HIIT training helps you burn fat off your body faster and easier while increasing our anaerobic and aerobic endurance. It’s a great way to define your body.
Originally intended for athletes, HIIT is increasingly used by the population to fight the consequences of a busy, sedentary life and by people who want to lose weight but don’t have time to exercise.
This is where HIIT excels, as it is very effective in burning body fat in a short time. But first, you need to know some important concepts about HIIT training to get the most out of it, such as how long a HIIT routine should last.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training, but differs from steady-state exercise in that it alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity intervals (or rest). These intervals last for a set amount of time and can be repeated as many times as necessary.
This workout combines moderate or low intensity intervals with high intensity intervals to bring our heart rate to the maximum and then lower it again.
For example, a basic HIIT routine might consist of 30 seconds of sprinting (high intensity) and 30 seconds of running (low intensity). This series would be repeated 3 times.
HIIT training is considered much more effective than normal cardio. Because in less time we can burn more fat.
We do not mean that the cardio that we know and that is practiced in the gym does not burn fat. It has been proven that when it comes to speeding up the metabolism it is very useful to work at intervals. For this reason, HIIT training is more effective.
With HIIT training, calories are still burned even after the workout. This does not mean that we can neglect healthy eating. If you do HIIT regularly, you will be able to lose weight and condition your body with fast results.
What does the science say about HIIT training?
Researcher Izumi Tabata discovered that high-intensity interval training produced better and faster results in Olympic skaters compared to aerobic exercise. Tabata developed the principles of Tabata training, the precursor to HIIT.
Since then, numerous studies have supported the conclusion that habitual HIIT practice is superior in burning fat, losing weight, strengthening aerobic energy systems and lowering.
Why is HIIT more effective for fat burning?
A HIIT routine must raise the heart rate to 85-90% of maximum in order for the muscles to work without oxygen. This anaerobic exercise allows for excessive oxygen consumption after exercise, an afterburn effect, which continues to oxidize fat hours after an intense exercise session.
When you do steady exercise such as jogging at a moderate pace, you use the aerobic energy system. As long as the exercise lasts a long time and is not very intense, the body will only oxidize glucose and fat during the exercise, and no additional effect is obtained afterwards. That means a HIIT workout only brings results if you really push yourself to the maximum.
How long should a HIIT workout last?
Because of differences in people’s abilities and preferences, there is no consensus on this question. For example, a Tabata routine lasts 4 minutes while HIIT classes at the gym usually last an hour. However, for most people, a sufficiently intense HIIT routine should last between 20 to 30 minutes.
If your routine lasts longer than 30 minutes you are probably not pushing yourself to your maximum intensity. On the other hand, if your workout lasts less than 15 minutes, you probably won’t see satisfactory results.
Keep in mind that this also depends on your current fitness level. A very sedentary person will be able to improve his body and health with a few minutes of exercise, while a serious athlete has to train hard to beat his own personal record.
The disadvantages of very long HIIT workout?
1. Problems in muscle hypertrophy
HIIT, like all cardiovascular training, does not help you grow muscles and become stronger. For this, you have to lift heavy weights and reduce aerobic exercise. Remember, HIIT training is to lose fat and increase cardiovascular capacity, but in no case should it make you lose muscle mass.
2. Causing too much stress
The principle of training is to find the optimal balance of physical stress and recovery to achieve gains in strength and energy. One potential risk is that HIIT produces a high metabolic demand. Without knowing your limits, you could push yourself too hard and cause excessive stress.
How many days should I do HIIT?
Taking all factors into account, the benchmark is 20-30 minutes of HIIT 3 days a week. Add to this a day of strength training with weights and sufficient rest to maintain muscle mass and you have the ideal exercise program to lose fat and not lose muscle mass.
2 highly effective HIIT routines
Here are 2 HIIT workout with which you can begin to apply the above mentioned tips. Always remember to prepare your body with 5-10 minutes of dynamic warm-up before starting the intervals.
1. 30:45 Sprints
This is an intermediate-advanced HIIT routine for people with athletic fitness. To perform it, do the following:
Intense interval: 30 seconds of sprinting, running at near maximum effort.
Rest interval: 45 seconds of walking, a dynamic rest. Repeat the intervals for 15 sets.
2. 30:60 Kettlebell Swings
This exercise is more suitable for beginners, so if you don’t have a lot of experience we recommend starting with this one.
– Intense interval: 30 seconds of Kettlebell swing, almost at maximum effort.
– Rest interval: 60 seconds jump rope (rope not required).
Repeat intervals for 10 sets.
The optimal duration of a HIIT workout depends on you and your lifestyle, but we can conclude that 20-30 minutes of HIIT about 2-3 times a week will satisfy the goals of a person trying to have an active and healthy lifestyle.