While you may be happy going for a jog every morning, or doing the occasional yoga class, if you’ve yet to try HIIT, you may be in for a huge surprise.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, alternates short bursts of vigorous exercise with short periods of rest. It can be modified for people of all fitness levels, and it often requires minimal equipment.
In fact, you can start seeing some serious results from HIIT as little as two to four weeks in. Another benefit of HIIT training is that it doesn’t take long - anywhere from 20-60 minutes, and works best when the exercises vary between sessions.
If you’d like to try it yourself, try an interval class such as at an F45 gym, or download one of the many interval training apps to help you start.
The work-to-rest ratio of HIIT can differ depending on the intensity of the exercise and your goals, but the basic ratio is 1:2. So if you do 20 seconds of burpees, you should have around 40 seconds of rest between repetitions. This allows your body just enough time to recover so you can perform at 100% for the next repetition.
Below are just some of the many benefits you can earn through HIIT.
Burns more calories
Studies have shown that high-intensity intermittent exercise is more effective at reducing body fat than other types of exercise. HIIT allows you to burn more calories and push your heart rate more than you could with steady-state exercise, therefore boosting your overall aerobic capacity faster. With a higher aerobic capacity, your body becomes more efficient at using oxygen. This, in turn, helps burn calories efficiently. In fact, studies show that 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour.
Because HIIT helps you consume more oxygen than other exercise, it increases your metabolic rate, and in particular, your resting metabolic rate. That means that you’ll still be burning more calories even when you’re resting. This is due to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC which occurs after HIIT. We also know that exercise which consumes more oxygen burns more calories.
Improves speed, strength and endurance
Interval training stimulates physiological changes that can lead to greater speed and stamina. As your aerobic capacity increases, so does your aerobic endurance. The explosive bursts of movement in HIIT cause your body to quickly adapt, building strength, agility, and speed. According to one study, a mere two weeks of high-intensity intervals can improve your aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training. In another study done by the Journal of Physiology, people who participated in HIIT for eight weeks had doubled the length of time that they could ride a bicycle which keeping the same pace.
According to studies, exercises, including aerobic and anaerobic activities, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Exercise also improves self-esteem and cognitive function, as well as boosting endorphins for a more positive outlook, naturally.
More free time
HIIT doesn’t take as long as your usual workout. It can be done on your lunch break, or as a faster alternative to an hour at the gym when you’re short on time. In fact, half an hour of HIIT can yield better results and burn more calories than 60 minutes of cardio. This means more time for yourself and your other priorities.
Increased muscle tone
HIIT can help increase muscle tone, especially when the exercises are resistance based or use weights. HIIT effectively allows you to preserve their muscle gain while still losing fat.
High-intensity training helps to balance hormones that are responsible for weight gain, including ghrelin is a key hormone responsible for hunger, and leptin, which gives you the sense of feeling full. These two hormones regulate energy balance and satiation levels. High-intensity training can control both of these hormones for weight regulation.
If you’re doing frequent HIIT sessions, you need to make sure you’re providing your body with the right fuel to help your muscles recover. The more variety during your training, the more muscle groups you will work. If these muscles are unaccustomed to intense exercise, muscle soreness will occur.
To minimise DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), your body needs amino acids from a high-quality protein. For optimal recovery, we recommend having 30g of protein half an hour after exercise.
Vanilla Bean WPI
- Ideal for lean muscle building
- Promotes healthy weight management
- Boosts immune system function
- 100% natural, free of anything artificial or nasty
- Low lactose