To Lose Body Fat, You’ve Got to HIIT It!   

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No, I am not talking about SMACKING the fat off your body, I am talking about HIIT, which in the world of fitness stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it just may be the most effective way to shed fat and build muscle…ever.

For years (and years, and years) when most people thought about exercising to lose fat, one image came to mind…JOGGING. Hours and hours of pounding the pavement, running for miles, and…well…most of us HATE that idea! Running is fun for some, but a nightmare for many. The constant pounding on our joints often results in foot, ankle or knee injuries and many of us just don’t have the stamina for running long distances. Well guess what? Jogging may not be anywhere CLOSE to the best exercise for losing fat anyways, the answer to FIT may just be in doing HIIT.

You see, the thing about doing Steady State Cardio (like jogging at a consistent pace or doing the elliptical) is that your body will adapt to that workout. Sure, if you haven’t been exercising in a while then starting to jog will likely result in your losing some fat, but after awhile, your body regulates. It basically adjusts to the increased workload and becomes more efficient, so the amount of fat you lose will slow down or even stop. And on top of that, your muscles will adapt as well, and any muscular growth will likely slow down also. So, if jogging isn’t your fat loss and fitness panacea, maybe it’s time to start doing some HIIT workouts…

So, aside from a cool sounding acronym, just what IS HIIT anyways? High Intensity Interval training is an exercise protocol (which quite a few reliable studies backing up its effectiveness) whereby the participant performs an exercise at a slow to medium pace for a particular time, followed by doing that same exercise at MAXIMUM intensity for a shorter duration. The key is MAXIMUM INTENSITY. This means that during the intense portion of the interval, you are pushing yourself as hard as you can (safely of course). Here are a few HIIT workouts for example:

  • SPRINTING-this is one of the most popular forms of HIIT training. Simply walk fast or jog for 90 seconds, then sprint as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds…that is one interval. Repeat 8-10 times.

  • BIKING-could be stationary bike or a road or mountain bike. Just pedal at a slow pace for 90 seconds, then go ALL OUT pedaling like a mad fool for 30 seconds! Repeat 8-10 times.

  • HIGH KNEES-many bodyweight movements work well for HIIT workouts, just make sure to maintain form during the INTENSE phase. For high knees, just walk slowly raising each knee high for 90 seconds, then perform high knees as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds. Again, repeat 8-10 times.

These are not the ONLY exercises you can use for HIIT workouts, basically anything that will allow for a slow pace and then a really intense one will work. As you can see, the duration of the entire workout isn’t long, but the effect it has on your body can be huge. Some studies have shown that performing a HIIT workout can increase your metabolism for up to 24 hours AFTER the workout has been completed. In addition, the combination of slow and then fast movement, performed 3-4 times weekly, can burn fat more quickly than most of types of exercise.

For those of you in the area who are looking to give HIIT a try, there are plenty of gyms that specialize in this type of training. Just click the links below to find one near you and sign up to a class and you can HIIT that fat away and reach your fitness goals with a workout that may not take long, but WILL get you results…OR, you can try ALL of the gyms below for one low price with Fit Mix