HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it involves repeated periods of high intensity exercise, developed at maximum speed or power, interspersed with periods of low intensity exercise or absolute rest. In other words, you can say it alternates sessions of high intensity-anaerobic exercises with moments of lower intensity or sometimes of total rest.
HIIT can be utilised in different activities, such as cycling, russian weights, tape and training in suspension etc. and it allows you to vary your exercises, the rest time and your activity times. Something you will notice whatever your activity, is that HIIT training is very concentrated and very hardcore during the time that your session lasts, ensuring that you take advantage of all of the minutes of your workout.
Additionally, HIIT training is hugely demanding work for your cardiorespiratory capabilities, improving your resistance significantly. Numerous studies have shown their effectiveness in the face of efficient and effective weight loss.
You should also note that this type of training is perfect for those who have a limited time, since you can spread out each session and have under 30 minute sessions if needed.
Below we list the benefits that HIIT training can bring to you, your workout and your health:
HIIT training is one of the most efficient exercise regimes, because it can be reduced to under 30 minutes. Studies have concluded that with a 20 minute session, you can get more progress than you can get by doing soft jogging for 60 minutes. If you exercise for 2 weeks with high intensity workouts, your aerobic capacity will increase as much as if you did 8 weeks of long duration training.
Increases your aerobic and cardiovascular capacity
HIIT training causes an increase in aerobic capacity and builds a quite considerable resistance in a very short time thanks to the combination of high intensity exercises alongside softer ones. Continuous rhythm changes can cause the body to increase its cardiovascular capacity. This benefit also directly affects the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, promoting health through the action of the heart and blood vessels.
Improves your insulin sensitivity and increases your levels of good cholesterol
It is a very important thing to try and reduce the risks of suffering from diabetes in the future. Why? – You may think this is a simple question… but it helps improve your insulin sensitivity which causes muscles to have a greater capacity to absorb glucose. This aids in your exercises and ensures that your body does not store sugar in form of fats. This also contributes directly to blood levels of bad cholesterol or an LDL decrease, and can increase the levels of good cholesterol or HDL.
It helps preserve muscle whilst burning fat
Anyone who has wanted to burn fat or lose weight knows how complicated it can be to not to lose muscle mass at the same time. It is shown that performing a lot of cardio helps lose fat, but also promotes the loss of muscle mass. Research has confirmed that HIIT training with weights allows the muscles to be conserved, while helping to lose weight by burning fat reserves.
Stimulates metabolism and hormones
In addition to helping to retain muscle and losing fat, HIIT helps you produce growth hormones up to 400% during the day after your session is over.
How do I get started?
If you are not an active person, do not despair! Just ensure that you do not push yourself too hard in the beginning. This is not training that is hugely advised to those who are completely starting from scratch. The HIIT training is aimed at those who may have previous experience with aerobic activities. By knowing how your body works and to what extent it can reach, then you are really ready to start with a high intensity workout
Before starting training with such intensity, it is very important to prepare your body. Therefore, the best way is to start with a general physical conditioning to get a base in both muscle and cardiovascular levels. HIIT is very demanding training that can raise your heart rate up to 90%, which is why it is not advisable for people who are overweight or have cardiac or cardiovascular pathologies to practice it. Your joints could be damaged leading to major injuries.
Enjoy yourself, understand your body and advance little by little. You will see improvements and you will enjoy the training. Let your body tell you how far you can go, then push a little bit further. Train with friends or colleagues to maximise your effort and enjoyment and research and learn to improve yourself and how you train.
These are keys to a happy, healthy training program.