There used to be a time when you would have to spend hours upon hours in the gym to get a decent workout. Not to mention how expensive getting in shape can be! Membership fees, equipment, and workout gear add up fast. That was until HIIT was introduced, saving us all time and money when trying to shed a few pounds.
What is HIIT?
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a workout technique that uses short bursts of intense work with short rest periods in-between. Basically, you’re busting your butt for about a minute and trying to catch your breath for thirty seconds before you do it again.
Why HIIT is awesome!
It’s a Time Saver
I don’t know about you, but spending more than an hour working out just isn’t feasible. There’s just no time between work, chores, errands, and having a social life. Using HIIT techniques I can get a full workout in 30-45 minutes. I don’t have to neglect other areas in my life to stay in shape.
HIIT works by bringing your heart rate up and keeping it working hard throughout the workout. You get short rests between workouts, but it’s not long enough for your heart rate to drop significantly. This means less time breaking a sweat and the same, or more, calories burned with a traditional workout.
It’s a Money Saver
Another benefit of High Intensity Interval Training is it's affordability. Many workout programs require you have your own workout equipment or a gym membership. When it comes to HIIT, all you need is a small space and a little bit of time. That's because this workout program relies almost entirely on calisthenics. Calisthenics are exercises that consist of a variety of motions often rhythmical and without gym equipment. You're basically working against your own body weight. So if you have a body, a little bit of space, a little bit of time, and a little bit of motivation, then you have all you need to complete a HIIT workout.
You Don’t NEED Equipment
Equipment is not necessary to do HIIT workouts. Push that living room table out of your way and you’re ready to go! Sprinting in place, butt kicks, high knees, jumping jacks, and squats can all be used to complete a HIIT workout. And those are just a few moves on a long list that you can use for HIIT!
Now, this is not to say that you cannot use equipment. If you like to lift weights, HIIT can easily be incorporated into your weight lifting routine. Grab your dumbbells and add an overhead press after each jump squat. A pull-up bar or resistance band can also be used in your HIIT workout.
You Won’t Get Bored
I’m constantly falling off track with my workouts because I get bored with them. The elliptical gets boring and lifting weights isn’t exactly riveting. Part of why I love HIIT is because of the variety it has. A simple Google search of ‘HIIT workouts’ will give you countless routines to try. If you enjoy workout programs like I do, Beachbody is a fitness company that creates dozens of programs that focus on HIIT.
The variety will help you stick to your workouts so you actually achieve your fitness goals. The short time it takes to complete a HIIT workout means that you’re working pretty hard the whole time. The switch-ups between giving it all you got and the short rests will keep you from getting bored.
Home or Gym
There are two types of people in the world: gym lovers and gym haters. No matter which type you fall into, HIIT will work for you. Personally, I love working out from the comfort of my own home. There's no time wasted commuting to the gym and I can wear whatever I’m comfortable in when I workout at home. HIIT techniques can work with simple plyometric workouts, treadmill cardio, or weight lifting. There are tons of routines for anywhere you want to work out.
If you have to travel for work or vacation, you can do a HIIT workout in your hotel room. If you want to get a quick workout in during your lunch break you can get it done anywhere you have room. HIIT can adapt to virtually any space you can find.
Fast and Effective
HIIT workouts help you lose weight quickly because it boosts your metabolism for nearly 48 hours after the workout. This means that your 30-minute workout will keep burning calories for the next two days. 15 minutes of HIIT can burn more calories than an hour run on the treadmill! You can also improve your aerobic endurance in two weeks using HIIT, as opposed to an 8-week endurance program.
You’re able to burn so many calories with HIIT because of its greater exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is basically how much air you breathe until you catch your breath after the workout to return to normal breathing. HIIT has a greater EPOC, meaning you’re burning more calories.
It Improves Your Heart Health
The intensity of the workout puts more pressure on your heart and arteries than traditional aerobic workouts. Your heart has to work double time to keep up, so it’s getting a workout in too. A good workout for your heart strengthens it and makes your arteries and veins more flexible.
HIIT strengthens your heart by pushing you to an anaerobic state. This is when your heart is pounding and your breathing is heavy. Your heart is working it’s hardest at this state. Most people, myself included, rarely reach this state doing traditional cardio workouts. It’s not the most pleasant state to be in! HIIT works by bringing you to an anaerobic zone quickly and having a rest period shortly after reaching it.
We live in a world saturated with weight loss scams and promises to get you fit quickly with minimal effort. It can be hard to separate the scams from the real deal. The benefits of HIIT have been proven and tested. This isn’t a quick fix. HIIT is full of benefits and saves time, but requires hard work and a lot of effort. Incorporate HIIT into your workout and reap the countless benefits it has to offer.
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