5 Benefits of HIIT

HIIT

I was delighted to be approached by Claire Ward who is a freelance writer from and has written an informative, detailed and benenfical article on the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Claire has specifically focused on 5 key benefits of HIIT training and as Claire says, if you’ve been around the gym and exercising for a while or have been looking for alternatives to burn that stubborn belly fat, you’ve probably heard of HIIT. The article is well-researched and Claire has provided links to a number of Studies that support the benefits of HIIT.

I am a big fan of HIIT training both personally with my own training and with my PT clients. HIIT allows us to get a great whole-body workout in a short space of time, which is perfect for the busy lives we live.

HIIT workouts involve all out, quick bursts of intense exercise, which then is quickly followed by short recovery periods. The cycle repeats itself.

Below are 5 key benefits from Claire of following a HIIT routine:

1.   An alternative for boring cardio

To be honest, it’s rare to find someone who enjoys doing cardio, especially when they’re doing it alone and have been doing the same routine for the past month. When you get bored of an activity, you’re bound to start skipping sessions and eventually, may give up on your weight loss goal altogether.

HIIT is a great way to keep your head in the game and stay motivated. In one cycle, you could be doing 2 or more exercises and this mix keeps everything interesting! You could do 10 pushups, rest for 30 seconds, and do 10 jump squats right after!

2.   Time saving!

“I don’t have time for that.”

We’ve heard this excuse time and time again from most people who work regular jobs. Now that you’ve heard of HIIT, you can’t use that same excuse anymore!

A study conducted on 43 obese young women found that those who follow a HIIT routine required only half the time to lose similar amounts of fat as the moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) group did.

This study proved that HIIT routines are more time-efficient than regular, mid-intensity cardio workouts. However, if you are obese or have heart-related issues, do consult your doctor before pursuing any HIIT.

3.   Use whatever you have!

Another benefit to HIIT is that you don’t need some crazy equipment! A lot of HIIT workouts emphasize on bodyweight-only workouts, and it’s more than enough at times.

Still love working on that treadmill and want to spice it up a little? You can do HIIT on your treadmill too.

If you’re constantly working out at home for whatever reason and wish you could do some HIIT on a treadmill, worry not! There are companies that rent out this exercise equipment (see treadmill hire from Hire Fitness) right to your doorstep.

4.   Higher metabolic rate … hours after exercise

Our body burns through calories to sustain ourselves, even when we are at rest. The higher the metabolic rate, the shorter the time taken to burn through calories. Yes, you’re burning calories for free!

A study has shown that when compared to aerobic endurance exercises (AEE) and high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), the woman who performed HIIT had the largest increase in resting energy expenditure (REE).

Simply put, when you do HIIT, your body will be burning through more calories even when you’ve completed the circuit hours before.

5.   You may gain muscle

If you’ve never been serious about lifting weights but want to develop some muscle, HIIT is a great way to get started. Remember, when you’re doing intense bursts of exercises like pushups and squats, you’re still tearing muscle fibers and inducing hypertrophy.

With HIIT, you’re killing two birds with one stone: you’re tearing down and re-building muscle as well as burning a lot of fat. Don’t forget, you’re also working and improving your cardiovascular system. Considering how little time you spend on HIIT, I’ve gotta admit … I wish I started sooner!

Image credit

Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash

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