HIIT is my favourite form of workout – here’s how to work it into your own fitness plan.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, and can also be called “high-intensity intermittent exercise” or “sprint interval training”.
I prefer HIIT because it describes exactly how it should feel – intervals of very intense work followed by intervals of recovery.
HIIT is tough, but what constitutes hard will be different for everyone, and will change as you get fitter, stronger, and more conditioned.
HIIT For Fat Loss
HIIT is a fantastic form of workout if you want to lose body fat (not just “lose weight”).
Traditional cardio is OK for burning calories, but it won’t do much for maintaining muscle, shaping your body, or getting you really fit.
Steady-state cardio rarely pushes you out of your comfort zone or transforms your physique.
HIIT does both.
Because you work so hard doing HIIT, you will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. (Some research states 25-30% more than other forms of exercise (1))
It’s fantastic for fat loss.
You will never hit a plateau using HIIT, and there will always be a way to boost your progress.
And best of all, you will incorporate resistance training (bodyweight or with equipment) into HIIT intervals, so you’ll be shaping your body up as you burn fat.
7 Big Benefits Of HIIT
- Variety – You can design a different HIIT workout every time you train! Different intervals, rest periods, reps, sets, exercises, and bits of equipment.
- Keep Your Muscle – Traditional cardio is catabolic (breaks down muscle) but HIIT is anabolic, producing the hormones that protect muscle mass and can help you get lean.
- Time Saver – You can have an effective, calorie-burning HIIT workout in as little as 4 minutes (the famous Tabata protocol). HIIT is ideal for busy people. (2)
- Health Booster – HIIT burns calories, tones muscle, gets you fit, and works your cardiovascular system at the same time. (3)
- Never Boring – You will never get bored of doing HIIT workouts because there is no end to the variety. This means you’re more likely to do it!
- Makes You Feel Great – HIIT is hard at the time, but leaves you feeling accomplished and exhilarated, buzzing from those endorphins!
- Continues To Burn Calories After The Workout – EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) refers to the fact that HIIT keeps your bod burning calories for up to 48 hours after the workout. (4, 5)
Risks And Considerations
As you can tell, I love HIIT for its efficiency and effectiveness.
But does that mean it’s right for everyone?
Here are some things to think about when you start to use HIIT in your workout routine.
- You’ll need to pay close attention to your form, so choose exercises you are confident with.
- HIIT is not the best form of exercise for training your aerobic system, so make sure you pair it with some longer, lower-intensity activity like walking, swimming, leisure bike rides.
- It’s not a relaxing form of exercise, so if you are going through a period of stress you may find it adds another form of stress to your system.
- It’s a moderate to advanced form of exercise, so make sure you choose exercises and durations that suit your current level of fitness, weight, and any injuries. Drop me a line if you need help with this.
Is HIIT Right For You?
I use some form of HIIT with all my clients, whether they come to me unfit and with weight to lose, or lacking in muscle strength, or inexperienced with exercise.
I think it’s such a beneficial form of exercise – especially for busy people – that I find an appropriate way.
If you want to lose body fat, shape up, get fitter, build strength, and have fun with exercise, I encourage you to add 1-3 short HIIT workouts to your weekly routine.
Start Slow And Build Up
If you need to use an easier form of an exercise (push-ups on knees for example), do that. Good form and intensity are key.
You can progress with time.
My YouTube channel has a load of HIIT workouts you are welcome to use – check it out here >> https://www.youtube.com/c/CoachJosephWebb/videos
Or email me to discuss the best training programme for your body transformation!
*The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’
Below are links to the studies I used for today’s blog: