What is all the buzz around HIIT?
HIIT this and HIIT that. Davina McCall's talking about it, Charlotte from Geordie Shore loves it and people across the world are going mad for Body Coach Joe Wicks' HIIT routines and new book.
Basically just about anyone who wants to get fit is being told to do it. Do you know why? Because it does what it says on the tin; it burns fat. Just take a look at Davina, mum-of-three, case in point.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of most effective ways to increase your fitness levels, improve your metabolism and burn fat in a short period of time. In basic terms a HIIT workout involves short bursts of very intense activity completed with maximum effort, followed by a complete rest or a short period of low intensity exercise.
The trouble with HIIT is you have to bring it, turn up and put your game face on every time. You have to put in 100% effort into every interval round. Now that's not easy but the beauty of HIIT workouts are the rounds are normally 30 seconds. Now that's achievable, even for a busy working mum.
The beauty of HIIT is that it can be done with or without equipment so you could cycle, row or skip or do a round of high knees, lunges and jumping jacks. The idea is you get your heart rate up fast for short intervals.
For example, you would perform four different exercises for 30 seconds each, followed by 30 seconds rest after each one and repeat that cycle four times.
This would total 16 rounds of heart pumping, calorie-burning HIIT. You can always build up to this too. Starting off with eight rounds or 12 rounds; you know your body better than anyone else so start at a level that suits you. Remember, who cares if you look like a beetroot, it's a workout session not a trip down Sadler Gate.
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In addition to this huge calorie burn, HIIT stimulates the production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to a massive 450 percent. This is for up to 24 hours after you have finished your workout, yes you heard me AFTER… I'll take that, who wouldn't? So while you're enjoying your large latte from your favourite coffee shop you are still torching fat. Amazing isn't it?
The HGH is not only responsible for an increased calorie burn but it also slows down the aging process making you younger both inside and out. So yes 30 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 50 and so on.
Just look at Sandra Bullock, yes she's over 50. I know it's unbelievable and look at J-Lo, an amazing 46, who knew? Their secret isn't a magic pill or a potion filled with an unheard of ancient remedy; it's exercise.
Going through the motions of any exercise is the hardest challenge but HIIT grabs you in a way that makes it rewarding and achievable. Every round of 30 seconds completed is another step closer to your goals. What's 30 seconds between friends anyway?
HIIT is a challenge mentally and physically, especially if you haven't got a trainer or a mate egging you on. You have to find it within yourself to kick butt and push your body every time. Like I say to my clients: "You've gotta to learn to love that burn."
It's that feeling that will burn calories for the next 24 hours, now that's worth pushing yourself for isn't it?
Another reason to jump on the HIIT bus: if you're burning more calories; you're burning more fat. HIIT also allows us to maintain our hard-earned muscle which in turn burns fat at rest.
There is nothing worse than dieting and losing all the muscle tone and not burning fat. This would normally happen when we are not eating enough and performing endless amounts of cardio.
So next time you're about to hit the gym, a class or the treadmill and complete the same routine, why not give HIIT a go and ask yourself: Can I give more? Can I run a little faster? Jump a little higher? Squat a little lower? Trust me most of you can. It's knowing when to have that quiet word with yourself to just do it.
Now reap the rewards and go and HIIT it up!
By Kathryn Williams