The desire to lose weight and reduce excess body fat is one shared by a significant percentage of the population. Whether you find yourself needing to shed a large amount of body weight to minimize health risks or wanting to trim down a bit in order to look better for an upcoming beach vacation, this process involves the same basic principles.
In today’s society, we are experiencing the perfect storm in regards to poor lifestyle choices and negative dietary habits. Many of us find ourselves busier than ever, struggling to get everything done in each little 24-hour window.
This naturally leads to opt out of going to the gym and grabbing a fast food meal on the go. If your goal is to lose weight, you need a strategy that is both effective and schedule friendly. Allow me to introduce you to high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short.
HIIT is a form of exercise that involves short, max-effort bursts of intensity followed by brief rest periods. Unlike many exercise routines that include steady, low-intensity movements coupled with lengthy rest periods, HIIT takes a different approach to working out. Instead of spending an hour on the treadmill or scrolling through your phone in between countless sets of weight training, you could be melting through calories and fat at a far accelerated rate in greatly reduced time!
A simple example of high-intensity interval training is as follows: ten seconds of maximum effort performing a certain exercise such as sprinting, burpees or squat jumps followed by twenty seconds of rest. This cycle is then repeated using the same or a different exercise for a time period usually lasting 4-15, and no more than 30 minutes. While this approach offers a simplistic training protocol, the physical effects are not to be underestimated.
HIIT sets itself apart from other forms of exercise in both caloric consumption and time efficiency. When you perform an exercise at maximum intensity, this obviously requires increased energy expenditure throughout the body due in part to the lack of downtime between active periods as well as accelerated heart rate. This training method actually allows you to burn even more calories (and therefore body fat) than the usual protocol in a fraction of the time.
Aside from the actual exercise structure of HIIT, the simplicity of this method provides even greater timesaving benefits. There is no need to go to the gym or possess a slew of exercise equipment to perform high-intensity interval training. In fact, you can accomplish a highly effective session everywhere from your living room floor to the local park.
Considering that the exercises performed during HIIT usually consists of bodyweight movements and aerobic activities such as sprinting or squat jumps, your gym is wherever you are.
By far the most unique benefit to HIIT is the systemic effect stimulated in the body when the exercise comes to an end. After subjecting yourself to this type of strenuous activity, a metabolic response is set off that, among other things, produces an increase in fat-burning hormones such as adrenaline and testosterone.
This phenomenon, often called the “after burn” effect, keeps going long after you call it quits for the day. Your body will continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate for several hours after this workout session is finished!
Convenient, schedule friendly and remarkably effective are all fantastic elements attributed to HIIT. Don’t let your busy lifestyle allow you to believe losing weight and becoming a better version of yourself is a futile effort! Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated, and HIIT is a shining example of this truth.