High-Intensity Interval Training

How effective is High-Intensity Interval Training – here’s the undeniable truth

Zintle Nkohla - 29.06.2021

There are many methods of exercise, some of which might not be as effective for all of us. Here’s the truth about high-intensity interval training.

You might have heard of high-intensity interval training, HIIT for short, which is a cardiovascular exercise strategy of training.

What is High-Intensity Interval Training?

According to HealthLine, with HIIT and unlike other workout methods, you can reap maximal health benefits in minimal time. During a workout, you alternate between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less intense activity or short-term rest.

HIIT helps in building strength and endurance, and even weight loss. Here are some HIIT exercises you can try out:

  • Sprinting
  • Hand-release pushups
  • Russian Twists
  • Rope jumping
  • Biking

The benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training

You can burn calories in a short amount of time

Studies say that you can burn up to 450 calories per 30 minutes using HIIT. A typical HIIT workout has 5-8 exercises done for 30-60 seconds each, alternating with 20-30 second rest periods. The intense bouts kick your body into an anaerobic state, helping your body burn more calories and fat.  

Other studies found that, HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.

Your metabolism rate is higher for hours after exercise

Researchers found that HIIT increases your metabolism rate more so than when you are jogging or weight training. HIIT also shifts the body’s metabolism to using fat, rather than energy.

You might gain muscle

In other people, HIIT helps increase their muscle mass, especially in people who were less active to begin with, and this muscle is likely to develop in body parts that are being used the most, such as legs.

HIIT can improve oxygen consumption

Oxygen has everything to do with exercising because your muscles use it for endurance during training, and with HIIT, your muscles are able to consume more oxygen, for more energy.

One study found that five weeks of HIIT workouts performed four days per week for 20 minutes each session improved oxygen consumption by 9%. Another study found that eight weeks of exercising on the stationary bike using traditional exercise or HIIT increased oxygen consumption by about 25%

How to go about doing High-Intensity Interval Training workouts

Here are a few simple examples of HIIT workouts to give you a gist of what it’s practically about:

  • Using a stationary bike, pedal as hard and fast as possible for 30 seconds. Then, pedal at a slow, easy pace for two to four minutes. Repeat this pattern for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After jogging to warm up, sprint as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Then, walk or jog at a slow pace for one to two minutes. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Perform squat jump as quickly as possible for 30 to 90 seconds. Then, stand or walk for 30 to 90 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes.