High Intensity Interval Training is the most effective cardiovascular exercise if your goal is to lose body fat, to improve your fitness for sport or even if your goal is a little less specific.
If you have been performing slow cardiovascular exercise such as jogging at a steady pace for 30mins to an hour or more, and you’re not getting the results you want, then maybe it’s time for a change.
Read on if you want to know how to perform high intensity intervals to lose weight.
What Is High Intensity Interval Training?
High intensity interval training or HIIT is a method of training that results in improved fitness and faster weight loss for those who embrace it properly in their quest for fitness, weight loss and health.
It involves performing your exercise at an extremely high intensity that is unsustainable for more than a short period of time, and so followed by a rest interval.
High intensity interval training can be performed using just your body-weight, no or little equipment so it is perfect if you want to exercise from home, hotel or while on the road.
Examples of high intensity interval training include:
- The famous 10×20 seconds protocol of MAX effort running followed with 10 seconds recovery – known as Tabata Session
- Tabata bike, row or swim sets
- Tabata resistance or body-weight exercises such as dead lifts or burpees
- Any variation of work to rest intervals as long as the recovery is long enough that you recover sufficiently to perform the next interval at high intensity
- Power intervals would look to a work to rest ration of 1-6 for example 10 second sprint, 50-60 second rest
- For best results perform intervals with full body exercises, compound lifts and avoid isolation exercises
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
In 1996 a very famous study by Tabata et al. concluded that HIIT training has major benefits to athletes who are short of time – that’s most of us!
Tabata’s study used a 4 minute interval training session including 8×20 second hard efforts, with 10 second recovery.
This 4 minute training session showed an impressive 28% improvement in fitness in just 6 weeks of performing the session 5x weekly.
More recently studies by Hottenrott , Trapp and Tremblay have shown positive effects of high intensity interval training ranging from improved insulin sensitivity – essential for effective weight loss – to improved fitness when compared to longer more moderate workouts.
Saving time is a massive benefit for most of us and HIIT does this effectively.
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