What Are High Intensity Workouts And Why Are They Any Good?
“High Intensity Interval Training” (HIIT) is a highly-efficient, synergistic approach to working out that focuses on the following: high intensity, minimal time, and maximum results. Best of all, you don’t need an expensive gym membership, personal trainer, or sophisticated home gym setup to experience results from HIIT!
HIIT workouts are designed to tax the entire body – in 30 minutes or less – with an optimal level of fat loss, strength/muscle gain, and increased endurance benefits. No two HIIT programs that are reviewed on this site are alike. Each offers great benefits, and all have proven themselves to be worth the money spent.
Can You Burn More Calories in Less Time With HIIT?
If done right, you’ll be burning more calories after your first HIIT routine than you ever have before in your life! Keep reading to learn more about the scientifically-proven “afterburn effect” that takes place in every fiber of your body from your very first HIIT workout.
Most people have at least a half an hour to devote to their physical goals. However, if your average day doesn’t allow for a single 30 minute workout – don’t worry. The beauty of HIIT is that you can do it anytime and almost anywhere, with the flexibility to adapt your routine to accommodate the time you do have…
For instance, you can set aside two short segments of 15 minutes each, or three 10 minute sessions and still achieve the same results.
Like any REAL weight loss or muscle building program, diet is a crucial factor. Any good program will give you the tools you need to succeed, including lots of helpful mental-conditioning tips, dietary guidelines, and other tips and tricks. They won’t, however, magically give you the willpower to NOT eat two or three cheeseburgers for lunch or dinner every day.
Desire and willpower are the two key components you must have before proceeding.
What Are The Key Benefits Of HIIT Workouts:
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Works your entire body in 30 short minutes
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Burns more calories due to the “afterburn effect”
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”]Strips more fat from the abdominal area
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Improves aerobic AND anaerobic fitness level
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Increases speed and agility
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Reduces stress levels
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Minimal equipment requirements
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] No boring ineffective “isolation exercises”
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Makes you sleep like a baby at night
[icon type=”check” size=”16″ float=”none” color=”default”] Perfect for men and women
Why Is HIIT More Effective Than Steady-state Cardio?
The core benefit of any HIIT program comes from Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC.) This is the “afterburn effect” you may have heard fitness experts talking about on TV, radio, or YouTube.
After exercise, the metabolic processes in your body work double-time to bring it back to its resting state and repair damage, using far more oxygen than it would at rest.
By consequence, the afterburn effect keeps your metabolism revving higher for far longer than it would if recovering from more traditional aerobic or anerobic exercise routines.
Your body uses the extra oxygen it consumes during EPOC to:
- Recycle the destructive lactic acid in your body, turning it back to harmless pyruvic acid.
- Restore glycogen levels (stored energy) to normal.
- Rebalance hormone levels (insulin, epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone, thyroid, etc.)
- Replenish ATP (needed for explosive bursts of strength and energy.)
- Repair battered muscle fibers.
- Renew damaged nerve cells.
Calories Burned During Exercise and EPOC
During any exercise, more oxygen is required to feed your cardiovascular system, brain, and muscles – and to convert stored fat into useable energy. These are the biological processes that traditional calorie-burn-indicators use to estimate how much energy you’ve burned during a given workout, based on your bodyweight and the type of exercise performed.
High Intensity Interval Training maximizes the length of time your body spends in afterburn mode!
Does The Afterburn Effect Burn Calories After Your Workout?
The amount of calories used during afterburn directly correlates to the amount of effort you put in – using a combination of aerobic and anaerobic stimuli synergistically. NOT from hours and hours spent pounding the pavement running, circuit training, or doing traditional bodybuilding workouts.
The HIIT “get in and get out” approach offers endless variety to reduce the boredom effect, gets you in shape quicker, and takes far less time out of your daily schedule.
No more monotonous marathon cardio and/or lifting sessions and the short duration makes maximum effective use of your time to burn fat to reveal lean muscle.
The key is that there’s no actual rest periods; just alternating levels of super-high intensity, mixed in with moderately-high intensity exercises (which increases afterburn and fitness levels, in addition to building muscle.)
What Are The Minimum Equipment Requirements For HIIT Workouts?
Here’s a list of equipment that you should try to have in order to reap the benefits from the HIIT programs I recommend to you here:
- Dumbells: A cheap adjustable 25-pound set from your local fitness shop (or Craig’s list for that matter) is more than enough for most people. Men might want to consider purchasing a 40-50 pound set. Adjustable sets are more affordable, but if you want to buy a set of individually dumbells, who are we to argue?
- Chin-up bar: Most fitness stores and big-box retailers sell an inexpensive apparatus that easily attaches to the top of any door frame for chins and pull-ups. You can also purchase a pull up tower or combination pull-up/dip station. Or just get creative and find a safe overhang, strong tree branch, etc.
- Jump mat: This is optional for most of the commercial routines out there, but it can make lying exercises, lunges and kettlebell routines a lot more comfy on your back and shins.
- Resistance bands: These are inexpensive too, and you can find them paired with other equipment for further savings. These are optional, but will add an extra element of intensity to certain exercises.
- Kettlebells: Not a necessity, but many HIIT routines you can purchase will have a kettle bell segment built in for those who’re interested.
- Sneakers: Light it up with some high intensity internval sprints to really get your fat burning furnace working in overdrive. Look for pair with a wide front for better side to side grip and stability.
- Heart Rate Monitor: This will keep you honest and let you know when you are in the right zone.
What Results Can You Expect With High Intensity Workouts?
Go ahead and look through the reviews we’ve posted here for you. Each product has its own merits, and tons of real testimonials to offer. The real key is to find something that you think you’ll like and then stick with it. Follow a good diet and stick to the program and plan to make sure you stay on track. Most programs last 8 to 12 weeks and can delivery huge transformations, but the results are highly dependent on the amount of focus and dedication you put into it.
Remember, that diet is far and wide the most important factor in building great lean muscle and optimal health – so don’t overlook it. Most of all, commit to yourself and believe in yourself and you will achieve the results you are hoping for.