HIIT is all the hype lately. According to a survey conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine, it’s one of the two top fitness trends for 2014 (the other being bodyweight training). So what’s this type of training all about? What is it with HIIT?
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
“A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery,” says Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City.
“This afterburn effect is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.”
HIIT the Spot
Not totally convinced? Here are a few other benefits from HIIT.
- Increases Your Metabolism Combing high intensity with interval training results in EPOC, which speeds your metabolic rate and “translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine,” says Salvador. This means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve left the gym.
- Quick and Convenient Long gone are the days of not having enough time for exercise. HIIT workouts is can be done anywhere: at home, in a hotel room, in a park, at a gym, etc. And most are 30 minutes or less! Who can’t spare that?
- No Equipment Necessary No dumbbells? No problem! HIIT workouts generally use only your body weight, since the focus is on getting your heart rate up and keeping it there. These workouts result in “optimal muscle building and muscle retention couples with fat loss and increased calorie burn,” says Salvador.