What is HIIT and what are its Benefits?

Do you want a way to burn more calories, lose more fat, and improve your cardio fitness level while spending less time actually working out? Here it is!
Everyone is raving about High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at the moment and we’re no different! It’s great for people with a busy lifestyle that still wish to stay fit and healthy as it’s believed to give you a great workout in a short amount of time. This means there are no more excuses for those claiming to be too busy to workout!
With a little help from your InstructorLive Boot Camp Instructor Craig Glasgow, we have found out all there is to know about this workout and what amazing benefits it can offer.
What is HIIT?
An average HIIT session varies between 4-30 minutes. It is best to adapt these workouts to suit your fitness and age, if you are unsure about it then we would advise speaking to a fitness professional. It requires repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery.
During the periods of high intensity, you should be hitting an effort level of at least 7 or over (on a scale of 1-10). If you want to use the max heart rate (MHR) as a guide, high intensity can be considered when you reach about 80%. Basically, when doing HIIT, if your legs are blurs then you are probably working hard enough!
There are a variety of different modes of HIIT. It can include outdoor activities such as running or cycling or using equipment such as treadmills, elliptical runners, stair-climbers or stationary bikes. You can also challenge yourself doing sprints for 30 seconds to two minutes.
How does HIIT benefit you?

  • Interestingly, studies have shown that within months the body can adapt positively to the increases in stress and as a result fitness improves enormously.
  • HIIT increases the number of calories you burn during your exercise session and also afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each session.
  • It improves your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential due to the fact that it burns more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions.
  • HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional stationary cardio exercise.

InstructorLive’s Craig Glasgow:

We asked our Bootcamp Instructor, Craig Glasgow for some advice about High-Intensity Interval Training. He described it as being very similar to driving a car. When you are driving in traffic you consume more petrol due to the stopping and starting than you would if you were driving at a constant speed on the motorway. The stopping and starting work your engine much harder. You need to do the same with your body.
Craig says that HIIT is fantastic because you can get a good workout in a very short period of time. He believes that this type of training has become more popular with women in recent years because they are more open to it now rather than just solid-state cardio, enjoying a bit of variety in their workouts.
HIIT may appear to be a dream workout: more calories burned in half the time– what’s the catch?! The catch is that you have to push yourself a lot harder than normal and it is only when you do this that you will see the benefits. When will there be a workout that takes half the time and requires minimal effort?!