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6 Ways High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Can Significantly Boost Weight Loss Results

6 Ways High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Can Significantly Boost Weight Loss Results

We all want a quick fix, we don’t want to spend hours at the gym or scrutinizing every meal we eat just to find out we have only lost a pound after a month’s work. Though there is no magic pill that we can take to lose the extra weight overnight, there is an effective fat loss method that will keep burning fat up to 48 hours after a workout, and it’s called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT for short.

HIIT is not universally known amongst the non-gym rats, as it is a method used by fitness models and endurance athletes to increase their metabolisms and to melt the fat away faster before any competition. It is a form of interval training, performed in short anaerobic bursts with fewer and briefer rest periods. It is considered to be the most effective cardio exercise that can be performed under 30 minutes almost anywhere.

If you want to stop sacrificing your sacred time on the treadmill, read below to learn how HIIT can help you achieve your desired lean body.

What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training means performing a short number of bursts of intense exercise, such as biking, sprinting, swimming, skipping rope, knee highs, followed by short recovery periods, such as walking. The purpose of the short recovery period is to bring your heart rate back to normal before performing the next anaerobic burst.

This is different than regular endurance exercise as the routine never allows your body to adjust to one intensity level, giving your body the shock it needs to start using the fat as fuel for your workout. Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as running on the treadmill for a consistent time at a consistent speed, causes muscle catabolism, the breakdown of muscle tissue, creating the ‘skinny fat’ look that many wish to stay away from. Muscle catabolism can even last up to 7 days after the steady-state cardio took place.

How Do You Perform HIIT?

The beauty of HIIT is that you can customize it to your body type and needs and still get results. I don’t recommend jumping right into HIIT as it can take a toll on those who have heart conditions or early signs of arthritis, so please consult your doctor first to see if this is right for you.

If you decide that you want to try HIIT, first figure out the type of cardiovascular exercise that you like best. Here is a list of some common exercises that are used for HIIT training:

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  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Jumping Rope
  • Running up Stairs
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Burpees
  • Knee-ups
  • Jumping Jacks

HIIT can also be performed with kettle bells, yoga balls, and various other equipment, but this is for the advanced folk.

Jim Stoppanl, Ph.D. from BodyBuilding.com has the best beginner’s plan for HIIT training:

Phase 1 - HIIT Training

    Phase 2 - HIIT Training

      Phase 3 -HIIT Training

        Phase 4 - HIIT Training

          Now onto the HIIT benefits!

          1. Burns Fat Faster & Longer

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          Burn up to 48 hours of fat after a HIIT exercise

            A 2001 study from East Tennessee State University concluded that subjects who followed an 8-week HIIT program, dropped 2% in body fat compared to the 0% that was dropped by subjects that underwent a continuous steady-state program. The same study also stated that the subject who followed the above program burned almost 100 more calories per day during the 24-hours after each exercise.

            Regular steady-state cardiovascular exercise helps you burn calories during your workout, but with HIIT, you can burn calories just by sitting or sleeping after you have finished a workout! It is no wonder that so many athletes and fitness fanatics are using HIIT to their advantage and shedding off the last pounds of weight before any competition. However, you don’t need to be a participant of a competition to have a reason to start HIIT training – think of bathing suit season, the next big birthday party, a wedding or just your health.

            2. Saves You Time 

            Fast fat loss results with HIIT

              You can find them at almost any gym, on a treadmill or elliptical, running at the same speed four to five times a week hoping to reach their weight loss goals. They look miserable, tired and mentally exhausted from performing the same thing over and over again with very little result. Then you step up on the said treadmill and press the big green button to initiate the repetitive routine you call exercise. The term that is generally associated with people who cannot seem to cut the cord from the aerobic machines is cardio bunny. If you are sweating your life away on any cardio machine, four to five times a week, 30-60 minutes per day – please STOP. You are only damaging yourself and wasting your time.

