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HIIT Training? What is this hype about?

When looking at Youtube workout videos or reading online fitness content, you must inevitably have come across the term “HIIT”. High-Intensity Interval Training is indispensable in the fitness and health sector nowadays. HIIT training is short but intense workouts that can last anything from a few minutes to half an hour. If you are used to your one-hour medium intensity aerobic workout, you might think this is very short and wonder how the outcome can be so significant?

Here is why:

HIIT Training consists of short bursts of intense workout (20-60 seconds), followed by equally short moments of recovery. These short bursts will push your body to the limit and will use more oxygen and energy than the body can provide (anaerobic training), increasing the metabolic rate, and hence consuming more calories.

Now the secret to success with HIIT training is the so-called EPOC effect (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), or commonly called “afterburn effect, meaning your body burns more calories faster hours after the training. In order to recover the body from the stress of the workouts and restore its pre-workout state, it will have to increase the oxygen and energy production, consuming more calories. On top of that HIIT workouts use primarily fast-twitch muscles which consume more energy and increase the EPOC effect.

It is yet unclear how long exactly the EPOC effect lasts. Studies have shown different results (between 15 and 48 hours) and more research needs to be done. Studies furthermore demonstrated that HIIT training is more efficient for weight loss than medium, steady-intensity workouts because the EPOC effect is much smaller in steady-paced training. Whereas a lower intensity workout puts less stress on the system, can be more enjoyable for some people, and is a great way of staying in shape, HIIT training will definitely get you the results faster.

What are HIIT training exercises?

  • burpees

  • high knee runs

  • jumping jacks

  • bear crawls

  • mountain climbers

  • sprints

  • jumps

  • leaps

  • rope jumps

Benefits of HIIT Training:

  • burns a lot of calories in little time

  • reduces body fat

  • helps build muscle

  • can help lower heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels

  • trains the entire body

Getting started is so easy:

  • no equipment needed

  • you do not need a lot of space and can train from the comfort and safety of your home

  • takes little time out of your day

A few tips before getting started:

Get started slowly! If you are new to working out, you need to build up strength and endurance step by step. Start with shorter and less intense intervals and gradually build up. Consult a physician and make sure you are in good (cardio-) health before pushing your body to the limit.


NSC Team

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