What is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It is one of THE BEST methods for losing fat loss and retaining a high level of muscle conditioning. This type of training has been around for quite a while and while some people are calling it a fad, HIIT is here to stay. By using HIIT training techniques you are able to lose fat without losing muscle mass — unlike activities such as aerobics which have been proven to cause muscle tissue breakdown (catabolism).
The beauty behind HIIT techniques is that after you complete a workout your body continues to burn calories. It has been noted that the effects can still be beneficial days later. Take a look at any sprinter’s body. These guys are lean and defined — clear cut results from HIIT training.
HIIT and interval training are very similar, the only difference is the intensity in which they are done. So what is interval training? Interval training is a varying of intensities within one workout , where you add a low intensity bout with a higher intensity bout. HIIT training is a very high intensity bout with a lower intensity bout. You can perform your interval training in many ways, and you should use variety. You can perform it on a stationary bike, stairmaster, mountain bike, local track, etc. Change it up often.
Good HIIT Workouts
BEFORE YOU DO THESE: Make sure you are warmed up! Walk around, stretch, bend, jump… etc.
A good way to start a HIIT work out is by doing whatever cardio workout you enjoy for five minutes at a steady and easy pace. Then take up your intensity level to the MAX and keep it there for 1 minute straight. After the minute bring it back down to your easy pace and leave it there for about 2 minutes, or however long it takes for you to recover enough to do it again. Repeat a few more times.
Another easy way to introduce yourself to this kind of cardio without killing yourself right off the bat is simply to keep changing your speed and intensity level every two minutes or so — go up and down — challenge yourself. This will “trick” your body into burning more calories since it can not achieve steady state.
Sprinting is a great exercise. It not only burns HUGE amounts of calories while but it will also keep your metabolism flying for days after. This is one of the key elements of HIIT training and top reason HIIT works SO well.