When I first heard of HIIT, I had no idea what it was all about. I wanted to dig deeper and figure out why HIIT has been all the rage lately. Turns out, it has so many benefits and anyone can do it! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and can be explained as short bouts of maximal effort exercises followed by a short recovery, or low-intensity period, in between each exercise. This pattern of high and low intensity can vary by 30 seconds to 2 minutes for each exercise, depending on your goal.
Some examples of HIIT include:
o Sprint with an all-out effort for up to 1 minute, lightly jog for about 2 minutes, and then continue with another minute of sprinting, and so forth
· Body weight exercises like push-ups, mountain climbers, pull-ups, or burpees
o Workout with a maximum effort for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break, and continue this pattern about 8 times or for 4 minutes each exercise.
The biggest benefit is the efficient utilization of carbohydrates and fat during your workout. During aerobic exercise, carbohydrates and fat become more available for our body to use. This allows for carbs and fat to be used as fuel and meet the energy demands of your workout.
· Glucagon is a hormone found in the liver that changes glycogen (stored form of glucose) to glucose.
· Glucose is our body’s most readily available form of energy, especially during workouts.
· With short bouts of exercise, glucagon production is increased, making more glucose available.
· With more glucose available during a workout, fat breakdown is enhanced which allows your body to use fat as an energy source.
Another benefit of HIIT training is you don’t need a gym to do it! Body weight is completely acceptable for this type of workout.
· Using body weight can be just as beneficial for a workout. Your body will adapt by increasing muscle size or strength when using just body weight.
· Any variation of body weight exercise works. So long as intensity stays high, your body will continue to adapt regardless of mode or exercise.
It’s so important to know why each workout mode is beneficial if you want to know what’s going to work best for you. So if you’re tired of the same old routine, try out a HIIT workout. See what gyms around you are offering classes, most will allow you to try a class for free on your first time.