High Intensity Interval Training or hiit is a workout strategy that describes a cardio routine such as cycling, brisk walking on the treadmill, running on the treadmill etc, which includes within it several short bursts of high intensity with short breaks of low intensity effort between them.
This strategy and its effectiveness is centered around an effect known as "Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”.
By utilizing the
high intensity interval training strategy our bodies are given very high amounts of oxygen (close to maximum that our body can take from cardio exercises). That means that all chemical
processes of metabolism which need oxygen to be performed
and they are strongly related to fat loss, are fired up for a longer period of time.
In other words, after a session of high intensity interval training, we lose fat not only during the workout itself, but for several hours after the workout too.
That is why this strategy alone is considered as a must do if one wants to see a faster fat loss outcome.
Hiit could not be an exception to the rule that dictates that every strategy regarding the lucrative business of fat loss and weight loss should be put to the test.
Thus, several studies have been
conducted with hiit on their microscope.
One of the studies, by experts at
Canada's McMaster University, was recently published in the Journal of
Physiology (March 15, 2010, 588, 1011-1022), suggesting that not only lasting
high intensity workouts, but even doing 10 1-minute sprints on a treadmill
three times a week can have great effects on toning muscles and speeding up fat
Two more studies which were published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (2007 Jul; 82(7): 803-1) and The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2012 Jan; 26(1): 138-45) have reported that low-volume high intensity interval training has positive effects on overall fitness, muscular function and cardiovascular health.
According to the findings of another study published in the Journal of
Applied Psychology, (2011 Dec; 111(6): 1554-60) hiit has positive effects on
people with type 2 diabetes as well
So far we have established that high intensity interval training is a technique or strategy that leads to faster fat loss efforts and can help people with type 2 diabetes maintain a good overall health.
One more advantage on using hiit is that it can provide a great reduction of training time that can be very important factor in terms of our today’s busy life.
Another advantage of using this type of strategy is that it could be utilized in our everyday routines such walking from the subway or metro station to home or climbing up the stairs at work. The only limit to where you can use this technique is your imagination as it is simply one basic principle:
"Short bursts of activity followed by equally short period of low intensity activity in a cyclical manner"
Sidebar: Although this technique is proven to be an
effective one for any fat loss effort, noone should engage in such high
intensity routines unless having been checked by a physician who is the
responsible authority to provide suggestions for a safe workout strategy.
The simplest way of using hiit at a beginners level is combining 30 seconds of walking with 30 seconds of moderate jogging. This can be a good start in order to take you to the next level within 2-4 weeks.
At that level your hiit sessions should include a 5- minute warm up followed by a combination of 1 minute running and 1 minute jogging. That level can be maintained for as long as it is needed in order to improve your shape and overall health. Usually 2-3 weeks of that level are enough for an average person to lead him/her to the next level.
In this level there are many variations which could be used.
For example, combining 1 minute of jogging with 1 minute sprint, or performing the training on stationery bike, stairs, hills, and so on. Your total time for using this training strategy should include 3-5 minutes of warming up and 10-20 minutes of the high intensity interval training itself.
Sidebar: At the end of a every workout routine, no matter if it is cardio or weight training, you should include, except for the warming up period and the actual working out period, a cooling down period which should, in its turn, include stretching routines in order to avoid sudden changes in your heart rate which are putting your heart under needless stress.
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