Forget going to the gym for hours. High intensity training for shorter amounts of times is the key to getting fit.

Let’s face it, carving out an hour or two to hit the gym is unrealistic, especially if you’re not the fitness type. This doesn’t have to be your excuse for not exercising, because a growing body of research shows you can get fit in a fraction of the time compared to the “old” recommendation of exercising for an hour by using high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

The popularity of high intensity interval training is on the rise. High intensity interval training sessions are commonly called HIIT workouts. HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals.

The intense training periods may range from 10 seconds to a few minutes long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself. The recovery periods may last equally as long as the work periods and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. The workout continues with the alternating work and relief periods totaling about 20 to 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of HIIT? HIIT training is key for improving your health, boosting weight loss, promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production, and improving strength and stamina. It’s also been shown to improve overall aerobic and anaerobic fitness, blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy), cholesterol profiles, abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.

HIIT training can easily be modified for people of all fitness levels and can be performed on all forms of exercise such as cycling, walking, swimming, aqua training, elliptical cross-training, and in many group exercise classes or videos. Such as the popular at-home workout, FOCUS T25, developed by fitness expert and trainer Shaun T.

HIIT workouts provide similar fitness benefits as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time. This is because HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout. The post-exercise period is called “EPOC”, which stands for excess postexercise oxygen consumption. This is generally about a 2-hour period after an exercise bout where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and thus using more energy.

Try it out and let us know your results!



Photo: ©Focus T25, Beachbody Inc.



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