Girl doing a HIIT workout
Photo: Stephanie: /CC

A 21st Century Work Out Why High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Could Be For You

Fitness workouts and training evolves over time – from Jane Fonda videos in the 80’s, to Step Aerobics in the 90’s, to celeb workout DVD’s in the 00’s, many fitness trends have come and gone. Some – such as running – have been with us from the start of time, and stuck around.


Today, there is a fitness trend for the 2010’s that came on the scene in the last few years, and has become v popular with male and female, young and older alike – High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) for short.


So what is HIIT?


Well, HIIT is simply an exercise regime that mixes bursts of high intensity exercise with short rest periods. The idea combination of high energy bursts and cool downs means you can potentially burn more calories in one session than with a moderate cardio session, on a bike, for example.


Here are some tips and benefits from fitness experts about HIIT:


  • A good starter HIIT workout - is sprinting as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval 5 times for a 15 minute, fat blasting workout. (Shape Magazine)
  • A more efficient work out - Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. (Shape Mag)
  • Greater lung capacity - A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials found that HIIT training led to greater lung capacity than endurance training (Wikipedia
  • Rapid workout - One of the biggest benefits of a HIIT workout is that they usually last for 20 mins or less. This results in a workout that virtually anyone can integrate into their lifestyle.
  • BUT it is tough - The flip-side of the HIIT short workout is that it is probably be one of the toughest you will ever do…
  • Burn fat for longer - Not only will you burn fat during your workout, but you will continue to burn fat throughout the rest of the day through EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). (Coach Calorie)
  • Get ripped with HIIT - HIIT is one of several ways to boost both testosterone and growth hormone levels. Since these hormones are highly responsible for muscle gain and fat loss, you should be doing all you can to keep levels high. (Coach Calorie)
  • No equipment necessary - Running, biking, jump roping, and rowing all work great for HIIT, but you don't need any equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. (Shape Mag)
  • Boosts metabolism - The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your rate of metabolism from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after a session of interval training. Thus the increased metabolism helps burn more calories at a faster rate. (Health Fitness Revolution)
  • Lose fat and not muscle – Steady cardio is often associated with losing muscle. HIIT workouts, however, combine weight training (the weight being your body) with cardio and effectively allows dieters to preserve their muscle gain while still shedding weight. (Health Fitness Revolution)


Overall many people in the UK today, of all ages, who are wanting to gain muscle, and lose fat, are choosing HIIT over traditional forms of exercise. They see the benefits of HIIT as listed above, and are seeing real results from their regime.


Why not give it a try?


I’ll leave the last word to UK Instagram fitness guru Joe Wicks, who has pioneered this form of exercise on social media, and has found a receptive audience:


High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT, is my favourite type of workout and it's the most effective training method for burning fat. Not only does it get your fat burners fired up like nothing else, but it also boosts your metabolism and will get you super fit by improving your cardiovascular fitness.” – (Joe Wicks