High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You have probably come across this term but don’t know what it means. This article shall expound on HIIT exercises and their benefits. HIIT is a type of exercise that entails short periods of extremely demanding physical activity (High-Intensity) that alternates with less intense recovery periods. This means the body is exposed to intense bursts of exercise to maximise calorie burn followed by recovery periods. This exercise helps you lose fat while growing lean muscle at the same time. 

Examples of HIIT exercises;

a.    Jumps squats 

b.    Burpees (10 reps; 10 sets)

c.    Wide-grip pull-ups

d.    Diamond push-up

e.    Squat to Curtsy Lunge

f.    Donkey kick

g.    Lateral Lunge

h.    Mountain Climbers

Benefits of HIIT exercises

Typical HIIT work-outs last between 10-30 minutes. However, the benefits of this exercise last longer after workout completion unlike low and moderate exercises. Here is a list of benefits you can reap from performing HIIT;

a.  It helps you burn a lot of calories in a short time

b.  Cardiovascular benefits

Organs are perfused better with HIIT exercises due to vasodilation and healthy heart. Blood pressure is also reduced in individuals who perform HIIT exercises regularly over weeks.  It also increases oxygen circulation in the body and has cardioprotective benefits.  

c.  Metabolic effects: Higher metabolic rate for hours after HIIT exercise

Studies have shown sustained metabolic activity hours after HIIT workouts. Sustained metabolic activity relies on fat for fuel (a more efficient metabolic pathway) rather than carbs. 

d.  Helps in weight loss

Calorie burn would lead to weight loss due to calorie burn and fat loss as well. Body fat can be reduced by subjecting the body to HIIT exercises. It is recommended for overweight and obese individuals.

e.  Helps muscle gain and leaning out

Muscles that are heavily utilized during HIIT exercises can grow to sustain the increase in activity. Muscle growth is observed more in beginners and less so in seasoned gym goers/athletes. It is to be noted that muscle growing is better with weight training compared to HIIT exercises.

f.   Reduce blood sugar and alleviate insulin resistance

When you subject the body to HIIT, it burns energy. Sugar as a source of fuel is utilized and cleared from the blood. This activity has long-term benefits of sugar control and eliminating insulin resistance. 

CAUTION: As with most exercises, patients with pre-existing heart conditions need medical advice to conduct HIIT workouts to avoid heart attacks. Care needs to be taken not to cause injury from poor technique or overworking. 

Check Out This Four-Week Workout Plan

Looking to build muscle, lose fat and get the body you’ve always wanted? This four-week workout plan is the perfect starting point for those who are new to exercise.