In this article, we’ll look into 6 HIIT benefits worth breaking a sweat over.
But first, let’s sort out the definition of HIIT.
What Is HIIT?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves intense exercise intervals alternating with low-intensity active recovery or rest.
Interval periods can vary in time and intensity depending on your fitness level. The actual exercises can differ greatly as well from traditional cardio like running or cycling to more strength-based or plyometric movements.
This type of training has become increasingly popular over the last decade and there’s a good reason for that.
It’s more effective than other forms of training and much more fun!
HIIT Benefit 1: Burn More Calories in Less Time (HIIT Benefit 1)
HIIT training tends to burn more calories than low-moderate intensity continuous exercise. This is due to the higher demands placed on the body and increased exertion during a HIIT session. That means you can burn more calories in less time. One particular study compared the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running and biking. They found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise (1).
HIIT Benefit 2: Boost Your Metabolism
Not only are you more likely to burn more calories during a HIIT session, but your body also needs more energy to recover and get back to a state of rest. This means your metabolism will be increased and you’ll be burning more calories long after your workout.
Researchers found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more so than jogging and weight training. The same study also found that metabolism may shift towards using fat for energy rather than carbohydrates (2).
HIIT Benefit 3: Reduce Body Fat
With more calories burned before and after a workout, it will come as no surprise to you that HIIT is a great way to reduce body fat. And because HIIT sessions often include resistance training you are more likely to maintain muscle mass while reducing body fat.
One study found that people performing HIIT three times per week for 20 minutes per session lost 2 kgs, of body fat in 12 weeks — without any dietary changes. 17% of this fat loss was in visceral fat, which is the fat surrounding vital organs that are linked to chronic diseases.
HIIT Benefit 4: Improved Cardio Vascular Health
Interval training is more effective than moderate continuous activity for increasing cardiovascular health. According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, the aerobic capacity gained as a result of 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training can be obtained in only 2 weeks through high-intensity intervals (5).
HIIT Benefit 5: It’s Fun (and You’re More Likely to Stick to it)
Number 5 on our list of HIIT benefits might come as a surprise.
Most people would consider the idea of a 10km jog equally boring and horrific. I personally love a 10km run but I’m not most people. Whereas the idea of shorter, more manageable periods of effort with active recovery is much more appealing.
Finding an exercise you actually enjoy is vital for continued participation. So you are more likely to stick to your fitness regime if it consists of HIIT training.
HIIT Benefit 6: It’s Versatile
Because the effectiveness of HIIT doesn’t rely on the actual exercises you include, it’s so easy to create a lot of variety to your session. Add to that, the number of ways you can structure a session, you’re only limited by your imagination.
How To Experience HIIT Benefits With Highlite Fitness
Here at Highlite, our sessions are primarily based on HIIT principles to help you burn calories, increase your metabolism, reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular health.
With the fun and variety of over 50 unique sessions and the motivational benefits of training in a group, you’ll love being part of the Highlite family!
Ready to experience some of these HIIT benefits?