Recently, there has been a new trend which has worked its way into the fitness industry. This trend is called High Intensity Interval Training or simply ‘HIIT’. This trend involves doing short bouts of intense training followed by a period of rest. This is a different approach to a Steady State Exercise, like running on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
The benefits of HIIT are numerous and should be worked into everyone’s exercise regime if their goal is to lose weight, train specifically for sport, or even just to become fitter!
HIIT training is tough and, if you are a beginner, it may be a little too tough. For those just starting out with exercise, it would be best to start at a low intensity and slowly increase the intensity over time. Once you feel conditioned enough, you can jump into the ‘HIIT’ training.
You might have heard the old tale, “to burn fat you need to work at a low intensity for 30 minutes or more”. This is simply not the case any more. In a study completed by Tremblay et al. (1994) it was shown that individuals who completed HIIT burned 2 times as much fat as those completing endurance training.
HIIT is also great for those who are time poor. You can complete some great HIIT workouts in a short amount of time and burn more calories too!
HIIT programs don’t have to be complicated. They can be as simple as 5 burpees, 10 push ups, 15 squat jumps, 30 mountain climbers and a 100m run, and as many repetitions of this pattern as you can complete in 10 minutes. That is sure to get the heart rate up and the fat burning. And the best part about it is, it takes up little time out of your day, so there’s no excuse!
A. Tremblay, J.A. Simoneau and C. Bouchard, Impact Of Exercise Intensity On Body Fatness And Skeletal Muscle Metabolism, 43 (1994), pgs 814-818.