What is a HIIT Workout?

Posted by Melany Krangle on
It’s impossible to go to a gym nowadays without seeing posters for HIIT workouts all over the place. What started as a workout craze for fitness fanatics has now become a mainstay form of exercise and classes are offered in gyms all over the world. But, what exactly is this new workout and what parts of your body does it target? We are going to take an in-depth look at HIIT and see what makes it so great.
What is HIIT?
Let’s start with the basics. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and that is exactly what it is. The basic premise is to do short bursts of very intense exercise followed by a longer period of less intense activity or even rest. An example of this would be one minute of running on the spot as fast as you can followed by two minutes of gentle jogging or walking. This is then repeated multiple times over the period of the workout.
How Long Does it Last?
The beauty of a HIIT workout is that you do not need to do a full hour to feel the benefits. Just 15 minutes, three times a week is enough to start noticing a difference. This is great news for people with hectic lifestyles who don’t have time to spend hours in the gym. HIIT can easily be squeezed into a lunch break or done before work in the mornings.
What Muscles Does HIIT Work?
There is no specific set of muscles that HIIT targets. Depending on your workout, you can work every muscle if you wanted to, but most people will choose a set group of muscles they want to work on. You could choose to focus on arms or legs or abs – just remember to switch it up each time so your body grow proportionately. Note that HIIT is primarily for fat burning rather than muscle growth.
How Does HIIT Work?
The main point of HIIT workouts is to burn fat. Interval training increases your metabolism, meaning you will carry on burning fat even after you’ve left the gym. This is because your body needs to consume extra oxygen after the workout to repair itself – causing it to burn fat and calories in the process. HIIT also increases your endurance levels.
Anything else?
One of the best things about HIIT is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. This means you don’t need to splash out on an expensive gym membership, you can just do it in your own home, the local park or the canteen at work if you’re really desperate. All you need is your own body and a healthy dose of determination.
HIIT is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time and has been proven to burn far more calories than running on a treadmill for the same amount of time. HIIT also has some health benefits with regards to blood pressure and the efficiency with which your body consumes oxygen. Essentially, if you’re looking to get fit, quick then HIIT is one of the best workouts to implement into your exercise routine. 

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