What is the HIIT Exercise?
“HIIT” (High-Intensity Interval Training), also known as the “HIIE” or High-intensity Intermittent Exercise or the “SIT” (Sprint Interval Training), is a cardiovascular exercise in the form of an interval training. This form of exercise alternates intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods performed until the participant is too exhausted to even continue.
What is significant in this kind workout is that it incorporates “anaerobic exercise”. Anaerobic meaning “without oxygen” when applied to an exercise routine means a kind of exercise that is designed to break down glucose in the body without necessarily using oxygen. In common parlance, it just means that anaerobic exercise is harder and more intense than an aerobics exercise. Significantly, it is done for less than 30 minutes and depending on the fitness level of the participant.
The significant biochemistry and mechanism of anaerobic exercises is the process called glycolysis. In this process glucose is converted in the body to an ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the basic source of energy for our body’s cellular processes and reactions.
During anaerobic exercise , Lactic acid is produced at a significant rate which can cause it to quickly build up . When lactate is built-up above what we call the “lactate threshold” or the “anaerobic threshold” one can experience muscle fatigue or a lessening of muscle strength. So, exercise trainers have used anaerobic exercise to help participants build endurance, muscle strength and power.
HIIT exercise is known to give participants an enhanced athletic condition and physical capability as well as improved metabolism of glucose in the body. Studies have also shown that HIIT workouts have produced considerable reduction in the participants’ whole-body fat mass levels.
HIIT regimens usually consist of a warm up period, then repetitions of high-intensity anaerobic exercise, separated by medium intensity recovery exercises that wind up with a cool down phase. HIIT exercise has no specifica formula to follow. It generally depends on the cardiovascular strength of the trainee. What trainers usually do is give the trainee a 2:1 ratio of anaerobic exercise or hard sprinting and recovery periods, repeated in 2-3 cycles before cooling down. Recovery periods can be moderate as jogging or slow as walking. Each regimen can last from 20-30 minutes.
What Exactly is HIIT Exercise – The One Minute Weight Loss Regimen?
The HIIT Exercise when done properly can actually be very effective for weight loss. With this kind of workout, you can lose weight spending less time on the routines. When you get your body to an intense anaerobic state doing sprinting exercises for a shorter period of time followed by a recovery period of medium physical activity, you effectively burn fat and lose weight.
The key for this form of exercise is to bring your body to the lactate threshold by doing intense workout. You need to bring your body into this threshold. Don’t worry because it should not be long before you get to this state. Sprinting exercises for up to 2 minutes should get you there and you can follow this with a recovery period of medium exercise. If you’re new, try shorter intervals until you get your body adjusted. If you can do 15 seconds of anaerobic exercise for the first time is much better than nothing at all. Just increase as your endurance builds up and your muscles gain strength.
How Does Anaerobic Exercise in HIIT Help You Lose Weight?
During anaerobic exercise can make your body break down glucose rapidly for energy. The results of this rapid breakdown is the production of lactic acid. Lactic acid may sound negative especially when it could mean muscle fatigue and stress. But this may not necessarily be so, actually lactic acid forms every time we push ourselves to the limit. We may suffer muscle fatigue but we build endurance and muscle power as well.
The main thrust of HIIT is that it can burn more calories in a shorter period of time by utilizing the anaerobic state. When you can go sprinting and alternate high intensity exercise with low-intensity aerobic exercise until the body becomes too tired to continue, then you effectively lose weight. A good 20-30 minutes of HIIT exercise, depending on how fit you are, will give you noticeable benefits. If you’re new you can try 15 minutes of this alternative Sprint Interval Training and slowly build up as you gain strength.
What Benefits Do I Get from HIIT Exercise?
Good question! Some benefits are:
In 2015 a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that HIIT endurance training actually led to significantly improved cardiovascular fitness in adults 18-45 years old. Another study found out that not only HIIT contributed to one’s cardio fitness but has also led to significant improvement in body composition, meaning muscle build-up.
A separate systematic review and meta-analysis also found that HIIT is better and more effective than moderate-intensity workouts at improving the functions of blood vessels and greater improvements in people with coronary artery disease.
Improved Metabolism For Weight Loss
HIIT has shown to significantly lower insulin resistance compared to continuous training and increased weight loss.
Also a 2007 study on HIIT’s effects on fat oxidation in moderately active women showed improved whole body fat oxidation and capacity for skeletal muscles to oxidize. The study made the women perform HIIT regimen of 4-minute cycling burst at high intensity with a 2 minutes interval for recovery period over a 2 week period done every other day.
These studies said that HIIT can result in the modest reduction of the subcutaneous fat in healthy young individuals, while greater reductions are observed for overweight individuals.
Enhanced Brain Power
A 2017 study that examined the relevance of HIIT on the cognitive performance of children found that HIIT is beneficial for cognitive control and capacity for working memory as compared to a blend of computer games, board games or trivia quizzes. This study concluded that short and potent exercises are a promising alternative to improve cognitive skills in children.
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- HIIT FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions about High-Intensity Interval Training)”. DOHIIT. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
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