Is HIIT training just a new fad that's overly hyped by the media with little substantiation for its effectiveness as a means to lose bodyweight?
More and more research lends credence that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to lose body weight or bodyfat. No longer is the standard protocol of performing low-intensity (e.g., 50 to 65% HRR) cardio exercise recommended as the only way nor the best way to burn bodyfat or lose body weight. Low-intensity cardio is good and can be effective, provided you exercise for relatively long-duration periods (e.g., 45 minutes per session). Nowadays, who has the time for that! Enter HIIT training.
HIIT should not be confused with interval training. The distinction is that HIIT involves extremely-high intensity levels (e.g., 85 to 100% HRR) for very short periods (e.g., 10 to 30 seconds) coupled with low-moderate intensity levels (e.g., 50-65% HRR) whereas interval training usually involves moderately-high intense levels (e.g., 65 to 85% HRR) for relatively longer durations (e.g., 30 seconds to 3 minutes) coupled with low-moderate intensity levels (e.g., 50-65% HRR).
Here are the benefits to performing HIIT:
HIIT training should be performed infrequently due to its high-intensity characteristic. Infrequently means no more than two to three times per week. Performing HIIT any more than three times per week increases the risk of overtraining of which symptoms may include muscle catabolism (read: muscle burning). Generally, HIIT training is a relatively advanced technique due to its high-intensity range and increased risk of injury. When you do HIIT, be sure to do it sparingly. You can perform HIIT while running, cycling, swimming, or stair climbing.
No matter which cardio training you choose to do, the bottom line is that you should burn several hundred calories per session. The best part is that even after you're done exercising, the "afterburner" effect will occur. That is, your metabolic rate will be stimulated to continue to burn much more calories than a sedentary person while resting. How great is that?!! So don't neglect your cardio!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Subscribe to get the latest blog content:
I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.