03 Oct The Benefits of HIIT Cardio
What is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training or popularly known as HIIT is the single most efficient way of burning fat, while maintaining muscle gains. Steady state cardio (jogging, walking, etc.) has long reigned as the preferred method of cardio for fat loss. On the other hand, High Intensity Interval Training has certainly demonstrated that steady state cardio isn’t the most efficient way to burn fat.
How to Perform HIIT
An example of a HIIT workout is to start with a 3-4 minute warm-up. This is followed by 30 seconds of hard running at the quickest pace you can obtain and then 1 to 1 ½ minutes of light jogging or walking for recovery. This is what is called an interval. This is repeated for 6-10 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Finish your HIIT workout with a 3-4 minute cool down.
Results Gained from HIIT
When thinking of the kind of results you can achieve with HIIT cardio vs Steady State cardio, let’s look at athletes in two different sports. Compare long-distance runners vs sprinters. Long distance runners are very fit and skinny. A sprinter is also very fit but has a more muscular and toned frame. The main difference between how each physique was obtained – cardio vascular training method. The long-distance runner focuses on steady state cardio and the sprinter focuses on HIIT.
Should You Do HIIT or Steady State?
Neither is necessarily better than the other; it really depends on your goals and also schedule. You will burn substantially more calories in less time than performing steady state cardio. High Intensity Interval Training is an anaerobic workout. Meaning that reps and drills are performed at max effort, subsequently the muscles get insufficient oxygen to meet the needs of the activity. However, short high intensity spurts, broken up by periods of rest, help burn fat for long spans of time. HIIT training elevates the metabolism, as well as promotes excess post oxygen consumption or EPOC to burn calories even after you’ve completed your workout.
HIIT also comes with other advantages, such as:
• Improved strength
• Blood pressure
• Joint health
• Bone strength
If you’re a beginner to HIIT training, you’ll want to start slow. Because the protocol is to perform bursts of activity at 100% effort, it puts a lot of pressure on the body. Make sure that you get a sufficient warmup and stretch, prior to beginning your HIIT workout. You should have a sweat going and your muscles should be warm. Taking the time to properly warmup prior to your HIIT workout will help prevent injury.
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