HIIT = high-intensity interval training is intense exercises that you do at 80- 95% of your maximum heart rate, the exercises can have a duration from 5 seconds up to 8 minutes. The shorter the interval, the higher the intensity and vice versa. The work intervals are alternated with periods of complete rest or active recovery.
HIIT has been shown to:
- improve fitness;
- improve cardiovascular health;
- improves cholesterol profiles and insulin sensitivity, which helps stabilize sugar levels – of particular significance to diabetics;
- reduces fat – both abdominal and the deep, visceral fat that is around your inner organs – while maintaining muscle mass or, in less active individuals, increasing it;
- anti ageing at the cellular level, by increasing the production of proteins for the mitochondria, your cells’ energy-releasing powerhouses, which otherwise deteriorates over the years.
Many people that have a goal to burn fat and improve their aerobic capacity turns to long moderate-intensity cardio workout sessions. Scientific studies shows that HIIT gives a more effective way to reach this goal.
When you do a HIIT workout this things start to happen:
- burning sensation in your muscles;
- you feel out of breath;
- your muscle build up lactic acid, this causes the burning sensations in your muscles, and your body’s stores of oxygen gets depleted.
High intensity training forces your body to work harder to build the oxygen stores up, your body keeps working to build up the oxygen store for 16-24 hours after your HIIT session.
HIIT workouts burn more calories both during and after exercise, which is boosting weight-loss results.
And because of the intensity of HIIT workouts, there’s a significant increase of catecholamines (dopamine, noradrenaline (norepinephrine), and adrenaline (epinephrine) within your body, hormones that are activated when the body is stressed. These hormones help mobilize the body’s fat stores so they can be used as fuel.
HIIT workouts also help improve your VO2 max, which refers to the body’s ability to use oxygen as energy. This results in improved endurance, means that you can sustain intense workouts for longer time and increasing your overall energy levels. Both aerobic (exercise using oxygen ex.running) and anaerobic (exercise without using oxygen ex. powerlifting) endurance are improved with HIIT training as well, while moderate cardio workouts only improve aerobic endurance.