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Benefits Of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 178

There are many tried and tested training and exercising routines all claiming to achieve the desired results. Some work better than others; some do not work at all (although with an adequate diet, you should always see some results). One of the tried and tested methods for fat loss that actually works is High Intensity Interval Training, known as HIIT, and this method is most effective in achieving results. Sports scientists have been raving about HIIT for years, it is becoming more and more popular amongst amateur and professional trainers, and should be included in any fat loss or lean muscle training regime. Conventional steady state cardio still has its benefits; however, nothing quite blasts away body fat and improves overall fitness levels in the shortest time possible quite like HIIT. Would you rather spend forty-five minutes casually jogging or cycling along at a slow and steady pace in the morning, after your resistance training, or on your days off? On the other hand, would you rather get it over with within twenty minutes, feel desperately short of breath, be sweating furiously and really feel like you have performed at your most intense level?

Intense exercise burns fat far more effectively during and after the activity than steady state exercise, this is fact. The debated fat burning zone, which is the level of intensity at which you burn the most fat during exercise, is not the level of intensity at which you burn the most calories. Post HIIT, your body will continue to burn calories and fat even when at rest, this because your metabolism has now moved into overdrive.

HIIT generally involves combining intervals of steady state cardio with levels of much more intense cardio. Not only does this increase the overall number of calories burned, it also allows you brief recovery so you can hit the intense intervals with maximum effort. Research shows this has a massive effect on fat and calorie burning during and post exercise.

Whilst performing HIIT, you also notice an improvement in aerobic and anaerobic performance. What this generally means is your performance will improve over long and short distances, making HIIT ideal for both sprinters and long distance runners aiming for stamina and endurance. Research has also shown that improvements may occur in performing resistance training, as subjects have been able to perform greater reps on the heavy compound moves such as squats and deadlifts, whilst recovery periods seemed to have improved at the same time

To fully understand the concept behind this, you have to take into consideration the energy systems within your body. If enough oxygen is present, your body uses aerobatic energy routes. When this supply of oxygen runs out, it switches to using the anaerobic routes. To reach the anaerobic zone, some seriously intense training needs to be performed. HIIT therefore means you perform in the anaerobic zone helping boost your resting metabolic rate by increasing what scientists call excess-post oxygen consumption (EPOC), it is understood EPOC may lead to improved V02 max. EPOC is basically your body working harder to repair after intense exercise, which requires more energy and hence more calories burned. A higher V02 max means more calories and oxygen can be processed by your body hence increasing performance over a given period of time.

When you have a depletion of oxygen (represented by the EPOC), all your blood sugar has been burned off by your body, which therefore starts to burn fat as energy. Using fat as an energy source is attractive in the period post exercise. The vast majority of energy is burned during actual exercise when involved in aerobic activity, whereas during short intervals of anaerobic exercise (HIIT) significant amounts of energy are burned during and for several hours after.

You can set up a HIIT program pretty much any way you like, it could be jumping, performing burpees, cycling or running, anything that will get your heart rate pumping. The important thing is to make sure you can perform the activity for as fast and intense as you can for twenty to sixty seconds. You can then take a rest for anything from twenty seconds to as much as four minutes. You may be thinking that four minutes is a long time to catch your breath, however after several circuits of flat-out sprinting in between you soon start to realise how hard HIIT can be.To begin HIIT for the first time, you need to warm up for a good five minutes before sprinting at your max effort for say thirty seconds, before recovering in the next thirty seconds so you are able to perform the same sprint at the same max effort for another thirty seconds immediately after. If you cannot, then you should either decrease your max effort interval or increase your recovery interval. Remember it is the intensity you put into the activity, rather than the time it takes. It is not necessary to perform at 100% on every max interval; you can choose to build up to your highest level if you want to. Once you reach it, you can pyramid back down. Similar to resistance training, just ensure you mix up the intensity. Performing pyramids may help to avoid over-training and injury, however; maximum fat loss and metabolic rate will result from maximum intensity.

Visit, a UK sports nutrition comparison and supplement store to read more helpful articles, tips and advice on reaching your training objectives. Sign up or follow for regular supplement news and offers. Remember, you must dedicate to achieve.

Source: EzineArticles
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