Want to Know Why and How HIIT Works?
Chances are your fitness program is primarily cardiovascular. You may walk, run, row, dance or bike. Perhaps you spend most of your time on an elliptical machine, spin bike, or stair stepper.
If you integrate a bit of strength training into your current fitness program then you may have a very well rounded program. And yet you are likely not getting the weight loss and fitness goals you desire. You’re putting in the time and the work but not enjoying the results you truly want.
HIIT can be the game changer, the difference maker, and the solution you’ve been searching for. Here we’ll show you how HIIT works and why it really does produce faster weight loss and fitness results in less time. But don’t take our word for it; let’s take a look at the research and the reason why High Intensity Interval Training is so effective.
Dramatic Fat Burning Results
HIIT has been shown to promote Human Growth Hormone release. This wonderful hormone is a natural one that your body produces. However, as you age the amount of growth hormone decreases. After all, you’re not growing anymore. If you exercise and your muscles and tissues need repair, then HGH is released to help your body repair itself.
When released, HGH also boosts metabolism, burns fat and facilitates muscle building. It also changes the way your body uses and converts energy. Your body does this because it knows you need fuel to repair your muscles and tissues.
The Journal of Obesity reported on a study that showed significant fat burning results after 12 weeks of HIIT. The study focused on young overweight male. They were randomly assigned to a control group or a HIIT group. The HIIT group spent 20 minutes exercising three times a week for 12 weeks.
The majority of the 20 minutes was rest and recovery – between short bursts of intense exercise. And by intense exercise it means that you’re getting up to 95% of your maximum heart rate. The results may surprise you.
The study participants had a reduction of total fat mass that averaged 4.5 pounds. They reduced their visceral fat, the fat under your skin, by 17%. They also showed marked aerobic improvements and their aerobic power increased by 15%.
Some other studies, particularly one published in the journal, Cell Metabolism, seem to indicate that HIIT changes your DNA expression; specifically the genes that are involved in fat metabolism. The study indicates that when you use HIIT as part of your training program, your body automatically turns on the genes that increase your production of lipolytic enzymes, aka fat busting enzymes.
How HIIT Works for Insulin Sensitivity
Diabetes occurs when the insulin receptors become desensitized. It can happen when a person has a diet that is often high in glucose, sugar. The presence of glucose triggers the pancreas to release insulin. However, after a prolonged period of this constant signaling to release insulin, your body begins to shut down those insulin receptors.
When this happens, fat storage is increased because the glucose cannot be processed correctly. So a person with a diet that is often high in sugar – like most Americans – begins to gain weight and take steps toward pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
HIIT has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. It makes those insulin receptors work again so your body processes glucose effectively. You don’t store fat, you burn it.
One study looked at volunteers with diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. They performed one interval training session and saw improved blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours. Other studies have shown that middle-aged adults who are fit but inactive were able to enjoy improvements in their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of interval training.
Increased weight loss, fat burning, and insulin sensitivity are all spectacular results. However, you may already be at your target weight and not at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. So what are the benefits for you? Can you get better, faster, and stronger with HIIT? You bet you can.
Aerobic Capacity, Endurance, and Strength
High Intensity Interval Training has shown that it provides improved health and fitness for all. A team of Canadian researchers tested a wide variety of men and women at various stages of health – from healthy to fighting cardiovascular disease. The participants performed cycling intervals. All patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness.
Surprisingly, the cardiac patients showed great improvements and the intense exercise didn’t cause problems for any of the patients.
According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training – Shape Magazine
If you’re training for a race or you want to get over a fitness plateau then HIIT may be the ideal program for you. One study found that after eight weeks of doing HIIT workouts, participants could exercise twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
We’ve already mentioned a few of the compelling benefits for integrating HIIT into your current fitness program. Namely, they’re:
- HIIT burns a ton of calories
- More efficient, and shorter, workouts
- Enjoy faster results
- Boost metabolism
- Increased fat burning
However, there are other benefits we’ve yet to discuss. They include:
- You don’t need any equipment to participate in HIIT.
- It’s applicable to just about any workout. From running to weight lifting, you can add HIIT to your program and enjoy results.
- You continue burning calories and fat long after your workout is over.
- It’s seriously challenging, so you won’t get bored.
- It’s quite fun and easy to add to your weekly routine.
So you’ve read the data and you know the facts. You know that if you want to burn fat and get in shape fast then High Intensity Intervals are for you. But how do you get started? Let’s take a look at “Getting Started with High Intensity Interval Training” next and take a look at a few sample HIIT fitness plans.