Ever wonder how high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can boost your results? We are always looking for that magic bullet. Whether it be a supplement promised to “melt our fat” or a popular diet that your friends swear by. I’ve been a Registered Dietitian for five years and I’ve been studying food and fitness for over a decade. Although I am sad to report that there are no quick fixes or magic pills, there are ways of eating and training that are scientifically proven to optimize common fitness goals such as fat burning, muscle gains, and heart health. Depending on your goals, HIIT can be that “short cut” you’ve been looking for. Interval training can mean different things to different people. Interval Training can be alternating between two different movements, different speeds, or degree of effort. HIIT can also refer to a short burst of intense work followed by rest or very low intensity work (think sprints vs walking). At Core Strength Fitness we love utilizing high-intensity interval training in our group fitness classes.
Here are a few of my favorite ways high-intensity interval training can boost your results.
You Will Burn Calories and Lose Fat (in less time!)
High-intensity interval training is one of the most efficient ways to exercise. In as little as 15 minutes you can burn the amount of calories you otherwise would slogging away on a treadmill. HIIT causes a spike in two key fat burning hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two hormones cause the breakdown of fat to be used as energy. There are even some studies that link HIIT with decreased belly fat and harmful visceral fat.
HIIT Improves Consistency
Because HIIT is so varied and there are so many combinations of exercises and equipment that can be utilized, people report enjoying their workouts more than steady state cardio sessions. The variety within each session decreases workout boredom and keeps your mind and body engaged. Because you will enjoy your workout means that you will not only look forward to exercising but you will also be more likely to stick with it for the long-term.
HIIT Boosts Metabolism
High-intensity interval training increases your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (commonly known as “after-burn” or abbreviated as EPOC). EPOC is affected less by the intervals and more by the intensity...however, knowing you have that break coming up allows you to go that much harder during your workout. EPOC happens after exercise and is an increase of oxygen uptake into the body in order to bring the body back to rest (it also allows the body to adapt in order to better handle the same intensity of exercise). More oxygen uptake means a higher caloric burn. Keep in mind...this caloric burn is not massive as often claimed. The post-exercise calorie burn is only about 5-16% of what was burned during the workout itself (but, hey, every little bit helps).
HIIT Can Build Muscle
When you don’t have a lot of time but want to build muscle and burn fat, intervals are the way to go. Interval training allows you to work both weights and cardio into the same workout. This way of training is great for those who are pressed for time and aren’t able to have designated lifting vs cardio days/ sessions. Whether your goals are strictly health or aesthetics, increasing your lean muscle mass is crucial. Muscle mass boosts your resting metabolism which helps you burn fat more effectively. Giving some attention to your muscle mass is even more important as you age as we lose 3-5% of our muscle per decade from age 30.
And there you have it. Interval training is a great way to reach your health and fitness goals especially when you are pressed for time (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?). At Core Strength Fitness we utilize interval training in most of our group fitness classes because we thrive on keeping your workouts fun and engaging while boosting your results. If you want to learn more about how high-intensity interval training can boost your results feel free to message me!