There is a new workout technique making the wave among fitness enthusiasts around the world. It is called high-intensity interval training, or HIIT for short.
HIIT is a technique promising the best workout result in the least amount of time. The technique has been going on for quite sometime, mostly used by athletes in personal training—alternating between sprints and jogging to improve their endurance—but it didn’t really go mainstream until about 10 years ago, when exercise physiologists started to come out with study after study demonstrating that intervals could deliver the biggest health improvement for your exercise time.
What Does the HIIT Technique Look Like?
HIIT workouts combine short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. For example, you can start your exercise by jogging for say 10 minutes, then do four 4-minute intervals of faster running, with three 3-minute intervals of moderate jogging or brisk walking in between, and a 5-minute cool down at the end. You can as well substitute jogging with other aerobic exercises, such as biking or swimming.
There is also a shorter example of this interval routine called the 10-by-1 method, which involves 10 one-minute bursts of exercise each followed by one minute of rest and recovery.
What are the Benefits of the HIIT Technique?
Researchers over the year have been able to reach a conclusion on a single well-established benefit of the interval training. They believe that the HIIT technique is good for the heart’s health.
Intervals can better boost cardio-respiratory health even though it requires a shorter time investment compared to the conventional forms of exercise. Ultimately, the more you put into a HIIT workout, the more heart health benefits you get out of it.
The Link Between the HIIT Technique and Burning Calories
Apparently, the HIIT technique can be a time-efficient way to burn calories. Researchers have shown that people can burn as much calories in HIIT routines lasting about 20 minutes as in longer continuous exercise routines lasting about 50 minutes.
However, the calorie burned in HIIT doesn’t really translate into weight loss. This is not exactly a fault with the technique, because it’s generally much easier to lose weight by cutting calories in your diet than trying to burn excess calories, according to this Vox explanation.