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What Is High Intensity Interval Training?

Have you ever heard of HIIT? In this Vision PT article, our experts discuss what is high intensity interval training and how it could help you.
Weight Loss Articles
Weight Loss Articles

By Shaun Burn at Baulkham Hills

Are you looking for a way to get in that hard cardio each week, or increase your current amount? There is no doubt you are putting in all that hard work to attain the results you set out for in your goal session so lets look at one of the most effective training programs to melt that fat away!

High intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) is characterised by repeating cycles of short burst, high intensity activity followed by short recovery breaks with the aim of improving aerobic fitness while burning fat at the same time. HIIT workouts typically last around 18-27 minutes making them extremely efficient especially for those who may be particularly time poor, this also makes it the perfect fit for a half hour session with your PT. There is growing evidence through scientific research that shows that the same or superior benefits can be achieved through HIIT as compared to regular low-moderate intensity aerobic activity such as jogging or cycling despite it's shorter duration. University of Queensland studies show that HIIT programs have the ability to achieve 20% better results in half the time.

So how is this achieved?

Without getting too scientific, HIIT earns its fat blasting reputation through a physiological process known as excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC) also sometimes referred to as the afterburn effect. In a nutshell this means that after you finish your exercise session your body is continuing to burn energy! The high intensity of the workout means that your body has an increased oxygen demand which it must repay afterwards to return to a resting state, during this time your metabolism remains elevated, and fat stores are broken down and released into the bloodstream to be burnt off for energy. Think of it as your car engine after a long trip, once you arrive at your destination your engine stays warm as it gradually cools to a resting temperature. The effectiveness of EPOC is directly related to the intensity of the workout not the duration, this is what sets HIIT apart from regular aerobic training. In addition HIIT has been shown to be effective at helping to retain lean muscle mass, making it possible to retain or improve cardiovascular fitness while building muscle - a big win win.

So that's the basics of HIIT, and while it should not completely replace low-moderate cardio from your training schedule is a great way to blast off some of those extra fat stores especially for those looking for a time efficient option.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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