High intensity interval training is any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.
A great example is 20 seconds rowing with 10 seconds of rest for as many rounds as you can handle, another more beginner example is run for 1 minute and rest for 2 minutes.
HIIT workouts are so easy to do that you can smash out a workout in as little as 15 minutes during your lunch break. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than running on the treadmill for 1 hour. You burn far more fat during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s metabolism into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after an hours worth of running.
HIIT workouts are also great for your heart because most people are not pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But with HIIT extreme training produces extreme results. Try this Test yourself on the bike by doing a HIIT workout. Complete the workout twice a week for 8 weeks, After 8 weeks you will be able to cycle twice as far maintaining the same pace.
One of the best things I love about HIIT workouts is that I do not need any equipment to have a great workout on top of this you can do them anywhere. If you do not have access to bikes, rowers or treadmills never fear, you can do simple exercises like squat jumps, high knees, fast feet, jumping lunges pretty much any exercise that gets your heart rate up fast. One I like is run 200 metres and then perform 10 pushups and 10 squats and repeat 10 times. This kind of workout allows me to maintain my muscle mass and lose weight, in fact HIIT workouts are known to increase weight lose whilst maintaining but more likely increase muscle tone. It does this by attacking fat stores rather than your muscles which is a winner in my book.
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH)by up to 450% over the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
Lastly, I find HIIT workouts o of my most challenging workouts, I often do them with a friend and for time to challenge myself and each other. I also love it because they are so short, don’t dominate my day and I see results quickly. So grab a friend and get challenging, whether this be in the local park or at out group sessions or personal training sessions. Push yourself, push each other and remember you may be in pain, you may be sucking wind, but you definitely won’t be bored and if balanced with a healthy diet you definitely will see results.