High-intensity interval training is a type of training regimen that is done within a short period and at a rapid rate. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a conventional training regimen known for its calorie burning activities. It is often used because it puts the body in a catabolic state, helping us burn more calories within a short period.
What is HIIT High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT involves short duration of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity resting periods. However, it is the most time-efficient way to exercise.
Typically, a HIIT workout ranges from 10 to 30 minutes in duration.
Despite the short duration of the workout is, it can produce health benefits similar to twice as much moderate-intensity exercise
HIIT Interval Training Exercises
- The TYPES OF activity performed varies but MOSTLY include sprinting, biking, jumping rope or other TYPES OF body weight exercises.
- For example, a HIIT workout INVOLVING a stationary exercise bike could consist of 30 seconds of cycling as fast as possible against a high resistance, followed by several minutes of slow, relaxed cycling COMBINED with low resistance TRAINING.
- This would be COUNTED as a “round” or “repetition” of HIIT, and you would often do 4 to 6 reps in one workout.
- The exact amount of time spent on the exercise and recovering time will vary based on the activity you choose and how intensely you are exercising.
- Regardless of how it is implemented, high-intensity intervals should involve short periods of vigorous exercise that make your heart rate speed up.
- HIIT provides the advantage of longer-duration exercise in a much shorter amount of time and also offers some unique health benefits
Exercise is perfect for the body, and HIIT is useful for people that want to lose weight within a short period. HIIT helps in reducing obesity and effect of osteoporosis on the body. One of the advantages of this type of workout is its short duration but blasting post-workout lipolytic effects.
HIIT involves the use of various cardio and different exercises for losing weight. It has multiple benefits on our body and the improvement of our health.
15 Ways High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Your Health
1. Increased Number of Burned Calories
We burn a lot of calories when doing a HIIT workout, but the effect of the exercise is to kick your body’s repair and recovery cycle into a hyperdrive state. This means that you burn more fat, lose weight and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout when compared to a steady-pace run. This increased amount of calories burned helps to reduce obesity and decrease the risk of various diseases such as Prediabetes, Diabetes, and Osteoporosis.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits
Exercises such as running, biking, jumping with a rope, and rowing with dumbbells are all significant components of HIIT, but you don’t need any equipment to get it done. Exercises such as high knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart to beat fast.
In fact, some equipment like dumbbells can make HIIT less efficient because you want the emphasis to be on pushing your heart to its maximum, not your biceps. HIIT workout helps to increase the heart rate which is an essential factor in losing weight, eliminating stress, and avoiding various cardiovascular problems such as heart failure and other forms of heart disease
3. Weight Loss and Muscle Preservation
Fitness and diet experts know that it is easy to lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles, while ensuring most of the weight loss comes from fat stores.
Studies have shown that HIIT can help you lose fat. One review looked at 13 experiments and 424 overweight and obese adults. Interestingly, it found that both HIIT and traditional moderate-intensity exercise can help you lose visceral fat, external fat and waist circumference.
Additionally, one study found that people performing HIIT three times per week for 20 minutes per session lost 4.4 pounds, or 2 kgs, of body fat in 12 weeks — without any dietary changes. Perhaps more important was the 17% reduction in visceral fat, or the disease-promoting fat surrounding your internal organs. Several other studies also indicate that body fat can be reduced with HIIT, despite the relatively low time commitment.
However, like other forms of exercise, HIIT may be most effective weight loss in those who are overweight or obese
This type of workout is good for athletes, powerlifters, or bodybuilders that want to train with cardio just for weight loss and still preserve their muscles. If you want to lose weight and still preserve that hard-earned muscle of yours, HIIT workout is the best workout for you.
4. Enhanced Metabolism
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 % during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for the increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!.
One of the ways HIIT helps you burn calories comes after you are done exercising. Several studies have demonstrated HIIT’s impressive ability to increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Some researchers have even found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more so than jogging and weight training. In the same study, HIIT was also found to shift the body’s metabolism toward using fat for energy rather than carbs.
Another study showed that just two minutes of HIIT in the form of sprints increased metabolism over 24 hours was equal to 30 minutes of running.
The enhanced metabolism derived from HIIT workouts is good for weight loss and prevention of obesity, Prediabetes, and Diabetes. An enhanced metabolism gives the body to the opportunity to burn more calories hours after finishing the exercise, thereby decreasing the chances of having various diseases such as Osteoporosis, Heart Disease, Prediabetes, and Diabetes.
5. Comfortability and Accessibility
You can do it on a boat; you can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there; you can do it anywhere! Everyone loves HIIT. Since it’s such a simple concept—go at maximum effort for a short period followed by a recovery period and repeat—you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
The fact that HIIT workouts are comfortable and easily accessible helps people to perform it regularly and consistently; it removes the most famous problem of frequent exercising which is time, membership fee, and distance to the gym. HIIT can be done anywhere, and at any time, so you don’t have to worry about time, money, gym membership or distance to the gym.
6. It Demands A Lot From the Body
HIIT is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. Because it’s so short, you will be working hard the whole time. The trade-off is this format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results. You may be in pain, you may be breathing hard, but you definitely won’t be bored.
This workout is good to reduce stress and inflammation, which is the primary contributor to Osteoporosis.
7. Short Duration for Burning Calories and Weight Loss
You can burn a lot of calories quickly using HIIT. One study compared the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking. The researchers found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.
