In our first post in our ongoing series around workout types and their purposes, we highlighted the peaceful practice of Yoga and learned that though there are many types, mental health, and a better aging process is a primary benefit of each.
In this post, we look at the other end of the workout spectrum and delve into the new trend of High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT.
The main premise of a HIIT workout is to put your body through short bursts of targeted zone-specific exercises, with short breaks in between. Many gyms specializing in HIIT workouts are set up in a way that gym-goers simply rotate from station to station, much like hands on a clock, in some cases, everyone in the gym is on the same “timer” so no one gets in each other’s way.
Why the sudden increase in demand around this, long-established trend. We boil it down to three simple reasons.
It is Efficient
This type of workout is designed around cramming as much workout benefit into the shortest possible amount of time, then followed with a very brief rest period. For example, 30 seconds of intense shoulder dips, followed by 20 seconds of rest (aka the time it takes to walk to the next station), then followed by 30 seconds of intense crunches.
Not only is this type of workout efficient from a timing standpoint, but also you can practically do it anywhere and without much equipment.
In HIIT style workouts, you will burn more calories. This is simply because the frequent bursts of increased intensity simply require more energy (calories) to sustain the exercise. Furthermore, your body will continue to burn calories for around 2 hours after you are done working out. Your results are further maximized because your body’s repair process and metabolism are sped up over time.
Using HIIT exercises, your muscles are not only strengthened but perhaps, more importantly, so is your heart. By giving your body only a short period of time to rest between zones, you maintain a high heart rate throughout your workout. This, in turn, gives your heart’s arteries and veins more elasticity and flexibility as a result. Your heart and vessels are getting just as powerful of a workout as your muscles.
In summary, all of these benefits combine into one that may be best of all. You will see and feel the results sooner. This is one of the largest contributors of people “giving up on” or “getting bored with” their workouts. They simply do not see the benefits (and frankly the point).
By feeling better and seeing noticeable results almost immediately, you will be more likely to stick to a new workout plan or insert HIIT as complimentary workout when you feel like you just do not have the time.