Lately is very common to find people doing sprints in the gym or outdoors and spending less time training cardio.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a technique which combine intense bursts of exercise and shorter recovery periods of less intense activity.
Since two decades ago, scores of studies have shown the effectiveness of interval conditioning for fat loss. Studies compared the fat loss effects between the traditional slow cardio training and the interval technique and the results showed that the traditional training burn twice the calories as the interval technique burn more fat body and increase muscle mass.
The experts recommend training intervals twice or 3 times per week, a maximum of 30 minutes, to improve composition, conditioning levels and to lose more inches along your body measures. It can take 24 to 48 hours to recover from a high intensity training, so it is better to wait these time before the next HIIT session. The intense term could vary from 5 seconds to 5 minutes, performed at 70% to 80% of a person's maximum heart rate. The recovery interval must be performed at 40% to 50% of a person's maximum heart rate. The quality of the sprints performed is much more important than the quantity.
HIIT training works for all physic condition levels, if the person is in beginners level is recommended to start with small periods of intense workout and larger terms of recovery and will increase with time while the person is getting better physics condition to train. HIIT workouts fit in several sports such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, boxing, cross-fit, elliptical, treadmills and many group classes.
HIIT workout become very popular because of many benefits and one of the most important is the excess post exercise oxygen consumption also known as “EPOC” which helps to burn more calories after workout is finished.
The high intensity training periods push the body to work much more to construct its oxygen stores back up, and the result is burning calories for several hours after workout.
High intensity intervals exercises increase VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use in a period of time) which basically is a measure of how fit you are.
- The ideal workout for a busy schedule, HIIT workouts can be done. anywhere: in a park, at gym, at home, swimming pool or even stairs.
- This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
- Helps to enhance cholesterol levels.
- Improves blood pressure.
- By elevating your heart rate during periods of hard work, you’ll increase your cardio ability and strengthen your heart.
- Combing high intensity with interval training speeds your metabolic rate and translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine.
- HIIT workouts generally use only your body weight, since the focus is on getting your heart rate up and keeping it there.
- Running, biking, boxing, jump roping and rowing all work great for HIIT, but you don’t need any equipment to get it done.
- Adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
- For many people is more enjoyable than steady-state exercise.
- Maintain muscle mass.
- Helps to burn abdominal fat.
- Improves glycemic control.
- Helps to reduce body weight.
- Improves physical condition, agility and endurance.
- Helps to fuel your body and brain by improving higher count of mitochondria.
- Increases flexibility and elasticity of arteries more than traditional cardio exercises.
- Boosts brain oxygenation.
It is highly recommended to consult a physician before starting a high intensity training, especially in people who have had a short physical activity for long periods, or are starting the physical training. Also in people who smoke or have any heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and overweight.
It must have prior physical condition, before starting a HIIT training, minimum of 3 to 5 times per week of cardiovascular exercise and 20 to 60 minutes per session, for several weeks before starting high intensity, so that the muscles are prepared, strength and endurance is attained and thus any kind of injuries are avoided.
Studies show that people who have a minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity, like walking, are more likely to be more long-lived, it helps keep better mood and weight control, among many other benefits.