HIIT: What, How & Why it's so great for weight loss
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular over the years, with many people touting its benefits for weight loss, improved fitness, and overall health. But what is HIIT, and why is it so effective?
HIIT is a type of workout that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. For example, you might sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then walk or jog for a minute or two, before repeating the cycle. This pattern is typically repeated for a total of 20-30 minutes. Some examples of how this might look:
Tabatas: 6-8 x 20 seconds hard, 10 seconds easy. Recover for 5 minutes and repeat for up to 3 sets.
40x20’s: Same but 40 seconds hard, 20 seconds easy
30x30’s: 30 hard, 30 easy. Repeat 4-6 times.
Hill repeats: 20-30 seconds uphill (or simulated hill) and then same time recovery
One of the reasons HIIT is so effective is that it stimulates the body's metabolic response in a way that steady-state cardio doesn't. During high-intensity exercise, your body needs to use more oxygen and energy to keep up, which leads to a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even after you finish your workout, which can lead to greater overall calorie burn and weight loss.
But HIIT is not just for weight loss - it can also improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle mass, and boost athletic performance. When you push yourself to your limits during a HIIT workout, you challenge your body to adapt and improve in a number of ways. Your heart and lungs become more efficient at delivering oxygen to your muscles, your muscles become stronger and more resilient, and your overall fitness level improves.
Of course, HIIT is not for everyone. It can be incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally, and it's important to work up to it gradually if you're new to exercise. You also need to make sure you're using proper form and technique, as high-intensity exercise can increase your risk of injury if you're not careful. Working with a coach to make sure you're doing it correctly is recommended - at least at the beginning.
If you're up for the challenge, HIIT can be an incredibly rewarding and effective way to improve your fitness and health. And with a little bit of dedication and hard work, you might be surprised at what you can achieve. So if you're ready to take your workouts to the next level, give HIIT a try - you just might love it.