With health and fitness advice on every corner of the internet, it can be hard to figure out which gym routine or cardio set is going to be the right one for you. You might struggle for time or find it hard to get motivated enough to make time for the gym, or a whole host of other reasons.
In this blog we take a look at six reasons why a HIIT routine might just be the answer you’re looking for and how it can fit into your life quickly and easily.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It simply means that you put 100% effort into a series of exercises with rest breaks in between. The whole session shouldn’t last any longer than 20 to 40 minutes. But what are the benefits of a HIIT session?
The short, full-on intensity of a HIIT session means that you’ll get maximum benefit from even three 20-minute sessions a week. You might start doing simple exercises such as beginner burpees but even with this short time frame you can go from learning how to do a burpee to some advanced variations, focussing on changing the effort rather than the time.
Another great benefit of HIIT is that you can do it at home with just a little space needed. With so many varieties of workouts available online, you’ll be able to find your favourite YouTube trainer and follow a schedule in the comfort of your own home.
You will burn more calories giving it your all in a HIIT session than you would in a longer traditional weights session or a cardio workout of the same time. On top of that, the amount of time you actually spend working out is shorter if you factor in your scheduled rest breaks over that half hour.
Like any weight-based exercise, HIIT can help your body to burn fat more efficiently by remaining in fat burning mode for longer after exercise. Even a few sessions every week will help to make your body a more efficient machine, using oxygen more efficiently, strengthening your core and other related muscles.
The great thing about HIIT is it’s simple or as complex as you want it to be. You might just want to do interval sprints on a stationary bike for 20 minutes or build in some body weight exercises to give your muscles and core a workout.
Muscle Can Replace Fat
If your aim is to lose weight and get fit and you’re following a calorie deficit eating plan, then it’s entirely possible to lose weight and still gain muscle. If your goal is to do that, then tailor your HIIT routine to incorporate some body or free weight exercises that help you to achieve your goals.
Knock on Effects
As well as getting your heart pumping fast and feeling your whole body strengthening and toning up, regular HIIT sessions can be great for any other sports you do too.
If you’re a runner, for example, then you’ll find yourself being able to push yourself at faster speeds for longer, before getting your breath back at your normal speed. You’ll find your stamina increases and you’ll be able to walk, dance or cycle for longer as your body gets used to you pushing it more and more.
It’s Not a Compromise
You might feel that a HIIT session isn’t a real exercise option, that it’s some kind of cop out but you’ll soon realise, after a 20-minute session that this method is every bit as effective as an hour spent on a treadmill, if not more.
With the ability to combine cardio and weight resistance elements, this is simply a more effective, more efficient way of getting the exercise you need and fitting around your busy working or family life. It’s not a compromise in any way and in many ways asks more of you for those short bursts than any aerobics class.
Finding 20 minutes, even daily, around a busy schedule feels much more easy to accomplish than carving out an hour to go to the gym. Hop online and find a training schedule that suits you and start an exercise habit that you’ll want to keep up.
Start with the basics and gradually make your exercises more complicated and challenging as you see your strength and cardio fitness beginning to show signs of improvement. HIIT is for everyone so get started and begin your journey to a fitter future.