It’s no secret that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all the rage right now. And there’s good reason for it. CNN.com recently released an article naming HIIT the number one fitness trend in 2018.
The Feel It, See It, Share It New Year Challenge that I’m working on with Amanda Russell of Fit, Strong and Sexy includes HIIT-inspired workouts for 28 days in January (we’re currently wrapping up the final week). The workouts are challenging but highly-effective and can be done in a short amount of time. I can say from personal experience that the program 100% WORKS and that’s due in large part to the incredible effectiveness of HIIT.
Here are 5 reasons why HIIT is at the top of the trending list in 2018:
1. Boosts metabolism even after working out.
High-intensity interval training burns fat, preserves muscle, and boosts your metabolism. HIIT triggers a reaction called the Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) during the recovery periods after intense bursts because your body is overcompensating for the lack of oxygen when your heart rate is being pumped to the max, and the effects of EPOC can last for 24-48 hours post-workout, continuing to burn fat in a resting state.
2. Can be done in a short amount of time.
One of the best features of HIIT is that it can be done anywhere and in an extremely short amount of time - you can easily squeeze it in during a lunch break at the office. Research shows that short bursts of high-intensity interval training for 15 minutes can be way more effective than running on a treadmill at the same speed and incline for 45-60 minutes. Because you’re pushing yourself to the max during the intense bursts, you’re increasing your aerobic endurance in a shorter amount of time when compared to long and steady cardio.
3. No gym equipment needed.
There are great pieces of workout equipment for HIIT, like a treadmill, spin bike, or jump rope, but the beautiful part about this form of exercise is that you can use your own body weight. The main goal of HIIT is to engage in plyometrics, also referred to as “jump training” or “plyos”, in which your muscles exert maximum force in short time intervals (such as high knees or jumping lunges). In fact, sometimes using additional equipment can hinder the effectiveness of HIIT (if you aren’t using a high enough resistance on a spin bike, for example, and would probably feel and see better results with high knees or jumping jacks).
4. Aids in heart health.
The extreme training in this technique produces extreme results, pushing you into your anaerobic zone which is 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. You may be breathing heavy when working this intensely, but getting into this zone helps to reduce the risk of developing heart-related diseases. Increasing cardiovascular fitness gets your heart pumping to deliver oxygen more effectively to your muscle cells, which use it to produce energy.
5. Lose weight but keep muscle.
A fantastic benefit of HIIT is that you burn fat but preserve your hard-earned muscles underneath. Burning fat requires oxygen and since HIIT provides an oxygen shortage during the intense bursts, your body is overcompensating in asking for more oxygen during recovery periods. So you achieve that lean, sculpted, sexy look (think ‘Michelle Obama arms’ ;-).
So clearly, HIIT is highly effective and back on trend for good reason.
Keeping all of the above in mind, stay tuned for a very special announcement coming soon from yours truly!