Traditional cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming and cycling have been the most popular choice amongst people looking to lose body fat and improve general health over the years but as our busy society gets even busier, many find it hard to dedicate 45-90 minutes per day doing so.
HIIT training has so many awesome benefits and has become an increasingly popular way for the frequent flyer to stay fit without spending hours in the gym.
High Intensity Interval Training ( HIIT ) describes workouts that alternate between intense bursts of energy and low intensity or complete rest periods. These intervals are short and sharp with your body working in overtime to complete as many repetitions as possible.
These training sessions are completed within a 15-30 minute time frame. They'll challenge the mind and body, have your heart pumping and the legs jumping!
So why HIIT? What does it do to our body and why is it so beneficial?
Here are some of the benefits of HIIT:
YOU BURN FAT FAST
During a HIIT session, your body will turn into a fat burning machine. Your body will burning an average of 10-15 calories every minute.
As well as burning fat faster, the exertion put on your body will kick your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive meaning you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, running on the treadmill.
Slam Balls are highly effective for HIIT workouts when accessible
HIIT stimulates production of your Human Growth Hormone by up to a whopping 400% during the 24 hour period after you finish training.
HGH helps build and repair healthy tissue around your brain and other organs. It also helps build muscle which will therefore increase your metabolism and have you burning more fat at resting rate.
NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED
One of the best things about HIIT is that it requires NO EQUIPMENT!!
There are plenty of bodyweight movements to choose from that will elevate your heart rate and work through the entire body.
Plyometric movements such as high knees, jumping and pushing will have you sweaty and gasping for air in no time.
MAINTAIN MUSCLE MASS
By stimulating the production of HGH, these sessions will ensure you are not losing muscle mass and help your muscle tissues rebuild and repair. This of course will also depend on the nutrition you are eating before and after training. Check out my coaching page for more info on training and nutrition packages. HGH also slows down ageing by increasing exercise capacity, increasing bone density, increasing muscle mass, and decreasing body fat!
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY HEART
Eating too many bad fats and processed foods can cause problems. Visceral fat is the body fat that surrounds your internal organs. Having too much of this fat can cause health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
The good news is HIIT reduces this visceral fat and by putting your body into an anaerobic zone ( the zone where you can’t breath and feel like you’re dying), you will be breathing oxygen in a whole lot better.
YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE
The versatility of HIIT allows you to take these sessions with you around the world as they can be completed anywhere, anytime. Get creative and use the space you have to work with wisely.
It’s a very simple concept. Create exercises where you can complete short bursts at maximum effort followed by a short rest period.
A palm tree plank- A movement i often throw into HIIT workouts
IT’S GOING TO CHALLENGE YOU
HIIT sessions will push you mentally and physically. You can design sessions to focus more on a specific group of muscles eg: legs, or create full body movements. Keeping the heart rate elevated is the ultimate goal here. During an exercise the heart rate should be up around 70% or more.
Having short rest periods will ensure the HR stays elevated. An example of a “exercising/ resting” time would be 20 seconds exercising with a 10 second rest in between.
IT’S TIME EFFICIENT
If you don’t have much time on your hands then this is ideal for you. As i mentioned previously, the sessions generally last up to 30 minutes BUT they can be completed in just 15 minutes if need be. The beauty of HIIT is that you have the power to create a customised session to suit your time frame.
This makes it ideal for travellers who find themselves pushed for time when it comes to exercising or are limited with space.
EXAMPLE OF A HIIT WORKOUT
20 seconds exercise/ 10 seconds rest
WORKOUT 2- EQUIPMENT BASED-
Rope Slams x 20
Prowler run x 1
Power throws x 5
Hanging leg raises x 10
*45 seconds rest after each round. Complete 10 rounds.