The Workout Anyone Needs to Try: HIIT


Kylie Ha

HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training, is a technique where you give all of your effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, active recovery periods. This type of training has been on the rise because it is extremely convenient, time efficient, gets your heart rate up, and burns fat in less time. Not totally convinced? Here are a couple other benefits of HIIT.

First off, HIIT increases your body’s metabolism. When you combine HIIT with interval training, it results in something known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) which speeds up your metabolism rate. According to Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at the Fhitting Room in New York City states that EPOC “translates a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine.” Even after you’ve left the gym, this means that you’ll still be burning fat.

Many people agree that the best part about HIIT is how quick and convenient it is. These workouts can be done anywhere: the beach, park, right in your living room, or even in your garage. Because we can’t go to the gym right now, HIIT workouts are a great way to get your heart rate up and your body moving. Another added bonus: all workouts are 30 minutes or less, so say goodbye to not having enough time for exercise.
Another benefit of HIIT is that no equipment is necessary. These workouts generally only use your body weight since the focus is on getting your heart rate up and keeping it up. All HIIT workouts result in “optimal muscle building and muscle retention couples with fat loss and increased calorie burn,” stated Salvador.

Interval workouts can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller time investment compared to other continuous forms of exercise and improves heart health. This isn’t about gaining bigger muscles, it’s actually about your VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen your body can use.

One of the best predictors for overall health is your VO2 max. “The more aerobically fit you are, the better your heart can pump blood, the longer it takes you to get out of breath, and the farther you’re able to bike or run or swim,” said Martin Gibala, one of the world’s leading interval training experts at McMaster University in Canada.

Lastly, it promotes weight loss without losing muscle. If you’re on a diet, it’s extremely hard not to lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady-state cardio such as running or biking encourages muscle and fat loss, studies show that weight training and HIIT workouts let dieters preserve their muscle while ensuring that a majority of the weight lost comes from fat stores.
Although HIIT is quick and effective, it’s not something that you can do while talking to a friend or multi-tasking. Because it’s so short, it’s made to burn—you’ll be working hard the whole time. Each HIIT workout offers a variety of new exercises and challenges to quickly see results, and even though it may have you gasping for air, it’ll leave you glowing and proud.