High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a technique that, although it’s been around for a number of years, is now one of the most popular ways to work out. With worries about overtraining and how beneficial long gym sessions really are, HIIT is quite possibly the best fitness session for everyone.
What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT has been used by elite athletes for years. Think of the guys you see at the Olympics. Yep, that’s who I am talking about.
However, as HIIT has become more fashionable throughout the fitness community in general, this fast-paced, results-driven training strategy can be used by anyone. There are a number of different techniques available for people at all fitness levels— this is why it’s so popular.
In a HIIT workout, you give maximum effort—110 percent. Everything you’ve got—literally. It involves short, sharp bursts of physical activity followed by short periods of rest. Think 2 minutes on, one minute off—you get the idea.
Because of the high intensity level of the workout itself, the sessions tend to be very short. Usually somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes in total. These workouts are fit for purpose, in the fact they intend to do the job as fast as possible, while gaining more benefits than a normal workout.
What Are the Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training?
Feel the Burn for Longer
High-intensity interval training increases your metabolism by initially increasing your excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). For those of you who just said, “I don’t know what that means,” you will burn more calories during your workout and long after your session is over—up to 48 hours afterward. Bonus burn!
Do It in Your Bedroom
HIIT can literally be done anywhere. You only need a small space—most of the exercises are done on the spot. Plus, for a lot of programs, you don’t even need any equipment.
Therefore, you can get in a hardcore workout in the privacy of your own home. Just think, no makeup and bed head! Can’t rock that look at the gym!
It’s Super Quick
Some forms of high-intensity interval training, like Tabata, can be done in the space of 20 minutes. Most people can’t even get ready to go to the gym in that timeframe!
For this reason, it’s great for busy moms who need to fit in a workout while the little one naps. Or even manic corporate executives who want to grab a quick session in between meetings. There is something for everyone.
No Equipment Necessary.
Now, I love a kettlebell as much as the next person and, of course, you can get HIIT workouts that incorporate them—but you don’t have to use gym equipment. A lot of HIIT training involves mainly bodyweight exercises, so you can get a full workout without setting foot in the gym.
It’s More Maintainable
Because of all the benefits listed above, you’re more likely to stick with HIIT. You can work out anytime, anywhere and it doesn’t mean hours spent running on a treadmill. Plus, the variety of exercises are more likely to keep you motivated.
So now you know just how awesome high-intensity interval training is, why not try it yourself?