Between our careers, kids, and social lives, finding the time to exercise may seem like a total chore, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve ever heard of HIIT, but never fully understood what it is or why it’s beneficial, we’ve got you covered. It’s time we talked about High-Intensity Interval Training, the most effective workout method for those of us who maintain busy schedules.
What is “HIIT,” and how is it so effective?
High Intensity Interval Training (otherwise known as “HIIT”), is not a breakthrough phenomenon, but it is beginning to make waves as the trending topic of exercise. So what does it entail, exactly? HIIT “is made up of several rounds of very challenging (usually high speed) exercise followed by a set recovery time that consists of lower intensity work,” according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Tyler Spraul. “Even when you’re resting, you’re still in motion and challenging your cardiovascular system, so it’s a very efficient way to improve your cardio level.” Sports chiropractor and certified strength and conditioning ppecialist Matt Tanneberg agrees, stating that “the idea behind HIIT is that you train at a high intensity for a short period of time. High-intensity training burns the most fat and develops your fast twitch muscle fibers from constantly moving exercise to exercise.” He goes on to say, “By doing full body exercises such as overhead squats and rowing during your circuit, you will be able to hit every major muscle group in your body to maximize your benefits.”
Additionally, HIIT is by far considered “one of the best ways to burn fat while increasing muscle simultaneously,” according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Christopher Rivera. HIIT beats many conventional cardio exercises because it’s far more dynamic. “A lot of people go to steady state cardio (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) when they’re looking to burn fat, and it’s extremely inefficient,” according to Rivera. “Interval training will increase muscle mass, which will increase your fat metabolism.” You’re also more likely to make lean muscle gains during HIIT because the higher intensity workout “improves protein synthesis more than a moderate aerobic workout,” according to head coach Daniel Markert.
How easily can I fit it into my schedule?
Rivera goes on to say that when it comes to HIIT, “the ‘I don’t have time to work out’ excuse is thrown out of the window.” High-Intensity Interval Training gives you the opportunity to “get a fantastic workout in less than half the time of a ‘traditional’ workout,” according to Rivera. “I’ve been experimenting with various methods, and have been able to maintain – if not increase – my performance while keeping my workouts between 15-30 minutes only 3 days a week.” Spraul agrees, stating that “HIIT workouts don’t have to be very long in order to make progress. Because it’s so strenuous, you’ll probably have a hard time maintaining a high-quality HIIT workout for more than 30-45 minutes, and it’s not uncommon to see HIIT workouts under 20 minutes,” and Tannenberg says that when you perform HIIT, “you are maximizing the benefits of your workout in the shortest time possible.” All you need is to become a better you is motivation and less than an hour of your time a few days a week.
How do I Start Putting My Ideal Workout Together?
It can be tough to get started with no guidance. Here are some High-Intensity Interval workouts to help you get your journey started.