High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a high-intensity workout in which you work with short and simple exercises that generally alternate with rest or recovery times of equal duration. For instance, for a set of 30 seconds squats are done without rest and at a good pace and after this time you enter the recovery period in which for 30 seconds the muscles relax after overexertion. As simple as that.
Normally in one session, one usually does 6 to 13 different exercises at maximum intensity with their corresponding rest time. This allows short, enjoyable and varied training sessions. Dan Matteucci, actor and fitness trainer recommends that a session should not last more than 20 to 30 minutes.
A recommended routine includes simple exercises and tends to combine squats, push-ups, burpees or abdominals, for example. Each session is unique and adapted to the needs and abilities of the person to train a certain set of muscles.
But what are the real benefits of HIIT? Here are 5 compelling reasons to choose HIIT to get fit.
1. Help to lose weight
A HIIT training session helps you lose weight effectively and quickly. During training, the metabolism responsible for burning fat is stimulated and this effect is extended even during the hours after training. That is, more calories are spent and more weight is lost than with other physical activities such as these.
2. Improvement of aerobic capacity in record time
Training regularly activates the muscles, improves physical fitness and increases personal performance. But there are sports modalities with which the objectives are achieved faster than with others. According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2011, in just two weeks of high-intensity interval training, aerobic capacity is improved as much as if it took six to eight weeks to train another type of more traditional sport.
Therefore, if you are looking for a training regime with which you see results quickly, HIIT is definitely a great ally.
3. You lose weight but not muscle
Thanks to HIIT sessions, weight is lost, but you preserve your muscle mass. In this way, HIIT helps to show off a strong and toned body but without excess volume. If you do HIIT sessions, you will surely notice a difference at the muscular level.
4. A HIIT session saves time compared to other workouts
HIIT training sessions are shorter than a normal gym class. In fact, as we already stated, experts like Dan Matteucci recommend that a session not last more than 20 to 25 minutes, with periods of high intensity and recovery included. This way it is easy to include a session in your daily routine.
5. There are no excuses for not training
"I don't feel like going to the gym," "I don't have time to get to class," "I don't have a budget this month." Enough of these excuses! A HIIT training session can be done at any time, anywhere and the duration of the session can be modified to the available time. And, every individual can modify their training sessions to their needs and preferences: type of exercises, number of repetitions, etc. Of course, it is advisable to prepare the exercise tables with a coach and review the postures of the exercises to avoid unnecessary injuries. In this way, the training routines will be adjusted to each person's body condition and will be much more effective.
These are some of the benefits of a HIIT session. Talking to Dan Matteucci and a few other experts we also learnt that HIIT sessions are also great to relieve yourself from the psychological stress you go through every day.