What exactly is high intensity interval training?
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a bit of a buzz word in the Paleo community, but what is it? HIIT is a series of short high intensity workout intervals combined with short “recovery” intervals.
Instead of spending hours on the treadmill, a HIIT is far shorter, consisting of short bursts of very strenuous workout, broken up with recovery intervals. You might sprint for a minute as fast as possible, then recover for two minutes several times.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
1. You can burn far more fat in HIIT. After you complete a high intensity workout, your body burns more fat than if you were to run for 30 minutes at a steady pace.
2. You push your heart and make it stronger because you are making it go to a limit that it won’t go to if you remain doing low intensity workouts.
3. You will lose fat, not muscle.
4. You can do it anywhere. You don’t need a gym with lots of equipment. You can just go outside and run.
5. It’s challenging. This is something you need to set aside time to do. You cannot relax and watch a movie or read a book while you try to do a few sit-ups. This requires your focus and commitment which will result you feeling better and help you to obtain good results.
Of course, it is important to not over do it. When you engage in high intensity interval training it may be tempting to keep pushing yourself until you are working out for an hour or more and doing more intensity intervals than recovery intervals.
The conventional wisdom workouts, where people spend hours on a treadmill or cross trainer are “chronic cardio”, which is not the key to fitness that it might seem. Chronic cardio can result in muscular fatigue, oxidative stress and a stress generally on the body.
Crossfit incorporates HIIT in it’s WOD’s (workout of the day), this makes up just a small part of a class – and the actual activities making up the HIIT element are always varied.
Do you do HIIT? I’d love to hear how you workout, add your comment, below!