              The general excuse of not having enough time for exercise goes out the window as HIIT can be tailored to your time limit while burning fat every single time you perform the routine. This means that you do not have to spend hours on the elliptical, instead performing HIIT three times a week maximum for about 14-25 minutes is enough to give you results while drastically improving your general well-being.

              3. Location Does NOT Matter

              Perform HIIT virtually anywhere, no need for a gym membership

                Have a track next to your house? How about a swimming pool or a stadium? Do you have some extra space in your living room, or how about your basement? High Intensity Interval Training can be performed absolutely anywhere!

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                If there’s a deadly snow storm outside and you don’t want to make the trip to the gym – no problem! Simply put on some comfortable working-out clothes and start doing HIIT right at home. You do you not need that treadmill or elliptical that’s covered in dust in your garage or any fancy workout equipment, just use your body to perform the HIIT exercises and you’ll be sweating in no time.

                Also, since there are no limits in terms of gear, you can switch up your routine every two weeks to ensure that you will NOT be bored. After all, boredom and repetition are a major reason why many of us stop going to the gym in the first place.

                4. Endurance

                 

                HIIT helps you perform better in long term runs

                  Though there is a vast amount of skeptical research out there, for the most part, athletes, competitors and trainers vouch for HIIT as a great way to quickly increase endurance. Endurance is particularly important if you’re planning on running in a long race, training for obstacle races or if you’re tired of being tired after going up a flight of stairs. This is a great way to make your body use to short bursts of energy that occur after a sedative state. For example, catching up with a bus that you’ve almost missed, playing with kids, chasing your dog down the street after it spotted a cat. If you are experiencing a shortness of breath, dizziness and muscle cramps as soon as you start doing something active, then slowly incorporating HIIT into your regular schedule is something for you.

                  5. Preserves Muscle Mass

                  Save your lean muscle with HIIT

                    If you want a lean body that has some definition, then doing continuous steady-state cardio is not going to give you the results you want. HIIT decreases the chances that your body will use your muscles as fuel, therefore preserves your lean mass, something that does not happen if you engage in regular cardio sessions. By conserving your muscles, you will maintain your strength while improving your endurance.

                    In fact, a Laval University study concluded that in addition to a decrease in body fat after a HIIT training program, the subjects’ muscle fibers had substantial higher markers for fat burning than those in the steady-state exercise group. So remember, being a cardio bunny will help you burn calories but you will always be disappointed at the results as a dip in the scale will mean a decrease in muscle mass not body fat.

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                    6. Faster Results Than Traditional Cardio

                     

                    Fast weight loss results with HIIT

                      When comparing steady-state cardio to high intensity interval training, I like to use the following example. Imagine you’re in traffic and you’re moving inch by inch, always revving that engine in frustration, sometimes even fully turning off the engine and back on out of sheer boredom. What happens to the gas? You use up way more than a car that is driving at a steady state from point A to point B. This is the same idea with HIIT. Since you are constantly stopping and going and pushing yourself to the maximum, you are using way more energy than someone who is running at 5 miles an hour for 30 minutes, therefore speeding up your metabolism. HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone by 450 percent during the 24 hours after you complete your workout. Hence, you burn more calories, shredding the fat much faster and more effectively than traditional cardio.

                      However, if you think that you can get the results you want without changing your diet, think again. HIIT is most effective when paired with a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, lean meat and enriched carbohydrates. Eating a burger a day will certainly diminish any results achieved with a proper HIIT program. For faster results, incorporate weight training 3 times a week along with 2-3 HIIT work-outs.

                      Conclusion

                      Following the latest fad diet or mindlessly moving on that treadmill that we all so love to hate will not get you the body that you desire. High Intensity Interval Training is a great way to increase your performance, shred that unwanted body weight and save you time and patience. We all have it in us to achieve the things that we desire — our health should not be an exception. 

                      Featured photo credit: Nicola Albertini via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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