In this study, a HIIT repetition consisted of 20 seconds of maximum effort, followed by 40 seconds of rest. This means that the participants were only exercising for 1/3 of the time that the running and biking groups were exercising. Although each workout session was 30 minutes long in this study, it is common for HIIT workouts to be much shorter than traditional exercise sessions.
This is because HIIT allows you to burn about the same amount of calories, but spend less time exercising. This short duration in burning calories makes it a good option for reducing stress, inflammation, and risk of developing various endocrinological diseases such as Prediabetes and diabetes.
8. Helps in Bulking and Adding Muscle Mass
In addition to helping with fat loss, HIIT could help increase muscle mass in certain individuals. However, the gain in muscle mass is primarily in the muscles being used the most, often the trunk and legs. Additionally, it’s important to note that increases in muscle mass are more likely to occur in individuals who were less active, to begin with. Some research in active individuals has failed to show higher muscle mass after HIIT programs.
Weight training continues to be the “gold standard” form of exercise to increase muscle mass, but high-intensity intervals could support a small amount of muscle growth. HIIT helps in gaining muscle and bulking, even without weightlifting or other exercises.
However, it is better when combined with exercise for optimal muscle mass gain. Increased muscle body mass helps in burning more calories and in weight loss, we reduce the predisposition of the body to various diseases such as Osteoporosis, Prediabetes, and Diabetes.
9. Improves Glycolysis, Metabolism and Oxygen Consumption
Oxygen consumption refers to your muscles’ ability to use oxygen and endurance training is typically used to improve your oxygen consumption. Traditionally, this consists of long sessions of continuous running or cycling at a steady rate. However, it appears that HIIT can produce the same benefits in a shorter amount of time.
One study found that five weeks of HIIT workouts performed four days per week for 20 minutes each session improved oxygen consumption by 9%. This was almost identical to the improvement in oxygen consumption in the other group in the study, who cycled continuously for 40 minutes per day, four days per week.
Another study found that eight weeks of exercising on the stationary bike using traditional exercise or HIIT increased oxygen consumption by about 25%. Once again, the total time exercising was much different between groups: 120 minutes per week for the traditional exercise versus only 60 minutes per week of HIIT.
Additional studies also demonstrate that HIIT can improve oxygen consumption.
10. Elimination of Tachycardia and Hypertension
HIIT may have important health benefits, as well. A large amount of research indicates that it can reduce heart rate and hypertension in overweight and obese individuals, who often have high blood pressure.
One study found that eight weeks of HIIT on a stationary bike decreased blood pressure as much as traditional continuous endurance training in adults with high blood pressure. In this study, the endurance training group exercised four days per week for 30 minutes per day, but the HIIT group only exercised three times per week for 20 minutes per day. HIIT helps in eliminating hypertension and tachycardia, especially in prediabetics and diabetic patients.
Some researchers have found that HIIT may even reduce blood pressure more than the frequently recommended moderate-intensity exercise. However, it appears that high-intensity exercise does not typically change blood pressure in normal-weight individuals with normal blood pressure.
11. Anti-Diabetic Effect
Blood sugar can be reduced by HIIT programs lasting less than 12 weeks.
A summary of 50 different studies found that not only does HIIT eliminate hyperglycemia, but it also improves insulin resistance more than traditional continuous exercise. Based on this information, it is possible that high-intensity exercise is particularly beneficial for those at risk for type 2 diabetes. In fact, some experiments specifically in individuals with type 2 diabetes have demonstrated the effectiveness of HIIT for improving blood sugar.
However, research in healthy individuals indicates that HIIT may be able to recover the body’s response to insulin even more than traditional continuous exercise. HIIT has been discovered to be useful in pre-diabetic and diabetic patients, especially in obese patients, or patient that are recommended for cardio exercises and weight loss.
HIIT helps to build endurance and stamina.
13. No Equipment or Technicality Needed
HIIT can be done without equipment. The primary equipment required is yourself.
This type of workout allows you to pick your routine, so it eliminates boredom.
15. Good Habit and Consistency
The most important benefit of HIIT training on your health is that it helps you to form a good habit of consistent practice. It makes it easier for you to do it frequently because of its short duration, intensity and fun. The only way anything would benefit your health is consistency.
You can achieve your fitness, beauty, and medical goals by doing HIIT workout. However, consult your doctor before starting, if you have any existing medical condition. Achieve that stature of your dreams with HIIT workout.
Andersen, C. (2017). 8 Proven Benefits of HIIT. [online] Shape Magazine. Available at: http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].
DiChristina, M. (2017). From Workouts to Far Out. Scientific American, 316(2), pp.4-4.
Ferreira., C. (2017). 4 HEALTH BENEFITS OF HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING. [online] WellSeek. Available at: https://wellseek.co/2017/04/04/4-health-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training/ [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].
Fitness: Up and down make different workouts. (2009). Science News, 166(24), pp.380-380.
JANCIN, B. (2009). Hypertension Improved With Interval Workouts. Family Practice News, 39(17), p.13.
Lambrick, D., Stoner, L. and Faulkner, J. (2016). High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or miss: is HIIT the way forward for obese children?. Perspectives in Public Health, 136(6), pp.335-336.
Revolution, H. (2017). Top 10 Health Benefits of HIIT (High- Intensity Interval Training) • Health Fitness Revolution. [online] Health Fitness Revolution. Available at: http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-hiit-high-intensity-interval-training/ [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].
Tinsley, G. (2017). 7 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit#section1 [Accessed 8 Oct. 2017].