What is HIIT Cardio?
Have you ever seen the acronym HIIT while browsing fitness sites?
If so, you might be confused as to what it is and what its purpose is. HITT stands high-intensity interval training and the idea behind it is to mix short bursts of high-intensity training with longer bursts of low-intensity training.
In this article, you will learn all about HITT cardio and why some swear that it is the best way to get in shape.
What Is HIIT?
We already covered the definition in the introduction, but it helps to go deeper.
It sounds very technical, but it’s actually really quite simple. So don’t be put off!
HITT cardio refers to an exercise routine that mixes very short bursts (often no longer than 30 to 45 seconds) of very intense exercise with longer bursts (1 minute to 1 and a half minutes) of very low-intensity exercise.
So, to give you a perfect example of HITT cardio, imagine a workout routine that makes you spring for 30 seconds, and then walk for 45 to 60 seconds.
That is a perfect example of a very basic HITT cardio workout.
Of course, more complicated ones exist, such as ones that mix up the high-intensity exercises (i.e. you do 30 seconds of sprinting and then 30 seconds of lunges), but you get the idea.
Also, while this article is explicitly about cardio, we should mention that HITT workouts exist in basically every form; there is HITT strength training, weightlifting, etc.
Why People Choose It
The next thing that needs to be covered is why exactly people choose this over traditional cardio like long jogs or long sessions on an elliptical.
The reason certain people choose HITT cardio and why some people swear by it is because it does have some very noticeable advantages over regular cardio.
Firstly, it is a lot more invigorating than regular cardio.
Regular cardio can frankly get a bit boring (which is so many people listen to music or watch t.v. while doing it).
But, HIIT cardio remains invigorating and fun during the entire process.
Secondly and more importantly, HITT cardio does seem to be a bit more effective at burning fat than regular cardio.
Obviously, it’s hard to prove this definitively, but there are some studies that do show it as being the superior method for getting in shape.
5 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, as the name indicates, is a method for training that involves a short series of very intense exercises (like sprints), with breaks in-between that are comprised of low-intensity exercises.
This is an extremely popular training regimen that many people follow.
They follow it because HIIT has several notable benefits over more conventional training regimens.
Here are five of these benefits.
You Burn More Fat
One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is that it allows you to burn more fat.
As you can imagine, this is a big part of why so many people love HIIT and why they choose it over conventional exercise regimens.
As for why HIIT helps you burn fat, the answer is pretty self-explanatory.
High-intensity exercises tend to burn more fat than low-intensity workouts.
Plus, because you are taking regular breaks during HIIT, you can afford to do more high-intensity exercises than you would be able to do otherwise.
You Burn More Calories
Because HIIT emphasizes as little downtime as possible, it really does help you burn more calories.
One of the keys to burning a lot of calories is ensuring that you are constantly keeping your heart rate up.
When you do a HIIT workout properly, your heart rate will stay at a good pace, which ensures that you burn a lot of calories.
It Doesn’t Require Expensive Equipment
Another great thing about HIIT is that it’s an exercise regimen that enables you to burn calories and fat without investing in any expensive equipment.
Usually, if you want to burn a lot of fat, you have to resign yourself to investing in overly expensive exercise equipment to get a good workout.
However, with HIIT, you don’t need to invest in anything besides a good pair of running shoes.
It Builds Muscle Quickly
As you might expect, another benefit of HIIT is how it helps you build a large amount of muscle.
If you aren’t yet ready to try out very intense weightlifting, but you still want to try building some muscle, then HIIT is a good option.
It Helps You Build Up Stamina
Just doing regular exercise like jogging or even walking can help you build up stamina.
However, if you truly want to build up a good amount of stamina, then you need to consider trying HIIT.
The mixture of high and low-intensity exercise, combined with the fact that there is little downtime does wonders for your stamina.