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HIIT: Worth the Hype?

Get HIIT High Intensity Interval Training Weight Fat Loss Axis Labs Athletic Majority Blog

Let's admit it, regardless how much you love working out or hitting the gym every day, it's simply not practical to invest tons of time slaving away on a cardio apparatus. The majority of people lead hectic, time-constrained lives beyond their fitness regimen and have to get as much done as possible in a minimal time-frame when it pertains to cardio.

Naturally, you might ask, "Do I really need to invest hours strolling on a treadmill to lose body fat?" Frankly, no. If anything, doing hours upon hours of low-intensity cardio is less efficacious for sustainable weight/fat loss than ramping up the intensity and giving your all for a shorter time span.

For many individuals, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the solution to their ongoing struggle to lose fat rapidly (and keep it off). Basically, HIIT is a type of training that significantly cuts the total amount of time you spend doing cardio while simultaneously enhancing your fat loss. Pretty awesome, right? So what’s the catch? Well, it’s not a walk in the park (no pun intended).

Let’s make it clear right now, HIIT is hard; your muscles will burn and you will be gasping for air. The good news is that the workouts are very brief, and the payoff is well worth it.

With that in mind, continue reading as we have a look at the promising scientific findings behind HIIT for fat loss and how you can incorporate it into your workout routine for results (while saving time)!

Advantages of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is any kind of workout where you push yourself as intensely as you can beyond your lactic acid threshold. This forces your body to depend on the anaerobic metabolic process (because oxygen is lacking) and you wind up taxing a range of energy systems in your body. To give a real-world example of this, imagine sprinting 200 meters as fast as you possibly can. Assuming you’re not Usain Bolt, chances are that around the 100-meter mark your legs feel like they’re on fire. (That’s the sensation you experience when lactic acid is flooding your leg muscles, which is precisely the goal of HIIT.)

in turn, HIIT generates a range of advantageous metabolic outcomes that routine low-intensity cardio (like an easy bike ride) does not. Even better, research suggests that HIIT is an extremely effective method to improve fat loss, mostly due to a physiological phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

Essentially, after performing HIIT, your body works harder to make up for an ongoing oxygen deficit and burns more calories at rest. This metabolic boost does not happen when doing a low-intensity workout like walking on the treadmill; truthfully, low-intensity cardio can have the inverse effect (i.e. your body reduces its metabolic rate at rest to make up for all the calories burned throughout workout). Essentially, with low-intensity cardio, you may be burning more calories during training than you will with HIIT, but over time you actually burn less.

Furthermore, HIIT is much less time consuming than investing hours on a treadmill or other cardio apparatus. Frankly, it should be rather apparent that doing a sprint workout for cardio is far more effective than half-heartedly strolling, while watching Netflix on the treadmill.

The research-backed advantages of HIIT:

  • Boosts resting metabolic rate
  • Encourages sustainable fat loss
  • Enhances blood lipid values
  • Promotes healthy cardiovascular function
  • Increases your insulin sensitivity

So you can see why doing HIIT over conventional low-intensity, long-duration forms of cardio is far more useful in regards to enhancing your general health and dramatically increasing weight loss. (And as previously mentioned, in much less time!)

Regretfully, the majority of gym-goers feel that the best method to cut fat and attain a lean physique is to invest hours toiling away on the treadmill.

Don’t worry, though. We have an effective, time-saving HIIT routine that you can start right now!

Time-Saving HIIT Routine for Fat Loss

Tabata training is a particular type of HIIT created by the Japanese doctor Dr. Izumi Tabata; basically, it's a four-minute training routine where you go all out for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest/recovery (the sprint-recover cycle is done 8 times total).

Guidelines

Keep in mind: HIIT can be done either on a cardio apparatus of your choosing (preferably a stationary bike or elliptical) or in an open area if you wish to do free sprints.

  1. Start by warming up your core temperature with some light cardio for three to five minutes. (Nothing too strenuous, just loosen up your joints and get a sweat going.
  2. Now ramp up the intensity by sprinting/exerting yourself as hard as possible for 20-second intervals. Remember: This is the hard part and it will burn. Do not fret, however, you can relax later!
  3. When you finish sprinting, begin some active rest (i.e. easy pedaling/strides) for 10 seconds and prepare yourself for the next 20-second sprint/interval. Repeat this procedure as much as 10 times and voila! You are already done!
  4. Amazing, isn’t it? Just 4 minutes and you’re torching fat!
  5. BONUS: If you want, you can perform 20-25 minutes of steady-state cardio after you finish the HIIT; this will help burn free fatty acids that you liberated during the sprints.

**We recommend taking one serving of SynthaLean about 30 minutes prior to your HIIT sessions for maximum fat loss.

Wrap-up

Do not succumb to the theory that you have to spend hours on a cardio machine every week just to lose fat. The more HIIT you include in your workout regimen, the leaner and more explosive your body will be; it will empower you and save tons of time.