High-Intensity Interval Training
HIIT training; the global fitness trend that promises the world. A simple solution to time constraints
without losing the benefits that come with extensive workouts. In some cases, HIIT claims better
results than one would get from an endurance workout. As suspicious as all this may sound, there is
actually evidence to support it.
Alright, what is HIIT?
Simply put, HIIT is going all out for a short period of time and then following that up with an equally
short or, more preferably, longer period for recovery. Simple right? Repeating this process a few
times will give you a 10-30 minute workout session. Studies have suggested that HIIT training
performs better than comparative endurance training sessions. Now does this mean we should
abandon our most beloved workout sessions? Not necessarily but here are a few benefits to HIIT
that you may find interesting.
HIIT’s good for your blood sugar levels!
Studies have shown that HIIT can be used to improve your blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
This was just as true for obese and overweight individuals as it was for normal weighted ones. These
results were compared to the results of the more traditional continuous exercise and HIIT was found
to be superior.
Weight loss + Muscle gains!
Weight loss in obese and overweight individuals have come hand in hand with muscle gains; visceral
fat was also seen to decline. It must be said that this muscle gain is only seen in the muscles being
used during the exercise so jump squats aren’t going to grow your triceps. It should also be said that
although the weight loss may be seen in healthier individuals, the muscle gains are more likely to be
seen by obese and overweight individuals. That being said, though, healthier individuals may benefit
from HIIT’s slightly superior muscle retention ability.
Studies have shown that an increase in metabolism should be expected. HIIT exercises
increase your metabolism for 24 hours after your workout. So not only does HIIT allow you
to burn calories during your short workout, but it induces calorie burning post workout. In
both facets, there is evidence to suggest that HIIT performed better than other forms of
So no more endurance training?
Let us not throw the baby out with the bath water. Firstly, if you haven’t exercised in quite a long
time then HIIT should not be your first step. Secondly, some traditional exercises are still considered
the most effective ways of burning fat, like walking. Lastly, if you find traditional exercises more
enjoyable then you shouldn’t jump ship just for the sake of it.
But if you’re short on time then HIIT the gym.