Why you should do HIIT for weight loss?
Today, HIIT is by far our favorite form of exercise but it wasn't always this way. In fact, we used to despise it! The shortness of breath, pounding heart rate, aching muscles and body temperature through the roof - it felt like torture.
So, what changed?
We did. HIIT took some getting used to, but we went from overweight, achy and lethargic to energized, strong and lean very quickly.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and consists of short bursts of exercise at maximum intensity followed by low intensity rest periods.
How long should you do HIIT?
HIIT workouts typically last from 4-30 minutes and provide the same benefits as continuous training and induce greater fat loss in a shorter time (1 , 2). The reason HIIT is so effective in getting results is because the protocol forces you to workout at maximal capacity. Our maximal energy can only be high for a matter of seconds (typically 10-30 seconds). Once that time-frame passes our efforts diminish rapidly and the benefits are no longer the same.
The MrandMrsMuscle protocol is 30 seconds intense work and 10 seconds static or active rest. Our workouts are typically 10 minutes long and we only ever recommend going up to 20 minutes. With correct programming you can do HIIT safely up to 6x a week!
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What are the benefits of HIIT?
1. Burn more calories in a short time
This is one of the most obvious benefits of HIIT.
Today, we are living in a distracted and time poor society. Many of us are constantly on the go and struggling to balance lengthy work hours, family responsibilities and personal downtime. If, you fit into this category then you will be happy to know that research has shown HIIT to burn 20-30% more calories than most forms of exercise when done over the same length of time (3).
2. More responsive to Fat Loss
All forms of exercise leads to fat loss, especially when paired with proper nutrition. However, studies show that HIIT invokes significant fat loss and results in lasting positive changes to cardio-metabolic markers such as resting HR, blood pressure and blood glucose (4).
3. Boost your Metabolism & Oxygen consumption
Your metabolism is a set of chemical reactions essential for life. These include converting food into energy, fueling proteins in our body and removing/excreting metabolic waste (CO2, Water, Nitrogenous compounds). When the metabolism slows down we are unable to function at optimal capacity and a by-product is rapid weight gain and lethargy.
HIIT pushes the body's metabolism towards using fat for energy instead of carbs and also increases our metabolic rate (the rate at which we burn calories) for several hours after exercise. Additionally, a study found that just 2-minutes of Sprint Intervals brought about the same amount of oxygen consumption as 30 minutes of continuous exercise in a 24 hour period (5).
4. Increase Muscle Volume & Muscle Definition
During HIIT a significant amount of metabolic stress is placed on muscle tissue in a short space of time. This forces more micro-tears which results in increased volume and strength during recovery. In addition, the body responds with an increase in HGH (human growth hormone), IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor) and Testosterone to speed up the repair of damaged muscle proteins.
5. HIIT is enjoyable and you are more likely to stick with it
Your goals are dependent on consistency and consistency brings results!
Studies show that people find HIIT more enjoyable in comparison to steady-state exercise (6). The wide variety of exercise choice with HIIT (we have over 1000 exercises on our IG page) makes it a favorite among several people. However, this is also reliant on proper exercise programming/planning.
HIIT is one of the fastest and most enjoyable way to lose weight while improving your overall health. The intensity and pace is always set to the individual's ability and the workouts are extremely time efficient. However, we are also firm believers in pairing HIIT with active recovery days that involve low to moderate intensity exercise. If your ultimate goal is for muscle mass increase you should focus your efforts on traditional weight training.