What is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)?

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective means of burning fat, building lean muscle, and increasing strength and endurance. While HIIT is not an exercise regimen that beginners can jump into right away, people that have started exercising and that have built up their stamina will be able to reap the benefits of HIIT.

High intensity interval training involves short training sessions that involve several steps. First, a warm-up period of moderate exercise limbers the exerciser up for the remainder of the duration. This drastically reduces the chance of injury that can occur from overexertion.

Next comes a series of short, high intensity exercise sessions that are broken up by more moderate recovery intervals of exercise. Each of these high-intensity/recovery periods lasts about 15 minutes per cycle. Finally, a few minutes of cool down is recommended to bring the exercise session to a close.

Research has shown that intensive bursts of exercise are more effective at burning fat and building muscle than longer, more moderate cardiovascular workouts. This is due to several factors but mostly because of the response of fast-twitch muscle fibers. HIIT also works to effectively skyrocket metabolism rates as compared to more moderate exercise such as jogging, making it a favorite among seasoned exercisers that can handle the intensity.

The main reason that high intensity interval training is favored is because long, drawn out cardio sessions lull the body into a steady state. This means that the body actually adjusts itself to the speed and intensity and configures itself to go through the motions by actually conserving the most energy in the form of calories as possible. The result is that your body actually works against you and tries to keep the calories that you are trying to lose, which is extremely counterproductive.

High intensity interval training should be tried by anyone that is capable of doing the exercises and wants to lose weight or keep weight off. The muscle that it builds will create a synergistic effect with the additional intensity of the exercises that you are doing at irregular intervals to make your body burn more calories that it probably ever has before. An added bonus is that the workout times required by HIIT training is usually much less than most people are accustomed to.

If you haven’t tried it, nows the time!

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