For many of us, our initial move to join a gym or begin our fitness journey is based upon our drive to not only sculpt our bodies, but lose body fat. However, many people associate fat loss with running on a treadmill for extended periods of time or cardio. There are more efficient methods to fat loss that will kickstart your results and get to closer to the physique you’ve always desired in half the time.
A great, or perhaps the best fat loss alternative workout is High Intensity Interval Training, more commonly known as HIIT workouts. HIIT workouts consist of intense periods of work with a very short recovery period. This means performing an exercise to your absolute fullest ability and then resting for a short period, allowing you to give maximum intensity without burning you out too fast.
One of the best perks of a HIIT workout is that it keeps your body burning fat even after you leave the gym. Yes you heard that right, you will BURN calories even if you are sitting and watching your favourite tele program! So how does this work? During a HIIT workout, your body can’t supply enough oxygen to your muscles during the intense workout spurts, therefore your muscles become oxygen deprived. Therefore, even after you stop working out your muscles are hard at work to get oxygen back in. As a result your metabolism spends more time burning calories to help bring the oxygen back to your muscles even after you leave the gym walls. This phenomenon that makes HIIT so effective is known as EPOC, post exercise oxygen consumption.
In addition, HIIT is wonderful for your heart health as it elevates your heart rate during periods of hard work, increasing your cardio ability and strengthening your heart muscles.
What does a typical HIIT training session look like?
HIIT workouts should focus on difficult movements that challenge the entire body in one go, however this can vary depending on your fitness levels. Some time examples to model your workout after can include the 30:30 method, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, or the 50:10 method, 50 seconds on and 10 seconds off. Of course, this will change as you grow stronger, but this can be a solid base to begin with. As time goes on and you gain momentum, you can begin to add more exercises between your rest periods, this includes 3 back to back workouts with 30 second rest, etc.
What exercises should I incorporate?
As mentioned prior, your HIIT movements should consist of workouts that are not only challenging but works the entire body. Some of the most popular exercises include, burpees, high knees, runner drops, push ups, butt kickers, jogging in place, star jumps, jump rope, etc. That being said, there are hundreds of other exercises that can accomplish a full body workout, so you should never feel limited.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of HIIT is that it can be as short as 7 minutes. If you are efficient and give your maximum efforts your HIIT training doesn’t need to take long, and you can tweak the timing of your workout to your fitness levels. In addition, HIIT workouts can be accomplished in addition to your already set fitness routine, let’s say you enjoy lifting weights, spend an hour dedicated to lifting weights and a half an hour to HIIT workouts.
HIIT training is easy, efficient, fun and FAST and in combination with a proper nutrition plan (our previous blog covers intermittent fasting) you achieve your fat loss goals quicker than ever.