout online…that is all you need to start! Many HIIT workouts consist of exercises that you may be familiar with: jumping jacks, push-ups, planks, etc.
These familiar exercises allow everyone to get involved with the HIIT trend. Whether you hit the gym every day or you haven’t lifted a weight in years, you can show up to a HIIT workout without any stress. As long as you are pushing yourself to your limits, you will reap the benefits and start to burn fat.
Reducing workout times to under 60 minutes is also another benefit of HIIT. Workers on lunch breaks or stay-at-home moms without a minute to spare can still get a workout in without too much stress. Your body continues to burn fat and calories even after you’ve resumed normal activities. Plus, what sounds better…a 90-minute workout or a 60-minute workout?
The exercises in HIIT routines require full body strength, so you will gain muscle while you shed fat. Whether you want to get lean, get buff, or boost heart health, you may want to consider a HIIT routine the next time you want to head to the gym.
You could start your next HIIT workout right now! This hot trend is all over the Internet if you prefer a solo session, or a workout while you’re on the go. If you prefer a group class, you can find one at a gym near you. HIIT has taken off around the world!
What does a HIIT workout look like?
HIIT workouts start with 10-60 seconds of a high-intensity exercise, followed by a similar period of rest. Each exercise is different.Depending on whether you want to build muscle, shed fat, or have other fitness goals, different HIIT workouts may be more effective for you.
A HIIT workout may look like this:
- 30 seconds of jumping jacks
- 15 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of squats
- 15 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of jogging in place
- 15 seconds of rest
This pattern continues with different exercises until you’ve hit the end of the workout.
If you are already committed to one type of exercise, don’t worry! You can apply the principles of HIIT to your routine to get your heart pumping and oxygen flowing. Say you enjoy the treadmill at the gym. Rather than going at a slower, even pace for 60 minutes, add some HIIT to your run! Sprint for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds. You can adjust times based on your current skills, but this type of interval training will give you all the benefits of a HIIT workout.
How often should you go to a HIIT class?
Your body is still working up to 24 hours after you complete a HIIT workout, so it’s important to recover after sessions. Experts recommend taking three HIIT classes a week, with over 24 hours of rest in between each session.
Combining HIIT with nutrition at beatSTRONG
The metabolism boost and other physical benefits of HIIT make it a great choice for your next workout – so let’s get started!
The experts at beatSTRONG know that HIIT is just one piece of the fitness puzzle. We offer nutrition classes for all of our members who want to round out their fitness routine with a healthy diet. Keep track of your progress with heart rate monitors and personal trainers who can guide you through your journey. Our studios in Fulshear, Katy, and Richmond, TX offer classes throughout the day, seven days a week.
Want to see what all the hype is about HIIT? Sign up for a free trial class today and begin your journey toward health and fitness!
Proudly serving the Katy, Fulshear and Richmond Texas area, Beat Strong Fitness and Nutrition offers nutrition and group interval training classes based on high intensity interval training, or HIIT.