Ready to start a brand new training regime? Should you want to kick your fitness up a gear, you might look to the latest exercise trends for inspiration. One that you simply cannot ignore is HIIT training. You’ve likely heard the hype surrounding this style of activity but it’s time to look at the facts. But wait, are HIIT workouts effective?
Here’s what you need to know and why you should try it for yourself.
What is a HIIT Workout?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout that involves doing short, high-energy bursts of activity followed by shorter recovery periods. For example, you could apply this technique to cycling. You might put the bike on a high setting, pedal at your maximum capacity for a one-minute burst and then rest for 30 seconds. You would then alternate these two activities over the course of your workout.
You can apply this technique to most workouts and movements. Typically, you’ll find that HIIT workouts are much shorter than a regular WOD. For example, you might only train for 10-20 minutes during your entire session.
The genius thing about this training method is that you can get more out of your workouts by doing less.
HIIT Builds Muscle Mass Fast
It’s not what you do; it’s the way that you do it! If you’re looking to get buff but don’t have hours on end to spend in the gym, HIIT workouts could be the answer you’ve been looking for. Research from the McMaster University in Canada suggests that this type of training is a time-effective way to build muscle and get fit.
The study found that doing 10 one-minute sprints three times per week improved muscle mass as much as doing hours of conventional bike training over the course of the same period. With that in mind, you could actually get more out of your workout simply by adopting an interval training method each time you train.
It Burns Fat While Boosting Fitness
Are you hoping to slim down? Exercise and nutrition are the keys to losing weight. However, the style of workout you do could have a huge impact on how fast you start to get into shape. One study from the University of Guelph found that not only do HIIT workouts help to improve your cardiovascular health, but they also mean you burn fat super quickly.
During the research, subjects completed 10 sets of four-minute cycling bursts at 90% effort with two-minute rest intervals. After these exercises, all of the participants experienced a noticeable increase in the fat used as well as in their overall aerobic capacity.
The results suggest that including HIIT workouts in your training regime could be a smart way to shed pounds and tone up sooner rather than later.
Finally, it Makes You Feel Happy
When you first start doing HIIT workouts, you may find that there’s a seriously surprising side effect. Directly after your training, it’s not uncommon to start feeling inexplicably happy. There’s a scientific reason for this. Research from the University of Turku recently revealed that HIIT workouts kickstart an exercise-induced endorphin release in your body. Endorphins are the hormones in your brain that make you feel pleasure and happiness.
Aside from making you feel happier than you were before your workout, the experts believe that this physiological effect could help motivate you too. The endorphins that are released work as a reward system in your body, meaning that you associate working out with varying levels of joy. That in itself means that you are far likelier to stick to a rigorous workout regime for a long period to come. Genius.