High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a fantastic way to burn calories. For those of you who have absolutely no idea what HIIT is, it's a series of repeated bouts of high intensity exercise (usually performed for 30-90 seconds) split with short rest periods (usually around 10-30 seconds). It's usually either in sprint intervals or a circuit style workout.
HIIT is hard work, but it's great for burning calories!
HIIT is a more efficient way to burn calories than steady state cardio (for example, running at the same pace constantly), and I love it!
Why is it so great at burning calories though?
HIIT is great at burning calories because of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) - most commonly known as afterburn.
Basically, because HIIT involves such short bursts of exercise we are able to give it 100% knowing we have a break coming up, but there's no way we could do a 20-30 minute run with the same level of effort for the full time (well, I couldn't anyway).
So the interval style of training allows you to work harder than steady state cardio. This means you typically use more energy and your body takes longer to replenish. You're actually still burning calories at a high rate for approx. 24 hours after you complete a HIIT workout!
So the struggle is definitely worth it knowing how great HIIT is at burning calories!
It's best when you go all out - you need to give it 100%. During the session you'll feel desperate to quit, but stick with it because it's totally worth it and you'll feel incredible afterwards.
Believe it or not, after a few sessions you'll actually get used to only having a short break between exercises and I find it's easier knowing I'm never far away from a short break. It's like a load of mini goals to achieve throughout the workout.
Completing regular HIIT workouts can actually increase your speed, power and endurance too.
I do at least three HIIT workouts a week (with The Viking Method) but interval sprints are also a good form of HIIT. So find what works best for you and always remember to take at least one rest day a week. Oh, and enjoy the feeling of knowing you're continuing to burn calories at a great rate for 24 hours after you finished your workout.
What do you think of HIIT? Love it or hate it?
Check out my recent blog post about why exercise doesn't have to be boring!
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