Bodybuilders and serious athletes alike have known for sometime the benefits of high intensity interval training – HIIT for short. So you may be wondering why you should start doing HIIT and what does interval training improve?
Alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with adequate recovery periods is known as HIIT. Take this as an example – sprinting for 30-60seconds at a high speed, and resting for 60-90 seconds – is all it takes to be an internal trainer. As you sprint, you will reduce your oxygen consumption, causing your heart rate to increase rapidly, supplemented with a recovery period your heart rate and oxygen consumption returns to normal, you’ll then sprint again, repeating the process and causing the heart to go into panic mode. This in theory means you burn more calories during exercise and hours after whilst your heart returns to a normal process.
What does interval training improve?
1. Calorie Expenditure – hours afterwards
“The bursts of increased intensity simply increase the caloric expenditure, thus, more total calories are burned aiding in better body composition.” says exercise physiologist and athletic trainer Scott Weiss, C.S.C.S.
The intense periods of anaerobic exercise (lack of oxygen) causes the body to go into overdrive which increases the rate at which calories are burned, even hours after exercise, so you can expect calorie expenditure to be higher than normal whilst your body returns to the state of homeostasis e.g. your Basal Metabolic Rate.
In comparison to low intensity steady state cardio also known as LISS, you can expect your endurance to improve as a result of internal training. The process involved with testing your bodies ability to perform intense periods of exercise with a lack of oxygen will enable you to improve your ability to run for longer periods of time such as a 3km run. It’s a form of evolution, this is science stuff.
3. Your mood improves
Despite your best efforts to convince yourself otherwise, HIIT actually improves your mood. The thought of performing an intense burst of exercise for a short period of time may sound overwhelming. Although a study found that ‘Participants reported greater enjoyment of HIT…with over 50% of participants reporting a preference to engage in HIT”.
Whether it be the shorter amount of time needed to conduct a ‘cardio’ workout or the feeling you get when your endorphins kick in, HIIT is reportedly going to make your happier, and if you’re happier, so are those around you.
What does interval training improve? Now you know.
But if you’re still not convinced, try listening to one of these tracks: Top 5 Gym Tracks To Workout To In April to support your cardio game.