HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It's a very specific form of cardio that calls for "High Intensity Bursts' followed by a more relaxed form of cardio that's a lot less taxing on our bodies.
HIIT also has a HUGE afterburn effect compared to regular forms of cardio. This is the same reason that we see wrestlers, boxers, sprinters be completely shreeded and muscular as well. This is because they are performing HIIT throughout their training and competitions. Let us dive deeper into the details.
As mentioned earlier, HIIT takes place when we perform a cardiovascular exercise with extreme intensity for a short period of time and then drop off the intensity to give ourselves time to recoup and go at it again. A good rule of thumb is to go as hard as you can for 3-5 minutes and then cool down for 5-8 minutes and repeat for as long as you can. It's not long before you feel like you are about to collapse and ofcourse you should probably stop at that point. Feel your body out and challenge yourself to push just a little bit more next time you perform an HIIT workout. This also triggers what we alluded to earlier - THE AFTERBURN!
This afterburn effect occurs because your body increases its metabolism in response to the intense exercise it just underwent. It's still recouping from your HIIT routine and has an increase in metabolism for as long as 48 hours. It's definitely something that will increase your caloric expenditure than regular steady-state cardio.
So how does this occur exactly? Well when we perform HIIT, our muscles are also being worked as opposed to mostly the heart and cardiovascular system during just jogging or walking. Our muscles experience a pump similar to what we might experience during a heavy resistance training workout! This increases lactic acid build up which our bodies fight off by utilizing more oxygen to repair itself which is where the increase in metabolism comes into play.
This is why all sprinters, boxers, and wrestlers seem to have a very shredded and muscular look. They are all performing intense bouts of exercise for a short duration, resting, and repeating - over and over again. Here are some more example of HIIT training that you can perform yourself:
This method of training helps improve our explosiveness strength and help us burn additional calories compared to conventional cardiovascular exercise. It's something that should be a staple to someone looking to cut weight, in moderation of course. 1-2 HIIT sessions programmed into your routine will go a long way in helping you get that shredded look that you want so bad. There are thousands of other HIIT routines that our trainers here at Rochester NY Personal Trainer have built for clients. If you want to get that lean and muscular look, contact us right away and we will hook you up with a free consultation!