Are HIIT Workouts an Amazing Fitness Routine or Pure Hype – What is HIIT and are there really benefits?

The past two years have been the era of home workouts and fitness. 

One particular trend making headlines are HIIT workouts, or high-intensity interval training.

Person working out doing crunches, for high intensity interval training.
HIIT it – Photo by Pixabay

But are they as good as some people claim?

In our fast-moving society, a workout that is efficient, quick, and effective sounds too good to be true.

Keep reading to learn what exactly are HIIT workouts and if they are as good for you as people claim!

Find out which workouts are worth adding to your fitness regimen and tips on how to get started.

What are HIIT Workouts?

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a workout routine that changes how hard you work through a session, alternating between intense exercise and low-intensity recovery periods.

HIIT, at its essence, has a work hard-rest-work hard structure.

This might look like 40 seconds of intense movement, followed by a 15 second rest period.

HIIT balances a work to rest routine that makes it a time-efficient way to exercise, burn calories, and increase fitness.

It maintains high effort throughout the workout to increase heart rate and push you just outside your comfort zone.

Benefits of HIIT Training

HIIT workouts are actually an amazing routine to incorporate into your fitness regimen.

HIIT can help increase heart health, decreases blood pressure and blood sugar, and lead to a reduction in metabolic syndrome.

There are many benefits of HIIT including:

  • Fat Loss
  • Increased Metabolic Rate
  • Decreased Blood Sugar
  • Prevention of Heart Disease

These benefits contribute to increased overall health in the long run.

This can be said about any workout though, so how is HIIT different?

What makes HIIT so Unique?

Scientists have found that while HIIT can increase fat burning and improve metabolic health, the benefits are clear when we look at cardio-respiratory health.

VO2 max is the ability of the body to use oxygen during an intense exercise.

HIIT training can improve your VO2 max measurement, meaning you get more oxygen delivered during a workout. This in turn increases your ability to perform.

HIIT workouts can lead to a better cardio workout as well, helping you run efficiently without running out of breath as quickly.

Additionally, HIIT workouts are incredibly time-efficient.

The appeal of HIIT comes from the time it takes to complete. It is fast, effective, and worth looking into.

Is HIIT Good for Weight Loss?

It is amazing for weight loss.

As stated above, HIIT can contribute to burning more calories in less time.

review of HIIT found that HIIT was just as effective as traditional moderate to intense workouts. Again, the amazing part is that HIIT can give you the results of a 50-minute routine in 20 to 30 minutes.

HIIT workouts push your body just enough to burn.

After intensity, it takes more energy and oxygen to return the body to normal during the rest period.

Can Anyone Try HIIT Workouts?

HIIT is often utilized by high-performing athletes, however, it is something that anyone, at any fitness level, can do.

Studies have found that individuals with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer survivors are all able to perform HIIT routines.

Though intense, HIIT workouts push you to increase fitness and can improve your quality of life dramatically.

If you have been sedentary, it is recommended to work your way up, to avoid extreme muscle soreness.

Start with low intensity workouts, like walking briskly or biking, then move onto moderate cardio like running.

After your body acclimates after a few weeks, dive into HIIT routines to exponentially increase fitness.

HIIT Tips and Tricks

If you are just starting to work out, try low to moderate exercises first before jumping into HIIT routines.

When trying HIIT, remember; more doesn’t mean better. The purpose of HIIT is intensity and rest.

This might be a 2 to 1 ratio, where you work for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds.

The benefits of HIIT come from the intervals of work and rest.

Make sure you push yourself during the work periods and breathe deeply during rest periods.

Try to have a good post-workout routine to prevent soreness.

Stretch before and after working out, eat high protein, consume antioxidant and vitamin-rich foods, sleep well, and do light cardio the day after

Recovering after HIIT routines is vital.

The Takeaway

HIIT routines can have amazing full-body benefits to increase fitness.

Adding them to your workout routine can dramatically improve health with many benefits for the heart.

Make sure to fuel your body with healthy carbs, protein, and healthy fats to increase performance and improve recovery.

Remember, health starts from within, so eat well, think well, be well!

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