If you haven’t HIIT the gym in a while you may be unfamiliar with a popular term being thrown around in athletic circles of all skill levels: HIIT, an acryonm for high intensity interval training.
In the last few years HIIT has gained significant notoriety and has been endorsed by athletes, celebrities, biologists, and of course, fitness gurus of every stripe and persuasion. On its face, the reason is simple. “You will always reap greater rewards by exercising at the more intense side of the spectrum,” says James Driver, the author of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training Explained.
HIIT comes to the general public by way of the military. Instead of long-duration steady-state exercises (like running at the same speed on a treadmill for an hour) HIIT capitalizes on short bursts of intense exertion, followed by equally important still-active recovery periods. By keeping the heart rate elevated throughout and shifting the intensity level, HIIT workouts have been medically proven more effective at muscle gain, fat loss, and cardiovascular fitness. Best of all, HIIT workouts can be as little as 15-30 minutes in duration. Rarely are they longer.
For a culture obsessed with weightloss (despite, or perhaps because of our ever-expanding waistline) and also time management, HIIT has entered the public consciousness at just the right moment. Right now HIIT seems to be all the rage when it comes to workout routines, but you may not be familiar with it or know why it has proven to be an effective workout method.
When working out, it is important to know what works and what doesn’t. While you may not need to know all of the nitty-gritty science behind fitness, having a small understanding really does help.
How Does HIIT Benefit Your Fitness Routine?
The most obvious benefit of HIIT is that it maximizes the results you gain from your time spent at the gym. If you do not have much time throughout the week to exercise, HIIT may be the way to go.
Another reason to try HIIT is because it helps burn fat. Not only will you be able to burn calories during each session, but even up to 36 hours after the class you will continue to burn calories at a post-HIIT enhanced rate. Remember, your body is a 24/7/365 calorie-burning furnance. And HIIT is like adding coal to the fire with a set of good bellows to boot.
In addition to being an excellent method of efficient exercise, HIIT is also great for your health. Through HIIT you can:
- Increase your endurance levels
- Develop a healthier heart
- Improve your oxygen consumption
- Increase your metabolism
- Reduce blood pressure
There are many added health benefits from trying a HIIT style of exercise. The sessions require you to give all you have got and are incredibly cardio centric. This gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping. When your heart rate is up, you will have a higher intake of oxygen and this helps you to develop a stronger heart. Over time your resting heart rate (pulse rate) will likely drop below 60 bpm, which is generally a sign of increasing cardiovascular health. Measured over decades, a low resting heart is associated with increased quality of life and longevity.
Trying HIIT with The Body Shop
With a routine like HIIT you will want to stick with it because of the many results you will receive. While it is an excellent option for many people, consult a licensed fitness trainer to see if it is right for you. It also may be a good idea to schedule a regular checkup with your doctor to ensure that your body is physically able to handle the demands you are about to place on it.
This is where The Body Shop can help.
Our team, led by Pattie Romano, continually works to encourage our clients to find a fitness routine that works for them by seamlessly integrating a regimen that fits any lifestyle. No matter your physical condition or challenges, we can customize a plan best suited for you. At The Body Shop Health + Fitness, we offer a non-judgmental workout zone, and we strongly enforce this policy with our training staff and members. Everyone is at a different stage in their fitness journey, and we promote an environment that serves to encourage growth and progress. Our team is open to helping you become your best and healthiest self and will always be available to answer your questions.
So, with the second half of summer still ahead, and weeks of sunshine and warmth to enjoy on the beach, there is still time left to turn the body of your dreams into reality. HIIT the gym this August and you’ll be amazed by the results!