What is HIIT and Why Should You Add it to Your Workouts?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. That may sound complicated but it really isn’t. HIIT simply involves exercise which takes a very short amount of time to perform, but is very high in intensity. It is a physical training technique which requires 100% effort in intense, short bursts of exercise followed by intervals of little to no activity.


The attraction of such a form of exercise is obvious … if you can minimize your time investment while maximizing your results, you have found the perfect workout. HIIT training was listed as 1 of the top 2 physical fitness trends of 2014, and is wildly popular. As it turns out, this form of exercise also delivers more benefits than just saving your time, making it attractive for several reasons.


Fat Burning


HIIT exercises get your heart rate up in a hurry. This form of training also keeps your heart pumping at a high level for an extended period of time. HIIT fans claim the special combination of moves, the high intensity, and short rest intervals all burn fat better and quicker than other forms of exercise such as cardio and aerobics.


Eric Salvador, NSCA, NASM, is the lead instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City. He points out that, “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.” This creates the EPOC situation athletes strive for in their workouts. (EPOC stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). This is how intense, short bursts of 100% efforts deliver a greater fat-burn than steady-state exercises like walking, running or cycling.


Increased Metabolism


Your metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories. The more calories you burn, the more fat and weight you lose. By delivering the EPOCH state quickly, HIIT exercise boosts your metabolic rate for as many as 48 hours after your HIIT session is over. Who wouldn’t appreciate 2 days of fat and calorie burning after you are done working out?


No Equipment Required


There is the added benefit of no fitness equipment requirements. You don’t need to own a gym membership either, as HIIT DVDs and online video courses are available. Your body is the equipment, combining bodyweight training exercises and HIIT moves for your workout. Your body, speed, high intensity and gravity combine to deliver all the benefits that HIIT workouts offer.


Want to try a HIIT workout?