What is HIIT?

By August 3, 2018Fitness
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective way to burn fat and calories in a short period of time.  HIIT training involves periods of high intensity exercise followed by periods of rest to allow the body to recover enough to begin the next high intensity interval.  To be most effective, periods of exercise should be challenging and periods of rest only long enough to allow the body to recover to complete the next set.  Most interval training sessions last between 10 and 60 minutes. 

Now that we know what HIIT is, let’s talk about why it is so effective.  The intense exercise portion of interval training pushes the body to its peak for a period of time.  This is maximizing caloric burn.  You would not be able to maintain this intensity for longer than a few minutes (at most), so the short rest intervals allow the body to work at an intense interval for longer periods of total time than one would be able to complete in one long steady state session.  For example, let’s say you burn 15 calories per minute on the rower doing your high intensity intervals for 10 intervals.  That’s 150 calories (15 x 10=150).  If you were to go all-out on the rower for 10 minutes straight, the first minute you’d burn 15 calories, but after that (without rest) your body will fatigue and you will burn fewer calories each minute. 

HIIT has also been show to increase excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).  EPOC is the additional calories that you burn after your workout is over.  Have you ever finished a really intense exercise session and noticed that 5-10 minutes later you are still sweating? Or your heart rate is still elevated?  This is EPOC at work.  What make EPOC so cool is that you are burning calories WITHOUT even working out!  HIIT has been shown to increase this EPOC to higher levels than traditional steady state cardio.  Who doesn’t want to burn more calories without needing to do more working out?

Still not sure how to incorporate HIIT into your exercise program?  Check out Burn Zone and find out how easy it is to get HIIT!