High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has found its way into many popular headlines of late. But what exactly is HIIT, and why is it all the rage?
HIIT exercise is a mode of training that consist of of short bouts of intense, all out, anaerobic exercise, followed by less intense active recovery periods. The cycle then repeats itself, until exhaustion. Most HIIT workouts are typically about 30-45 minutes in length.
One major benefit of HIIT is that it offers a more effective fat burn than most regular intensity, sustained cardiovascular endurance workouts. This makes HIIT a popular workout choice for people with time constraints, as you get the same, if not even better calorie burn in less time.
HIIT workouts result in an elevated metabolic rate for at least 3 hours, post workout. Why is this? There are several theories that require more research, however, the one thing we know for sure is that the increased metabolic rate following high intensity exercise is where excess post-exercise oxygen consumption comes into the picture. HIIT elicits a greater EPOC response, as more energy is required for the workout recovery processes that take place within our bodies. This results in an even greater number of calories and fat burnt. If you've ever felt warmth flood your body post-workout, or noticed that you were continuously sweating, even in the shower post-workout, you've most likely experienced the physical indications of EPOC response.
In addition to torching fat, and offering a good solution for those with time constraints, HIIT benefits include:
1) Increased endurance
2) Increased lean body mass
3) It can reduce resting heart rate
4) It can reduce blood pressure
5) It can help lower blood sugar
As always, check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program :)
Stay fit, peeps!