In an ideal world, your chosen form of exercise is going to burn body fat, develop lean muscle and improve your fitness in one fell swoop.
The only problem with this concept is that most exercise formats simply isolate one of the above facets as opposed to providing an all-encompassing structure to achieve ALL of these goals.
Luckily for you, High Intensity Interval Training CAN actually do this. For those who are willing to put in the effort, this form of exercise is perhaps better than any other for shredding through your body fat levels.
How does it work? And why exactly is it so effective?
We’re going to analyse this highly effective training format so that you can fully understand why millions of people have already lost endless amounts of weight by integrating it into their daily structure.
HIIT – Benefits
There are several reasons why HIIT is considered by many to be the “king” of cardio, not least of which is its ability to melt body fat for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished training.
This is due to the fact that (as the name may imply) you’re going to be performing several “intervals” of super high-intensity exercise, followed by lower intensity recovery periods.
Ultimately, this causes your heart rate to continuously rise, then lower, then rise, then lower again over the entire duration of your workout.
As a result, your body is going to work overtime to try and “regulate” it in the period following your training session. This means that your metabolism is going to kick into overdrive in an attempt to sustain your body’s energy output.
Equally as positive is the fact that anaerobic training like this (anaerobic simply means to operate muscularly, without relying on the respiratory system for sustenance) actually develops your fitness within both (aerobic and anaerobic) energy zones.
When it comes to CrossFit performance, this is fantastic, as you’ll be using a healthy dose of both zones. It’s also going to improve your overall vitality.
Depending on the type of interval training you perform (you can do it with pretty much any form of cardio or bodyweight exercise) you can also develop your lean muscle mass.
This cocktail of benefits makes HIIT training one of the most useful training formats out there for not only burning fat, but achieving several of your other overriding goals in the process.
It’s also incredibly versatile…
Consider that, by definition, HIIT cardio simply means that you need to perform exercises in high intensity intervals.
As such, you could choose any training method you like (running, swimming or cycling for example) and adopt this structure.
Most people choose to perform either 45 seconds or 1 minutes worth of low intensity exercise, followed by the exact same durations worth of high intensity exercise. You can do this over a total and continuous alternating period of 15 – 20 minutes to achieve maximum benefit.
With this in mind, you could actually perform press-ups, or burpees, or hill climbers… the exercise world is truly your oyster!
What’s better is that you don’t need any equipment or a gym in order to perform it, this means that you can perfectly supplement your main training sessions with HIIT in the same or separate days to make your fat loss results skyrocket.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll need a minimum of six “intense” intervals in order to achieve the metabolic and fat burning effect you’re looking for – this should be your minimum standard when using this training type.
Long Lasting Benefits
Amazingly, after a sustained period of performing HIIT cardio, you’re going to fine tune your metabolism so much that you end up burning calories around the clock.
When most people think of exercise, they only consider what they burn whilst they’re actually training, but the experts know that the key to developing a lean, fit body is to burn calories even whilst you’re sedentary.
If you consider that CrossFit follows a very similar “interval” format, you could actually turn yourself into a metabolic furnace, burning calories both day and night to literally strip any stubborn body fat you have away from your frame.
If you haven’t already, implement some HIIT into your weekly schedule two to three times per week for 15-20 minutes in conjunction with your regular sessions. You’ll definitely love the results to both your waistline and fitness levels.