Understanding HIIT and How to Burn Fat
For many people who are actively trying to burn fat and maintain lean muscle, their first instinct is to hit the treadmill and start logging miles. Steady-state running is a great way to exercise—it can build stamina and improve cardiovascular health—but it doesn’t always produce the weight loss results you might expect.
Instead, another method of fat burning is becoming increasingly popular in gyms across the country. This method is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Rather than running or doing another exercise at a steady pace, HIIT gets your blood pumping harder with more intense bursts of training and has shown excellent results for weight loss.
Next time you’re in the gym in Phoenix, AZ, consider incorporating a HIIT workout into your weekly fitness routine to maximize your results.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a type of exercise that involves short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by periods of lower-intensity activity or rest. HIIT workouts are generally 15 to 30 minutes long, and composed of numerous repetitions of high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. For example, a common type of HIIT workout is the Tabata Protocol, which involves eight rounds of 20-second, high intensity workouts and 10-second rest periods.
HIIT workouts are often shorter than regular workouts and can be fit in at more convenient times, meaning they’re great for people with limited time to exercise during the day. What makes them even better is that many HIIT workouts can be done with bodyweight only. You can get a sweat in without needing extra weights or equipment.
However, there is no limit to the type of workout you can do with HIIT. If you want to work out in a gym in Phoenix, AZ, you can incorporate all kinds of exercises, such as running, walking, swimming, cycling, box jumps, jumping rope and strength exercises, to improve in a certain fitness area or vary your activities.
HIIT is known to keep your heart rate up longer, making it a great way to improve cardiovascular health. However, there are risks to HIIT. Your body may need extra time to heal after the stress of such intense activity, and the risk of injury also increases with HIIT. These types of workouts shouldn’t be done every day—instead, aim for two or three times a week.
How does HIIT help with weight loss?
One of the best-known things about HIIT workouts is that they are great for burning fat. But how exactly does this work?
HIIT is anaerobic, meaning it does not use oxygen to break down fuel like aerobic activity does. This is because your body isn’t able to get the oxygen it needs while you operate at such a high intensity. During this period of intensity, then, your body will rely on stored carbohydrates to fuel your activity, helping burn fat.
Another way it helps burn fat is by boosting your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your training. When you do high-intensity training, your body experiences something called the “afterburn effect,” otherwise known as excess post-exercise oxygen recovery (EPOC). High EPOC means your body is taking in more oxygen and working hard to recover from the high-intensity workout, so it will burn calories for longer after you leave the gym.
Also, HIIT spikes hormones that are instrumental in the breakdown of fat. These three methods contribute greatly to HIIT’s weight loss benefits, and many athletes are pleased with their results after even a few weeks of short, high-intensity workouts.
At Pamela Young Fitness, we offer individuals the chance to reach their fitness goals in a group personal training setting. We tend to each individual’s goals and needs during our five point fitness classes, corrective exercise training and fitness boot camp sessions. Visit our gym in Phoenix, AZ to see how our personal training can make a difference in your fitness journey.
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