If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym HIIT, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training.
Put simply, that’s short bursts of exercise where you’ll be giving it your all, followed by short periods of rest.
Why should I do HIIT?
1). It’s Time Effective.
It turns out that you can burn more fat doing a 20 minute HIIT session than you would doing a long, tedious cardio session. Why? Because your heartrate is sent through the roof.
Most HIIT sessions tend to last around 20 minutes. And since there’s 1440 minutes in a day, even the busiest of bees can squeeze one of these in.
A typical bodyweight HIIT session may look something like this:
- 40 seconds high knees, 20 seconds rest.
- 40 seconds press ups, 20 seconds rest.
- 40 seconds burpees, 20 seconds rest.
- 40 seconds lunge jumps, 20 seconds rest.
- 40 seconds squats, 20 seconds rest.
- Repeat Circuit 4 times.
As long as you give it 100% and really push yourself in those intense periods of exercise, by the time 20 minutes is up you’ll be dripping with sweat...and probably cursing.
2). It’s Free.
No gym membership? No problem.
One of the best things about HIIT training is that you can do it anywhere. Your bedroom, a hotel room, the garden, the beach… you name it! All you need is your bodyweight (and some serious motivation).
There are countless HIIT videos available on YouTube – thebodycoach is a fantastic channel to use - or you can simply grab a timer and get to work.
Note: if you did fancy using some gym equipment (such as a treadmill, exercise bike, or dumbbells) then these can be easily incorporated into a session. Just ensure that your heartrate is high and you’ll be reaping the benefits and waving goodbye to that body fat.
3). Boosts Your Metabolism.
HIIT kick starts what we call the ‘after-burn effect’. This is where your metabolic rate is boosted, meaning that your body will continue to burn calories and fat for hours and hours after your final squat jump. This makes HIIT a more effective method for fat-loss than steady cardio.
So, next time you whip out the classic one liner ‘I’m too busy to work out today’, think again! Ditch the excuses and hop on the HIIT bandwagon.
NOTE: Prior to doing a HIIT workout, ensure that you do a warm up. Although it can be tempting to skip this, an effective warm up will prepare your muscles/joints for exercise and prevent injury. Aim to spend 5-10 minutes gently raising your heartrate and doing some dynamic stretches. Once your workout is complete, spend 5-10 minutes stretching. This will prevent soreness and prevent a large build-up of lactic acid.