HIIT your workout, DROP the Fat

cheetahI was reading an article today about the benefits and effects of HIIT (High intensity interval training) and I read about some very interesting studies.  This form of cardio involves intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as sprinting) with intervals of either low-intensity exercise (such as walking at a slow pace) or complete rest. This style steers away from continuous steady-state (slow and steady) cardio that most people do at a moderate intensity for 30-to-60 minutes.

In a study presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine by Florida State University (Tallahassee), “researchers reported that subjects who performed HIIT burned almost 10 percent more calories during the 24 hours following exercise as compared to those who performed continuous steady-state exercise, despite the fact that the total calories burned during the workouts were the same.”

What I found really interesting was a study published in the American Journal of Physiology sheds some light on another way that HIIT burns more body fat. “Researchers reported that 6 weeks of HIIT increased the amount of special proteins in muscle that are responsible for carrying fat into the mitochondria (where fat is burned away for fuel) by up to 50 percent.” Read more here.

Having more of these proteins in muscle means that more fat can be burned up for fuel during workouts and when resting. HIIT also helps you get your workout over and done with in less time. It goes by faster because of the intervals and the constant change of pace. I don’t know how people can stand to run on a treadmill for up to an hour. HIIT workouts are fun, fast, and intense.

So, you want to start incorporating HIIT into your routine?

Try this:

20 seconds of high intensity activity 60 seconds of low intensity recovery

You can then work your way up to 30 seconds of work and 60 seconds of rest and keep increasing you’re amount of work and decreasing your rest time. 15-20 minutes and you’re DONE!

Stay STRONG today!

-Anna