Why is HIIT Training So Important? Have You Ever Heard About It?
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Why is HIIT Training So Important?

running

 

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a fantastic way to increase cardiac health and drop a few pounds.  HIIT utilizes bursts of high intensity training broken up by periods of low intensity training to send the body into a fat-burning state.

 

This method of training is especially effective at allowing individuals to lose body fat without decreasing muscle mass.  That key fact makes HIIT popular among athletes and fitness competitors.

 

HIIT is also wonderful for those on a time crunch, as they are able to increase their energy expenditure in a smaller timeframe.

 

 

How to Execute HIIT

 

High Intensity Interval Training is so easy and extremely versatile.  HIIT can be performed with any type of cardio exercise.  For instance, HIIT is excellent for the treadmill, elliptical, rower, spin bike, and even running outside!

A typically HIIT program would look something like this:

 

 

  • 20 Total Minutes
  • 1 Minute Warm Up
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Low Intensity
  • 30 Seconds High Intensity
  • 1 Minute Cool Down

As you can see, HIIT allows you to burn exceptional amounts of calories in a very short period of time, making it a highly desirable training method.  Studies also show that energy expenditure stays higher following HIIT than it does following steady state cardio.

 

 

 

How Often to do HIIT

 

HIIT is best when done at the end of a weight-training work out 3-5 days per week.  If weight loss is the goal, shoot for the maximum days per week.  If minimal fat loss and increased cardio fitness is the goal, 3 days per week is likely sufficient.  An example of a week for someone with a weight loss goal and someone with an athletic fitness goal may look like this:

 

 

 

Weight Loss

 

weight loss

 

Monday: Legs + HIIT 15 Minutes

Tuesday: Back/Biceps + HIIT 15 Minutes

Wednesday: Steady State Cardio 30 Minutes

Thursday: Chest & Triceps + HIIT 15 Minutes

Friday: Shoulders & Glutes + HIIT 15 Minutes

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

 

As you can see, one day per week is still utilized for steady state cardio.  This is due to the individual’s weight loss goal.  While steady state cardio is shown to deteriorate some muscle mass, it is essential for fat loss and improved cardiovascular health that is sometimes compromised due to excess weight.

 

 

 

 

Athletic Fitness

 

fitness

 

Monday: Legs + HIIT 20 Minutes

 

Tuesday: Back/Biceps

 

Wednesday: Chest & Triceps + HIIT 20 Minutes

 

Thursday: Shoulder + Glutes

 

Friday: Legs + HIIT 20 Minutes

 

Saturday: Rest

 

Sunday: Light Cardio

 

Notice that those with athletic physique goals do not typically incorporate as much steady state cardio.

This is due to the fact that steady state cardio has been shown to break down some muscle mass.

 

Contraindications to HIIT

 

You may be wondering who may not benefit from HIIT.  Those with heart conditions, significant injuries to the lower body (upper body when using a rower) and those at very low body fat percentages may not be ideal candidates for HIIT.  Otherwise, HIIT is a perfectly functional form of cardio of those with weight loss goals or athletic goals.

 

 

 

 

 


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