At HiDow, we know that we need to exercise regularly in order to maintain our health, but many people still do not get enough exercise. The main reason for this, as many people will say, is that between work and our responsibilities at home, we don’t always have the time to get a good work out in! Luckily, you’re not alone in this and that’s where high-intensity interval training— aka HIIT— workouts have come into popularity with the mainstream! HIIT workouts are perfect for anyone who is looking to get the most out of their workout within a limited time frame. In order to fully understand the benefits of HIIT workouts, first, we need to understand what they are and how they work!
High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a style of exercising that is built around having very little downtime in between each set or round of workouts. Typically, HIIT workouts will only last about half an hour but never really more than a full hour.
Yet despite being a short workout, it can deliver results that are equal to or better than spending an hour or two hours at the gym. This is for a few reasons. First, HIIT — as the name implies — is high-intensity. Even though your workout will only last 10, 15, or 30 minutes, you will be going HARD for that period of time.
Just consider how much time at the gym you actually spend going all out in comparison to the time you spend texting, sipping water, pacing back and forth waiting for your buddy to finish doing their reps, etc. You really just cut out all of that time that you aren’t actually exercising.
HIIT exercises have been found to burn more calories than traditional workouts do to the short, intense, bursts of effort followed by equally short recovery times.
If we are measuring your effort as a percentage, this would look like sprinting all out at 100% for 20 seconds followed by 30 to 40 seconds of recovery running at 50%.
This causes your body to burn more calories in a shorter period of time during your workout, but also extends into after your workout. This is a great way to effectively burn fat even when you don’t have the time to spend hours at the gym.
Not only does HIIT help you burn a ton of calories during your workout, thanks to the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect, your body continues to burn calories long after your workout is over.
Since your body uses oxygen to burn calories, engaging in high-intensity workouts that get your heart pumping and your lungs working, you will burn more calories. It’s for this reason that workout programs recommend getting into the range of 80% effort or higher.
Once you are done, your body will continue to take in a lot of oxygen to cool down and this will help you continue to burn calories.