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What is HIIT and does it work?

February, 2021

You have probably heard of HIIT.

It stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

Essentially it was designed to get maximum benefits with a fairly short training session. HIIT is characterised by short bursts of really intense exercises followed by short bursts of lower intensity exercises or rest. And repeat.

You can even start HIIT at home. It is quite a popular as a way of working out during the COVID-19 lockdowns as you don’t need any special equipment – apart from a little space!

Benefits of HIIT

Does HIIT really work? Let’s look at some of the benefits.

It isn’t time consuming

For a lot of people, spending an hour or even more at the gym isn’t that appealing. Maybe they can’t even fit it into their weekly schedule due to other commitments.

This is one of the reasons HIIT has become popular. It can be done in a pretty short time period. It is ideal for people who are on tight schedules and don’t get a ton of free time to exercise.

It is great for calorie burning

If weight loss and staying in shape is your goal, HIIT is a proven exercise regime that can help.

Some studies have shown that HIIT can burn 20% or even 30% more calories than some other forms of exercise over the same time period. Due to the high intensity nature, it gets your body working more aggressively.

It can aid with muscle growth

While weight training is the main method of building muscle, HIIT has been shown to have a beneficial impact.

You won’t build muscle mass purely through HIIT – or if you do it will be relatively small – but using it alongside a weight training regime can have positive benefits. As it doesn’t take much time either, it is an ideal accompaniment to your normal exercise routine and will help work other areas of your body.

It can help to reduce blood sugar levels

An often understated benefit of HIIT is that it can work to reduce blood sugar levels which is particularly beneficial for some people.

For those that have type 2 diabetes for example, this can be a key benefit of exercising with HIIT.

Is HIIT right for you?

HIIT isn’t the right type of exercise for everyone to start with.

While it has many benefits it can have some downsides. It is very intense so if you aren’t especially fit and do want to start HIIT, it is recommended that you start off slow and gradually work your way up.

It can also lead to quick burnout so it isn’t something that should be undertaken everyday. Overusing HIIT can lead to injuries and other problems.

That being said, anyone can do HIIT. You don’t need any fancy equipment, you don’t need a lot of time and if you aren’t in great physical condition when you start, you can gradually build yourself up.

HIIT has a few drawbacks but the benefits can be massive on your overall health both physically and mentally.

If you want to find out more about HIIT and how a personal trainer can help, just get in touch.

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