Endurance training has widely been accepted as being great for the body’s overall health, and from my experience HIIT has been able to accomplish the same task, but with less time being spent training.
You know the routine: wakeup, go to work, and come home tired.
Who really wants to train for 1-2 hours to get an effective endurance session in?
Personally, that is too time consuming, but HIIT changes all this by cutting the time required down nearly 75% compared to traditional training like running. Let’s look at how the effectiveness of HIIT has changed my life compared to other programs.
My Experimentation with Different Types of Training
HIIT vs. Resistance Training + Cardio Endurance
I’m comparing HIIT against two types of training put together to show you how much more effective and beneficial it is for your health; both physically and internally. Let’s look at how resistance training with cardio endurance helped me out. I needed to learn how to lose fat so I always read about how training with resistance was going to get me in shape. Resistance training is using an external force to cause muscular contractions. You can use weights, bodyweight, or even a rock to achieve this. This type of training helped me get a little definition in my arms, but the body fat never seemed to drop to allow anything more to be accomplished.
The reason resistance training didn’t help with my fat loss goals is because it doesn’t burn nearly as many calories as cardio does apparently, which is why I decided to combine the two in the same day. Couldn’t hurt to try, right? Cardio burns nearly 2x the amount of calories compared to resistance training, and has a longer after-burn effect the hours following training. However, I just didn’t have all the time in the world to initiate standard cardio requirements to be effective enough for increasing heart and lung health, and honestly running on a treadmill became boring and monotonous.
Then I discovered HIIT, which I found out surpasses resistance training and basic cardio for these reasons. A study I read showed that performing HIIT for 15 minutes was equivalent to jogging on a treadmill for an hour. What the heck have I been doing this whole time? Here was a highly endorsed training program that takes less time to accomplish a workout and is more effective. Needless to say this wasn’t a difficult choice to make.
You don’t really need a study to go off of though since thousands of people can confirm that they perform HIIT in short time frames with similar results, and I’m one of those people. HIIT is not just about runs and sprints, and can also be performed with resistance training. This means the lean muscle building effects are obtainable as well with endurance included.
Multiple Health Benefits Derive from HIIT
Health benefits of HIIT include:
- Improving heart and lung health
- Elevated amount of calorie burning
- Burning more calories longer after training
- Increasing HGH production
- Capability of keeping lean muscle
- Skin health improvement
The health benefits of HIIT are pretty unmatchable. The first area to look at is your cardiorespiratory system, which is both your heart and lungs. These are two of the most important organs found within your body that require conditioning to stay healthy. This is accomplished by performing activities that elevate your heart rate in order to increase blood flow. The blood pumps faster to support your muscles with oxygen, which is accomplishable through cardio.
Since HIIT is the more intense version of cardio, you effectively condition your heart and lungs making them healthier in a short timeframe. Excessive body fat could lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. For this reason I needed to burn calories in order to lose fat and keep it from coming back before it was too late. HIIT is much more effective at doing this than any other training program, and helped me burn far more calories within the 24 hours following HIIT due to the body’s need for intense repair .
Human growth hormones play a significant role in your body’s health, and having an elevated production of this hormone means improved calorie burning, possibility of lean muscle growth, and slows down the aging process against your body as well. A study showed that activities such as HIIT can increase HGH levels by 450% during the 24 hours that follows HIIT . This all sounds lovely, but what did this do for me? Well I can honestly say that my muscles did begin to appear more well-defined, and my body fat surely did significantly drop.
Lean Muscle Retention
People fear cardio activities since they can actually cause you to lose muscle mass. This occurs because your glucose levels are diminished during soon after starting a cardio-based program, and fat takes its place for energy production. Muscle is also going to be used for supplying energy, which is why people who weight train a lot have no interest in cardio. I was terrified about losing my hard gains! However, as mentioned HIIT is capable of being performed with weights as well, which is what I did with a lighter load setting.
You can Use HIIT without ever getting bored
There are a variety of different methods you can perform for HIIT, which allows you to never get content with the same old routine. You not only get bored, but may also cause a lean muscle growth and fat loss plateau when performed improperly or nothing at all. You can prevent this by dieting properly and changing up your workout routines. A great idea for using HIIT would be alternating between using resistance and intense running activities like I did, but in the end they both elevate your cardio more efficiently. If you truly want to experience the same life changing results as me, then I highly recommend giving HIIT a test drive!
About the Author:
HIIT Yields Numerous Health Benefits, by Demmy James.
Demmy is a fitness buff as well as a strength and conditioning specialist.
He is also a content contributor for Muscle & Strength.