A Guide to HIIT Workout

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HIIT

HIIT workout is a popular term and you all must have heard of it. But you may not know what exactly does it mean, what sort of exercises are included in this workout split, how effective it is and more such questions might pop up in your mind every time you hear about HIIT workout.

Not to worry, today, in this topic, I will try to explain pretty much everything about the HIIT workout along with it’s benefits and how to get started with HIIT. So, Let’s start.

What HIIT workout is?

hiit workout

HIIT is an abbreviation which stands for ‘High Intensity Interval training’. HIIT is a broad term for a workout split which involves short periods of intense exercise wherein your recovery periods are altered.

The most beneficial benefit of HIIT workout is its time saving. Unless someone’s job or daily routine isn’t physically demanding, it’s difficult to find time to workout in their daily routine for many people.

And in that case, HIIT workout proves to be very effective.

Now that you know what HIIT workout is, let us talk about its benefits. 

Benefits of HIIT workout

Researches have shown that HIIT has proved to be more effective for maximizing health outcomes than moderate-intensity exercises.

Here are the benefits of HIIT workout:

  1. Can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time

burning calories

In a research for calories burned during 30 minutes of each workout (HIIT, weight training, running, and biking), Researchers have found that HIIT burns 25-30% more calories than any other form of exercise. 

However, each session was for 30 minutes but HIIT is much shorter than a usual workout session.

This proves that you can burn more calories in less time with HIIT workout.

  1. HIIT reduce more body fat

burn body fat

A research conducted about whether HIIT burns more body fat than the traditional type of exercise such as jogging.

The research studied 46 males who were overweight with an average age of 25 years, took part in three 20-minute HIIT sessions a week.

After 12 weeks of research, researchers found out that those 46 males had a significant reduction in their body fat than those in other exercise group.

With the conclusive studies, it is believed that HIIT may be beneficial for fat loss in those who are overweight or obese.

  1. Improves metabolic health even after hours of exercise

metabolism

HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more than jogging or weight training.

Few studies have proved the impressive ability of HIIT to increase your metabolic rate even after hours of exercise.

In the same study, it was also found that HIIT shifts your body’s metabolism to use fat for energy rather than carbs. Thus promise fat loss and not weight loss.

  1. HIIT might help you in muscle growth

Yes, HIIT is believed to be promoting muscle gain in certain individuals. Provided those individuals are those who were less active to begin with.

To be more specific, the gained muscles would be the muscle which is primarily being used, often the trunk and legs.

If you want to focus more on gaining muscles, then weight training proves to be the ‘Gold Standard’ form of exercise for building muscle mass.

  1. HIIT may reduce heart rate and blood pressure

heart health

Overweight or obese people often have the problem of high blood pressue, reasearches have shown that HIIT may help in reducing your heart rate and high blood pressure problem.

Some of the researches have also shown that HIIT may even reduce blood pressure more than the moderate intensity exercises.

However, it appears that high intensity exercises does not change the blood pressure in people with normal weight and normal blood pressure.

  1. HIIT can improve your oxygen consumption

breathing

Our circulatory system delivers oxygen and nutrients to our muscles through blood and HIIT workout support and strengthens the circulatory system.

Normally, long sessions of continuing cycling and running at a steady rate affects our circulatory system. But with HIIT workout, you can achieve that in a shorter span of time.

Here’s the study to prove that high intensity workout can improve your oxygen consumption and blood flow.

  1. HIIT can reduce blood sugar level.

low blood sugar level

Different studies have found that HIIT does reduce blood sugar level and improves insulin resistance in your body more than traditional continuous exercise.

Some studies done on individuals with type 2 diabetes demonstrated the effect of HIIT workout on their blood sugar level. 

Based on this, it is likely to believe that HIIT may be beneficial for individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

However, healthy individuals may be able to improve insulin resistance better than traditional exercises.

How to get started with HIIT workout

While it seems easy that you will be done with your day’s workout in just 20-30 minutes, it is equally hard to perform. Unlike the traditional exercises wherein the rest period is adequate enough to perform another exercise, in high intensity workout it is difficult since the rest period is low.

To get started, I would suggest to start with easy going exercises which you know you can perform and try to increase the intensity with that. 

After you understand the concept completely, then only switch to more advanced versions of it.

To help you better, here are the splits you can follow to start with:

  1. Sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Then walk or jog slowly for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this pattern for 20 minutes.
  2. Jumping squats for 30 seconds. Then rest or walk for 90 seconds. Do this for 15 minutes. With this you can add calf raises, 30 reps then 30 seconds rest. Repeat this pattern for 5-10 minutes.
  1. Abs crunches – 30 with bicycle crunches for 30 seconds and hanging knee raises – 15 reps. Do this for 8-10 minutes with 1 minute of rest after each circuit.

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