Could HIIT Be Right For You?
If you’re looking for the right workout program to help you lose weight without spending tons of time at the gym, then it might be time to learn about Hight Intensity Interval Training!
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is a style of exercising where you alternate between periods of (almost) all-out and low effort.
Hence, the name.
The high-intensity intervals push your body toward its metabolic limits (basically as hard as you can go) and the low-intensity intervals allow it to recover (catching your breath).
You probably already knew that, though, and have several specific questions, such as…
How “intense” do the high-intensity intervals need to be? How hard should you push yourself and how long should you go for?
How do the rest periods work, exactly?
How long should your HIIT workouts be?
How frequently should you do them?
Basically…how do you get the most out of individual HIIT workouts and out of your regimen as a whole?
Well, let’s find out.
How Intense Your High-Intensity Intervals Should Be
When you review scientific research on high-intensity interval training, you’ll see a lot of talk about something called VO2 max.
Your body’s VO2 max is a measurement of the maximum volume of oxygen that it can use, and it’s a major factor in determining your endurance level.
Its relevance to HIIT is this:
Studies show that you need to reach between 80 and 100% of your VO2max during your high-intensity intervals to reap the majority of HIIT’s benefits.
That’s nice to know but not very practical because it’s hard to approximate your VO2 max while exercising. There just aren’t reliable enough indicators to guess with any accuracy.
Fortunately, you can also work with a more useful metric: Vmax.
Simply stated, you’ve reached a Vmax level of exertion when you feel you can’t bring in as much air as your body wants (if you can comfortably hold a conversation, you’re not there).
For most people, this is about 90% of all-out effort.
1. Your goal during your high-intensity periods is to reach and sustain your Vmax.
That is, you need to get moving fast and long enough to make your breathing labored, and you need to hold that speed for a fair amount of time.
As you can imagine, this means hard work. Think sprinting, not jogging.
2. Your goal during your HIIT workouts is to repeatedly achieve and sustain this Vmax level of exertion.
This might seem obvious, but it bears attention because the total amount of time you spend at the Vmax level of exertion determines the overall effectiveness of the HIIT workout.
That is, a “HIIT” workout that racks up maybe a minute of movement at Vmax level is going to be far less effective than one that accumulates several minutes.
Fortunately, this is just a matter of programming your workouts properly and not being a wuss when you do them.
– via Muscle For Life
HIIT Could Change Your Weight For Good!
Why is High Intensity Training so much better for weight loss than traditional workouts? There are tons of reasons! Let’s break down just two of the best ways that HIIT will make your life better, your workouts more efficient, and your weight seem to drop like magic!
Burns Fat Faster & Longer
A 2001 study from East Tennessee State University concluded that subjects who followed an 8-week HIIT program, dropped 2% in body fat compared to the 0% that was dropped by subjects that underwent a continuous steady-state program. The same study also stated that the subject who followed the above program burned almost 100 more calories per day during the 24-hours after each exercise.
Regular steady-state cardiovascular exercise helps you burn calories during your workout, but with HIIT, you can burn calories just by sitting or sleeping after you have finished a workout! It is no wonder that so many athletes and fitness fanatics are using HIIT to their advantage and shedding off the last pounds of weight before any competition. However, you don’t need to be a participant of a competition to have a reason to start HIIT training – think of bathing suit season, the next big birthday party, a wedding or just your health.
Though there is a vast amount of skeptical research out there, for the most part, athletes, competitors and trainers vouch for HIIT as a great way to quickly increase endurance. Endurance is particularly important if you’re planning on running in a long race, training for obstacle races or if you’re tired of being tired after going up a flight of stairs. This is a great way to make your body use to short bursts of energy that occur after a sedative state. For example, catching up with a bus that you’ve almost missed, playing with kids, chasing your dog down the street after it spotted a cat. If you are experiencing a shortness of breath, dizziness and muscle cramps as soon as you start doing something active, then slowly incorporating HIIT into your regular schedule is something for you.
– via Lifehack
Have you ever tried HIIT?