High-intensity interval training , which is more commonly referred to as HIIT, has burst into popularity in recent years. HIIT is a very efficient and effective manner of improving cardiovascular fitness in those who have never trained before.
It can promote considerable fitness benefits both aerobically and anaerobically – hence why it is incorporated into the training programmes of athletes training at high levels. HIIT is also the cardio of choice for those who are trying to gain muscle. Carrying out explosive forms of cardio will enable muscle gain as well as help sustain it.
Many of you may have heard of the Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata who was first mentioned in Muscle Media magazine in 2001. The “Tabata” training method has been a new widespread fitness craze since then. Tabata’s method involved a four minute warm up carried out at 50% max effort, followed by 8 x 20 seconds of high-intensity sprints carried out on a stationary bike with a 10 second “active rest” slower cycling before starting again.
“Tabata” training can be seen now as using a mixture of exercises from sprinting to squatting. There is nothing wrong with involving a variety of exercises. What is important to remember is, you can’t expect the same cardiovascular results from intervals of front squats compared to intervals of sprints or burpees. The key I believe is the diversity and variety, and never getting comfortable with the routine. Change it up all the time, stay in-efficient and burn more calories. The reason I am such a big fan of this HIIT method is its suits the needs and wants of most recreational fitness disciples, that being feeling better, performing better, and looking better, and in a much faster way! Win win really!
There is however mixed views when it comes to HIIT training and weight loss. There are very few studies on this subject. Research carried out in Canada and Australia found that their participants did not lose or lost very little weight during their studies. Positive outcomes included: Cardiovascular fitness levels saw improvements and body composition and skin fold tests showed that the body fat of the participants had reduced. What does this mean? Well you increase your muscle mass, burn more fat, and change the way you look, perform and feel. Oh and yes did I mention, you have much, much more time to do other things in your life. Yes you won’t be spending hours and hours on exercise?
Okay Craig, so how much time will I be investing?
These studies carried out a couple of 20 minute HIIT sessions per week, each session having about 200 calories burned.
Hello, isn’t that want you truly looking for guys? Fat loss! You have heard me say it time and time again “Drive in VW and drive out Porsche”. Yes this form of activity can really aid in improving the way you look, feel and perform quickly! However, it is very challenging, and you do need to work at your own pace, and increase how hard you workout over time, safely and effectively!
So incorporating HIIT with a little LIA (Less Intense Activity) such as a romantic walk on the beach (my beautiful wife is reading this :-)), easy jogging, riding your bike, yoga, Pilates, golf, tennis and so on, along with a very sensible nutrient rich eating program (more often than not) will have you not only performing at your best, feeling amazing, but looking super as well.