Are you looking for an effective way to get rid of those stubborn pounds? If so, you have probably look into countless fad diets and workout supplements in an attempt to lose as much weight in as little time as possible. The problem, however, is that most of these supplements and diet programs do not work. You should not fall for their claims of helping you reach your ideal weight in a matter of a couple of days. There is no magic pill that can trim your body fat. You have to put in the time and effort to achieve your fitness goals.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
During your research, you have probably stumbled upon high-intensity interval training. Everyone seems to be raving about this workout program these days, but does it really work for weight loss and is it effective for beginners? Often called HIIT, this style of working out involves alternating between intense and low effort workout periods.
The idea is to push your body to its metabolic limits during the high-intensity interval periods. You must go as hard as you can for short bursts. After this, you will perform low-intensity intervals to allow your body to recover. This is very you take the time to catch your breath while still performing low-intensity exercise is to keep burning extra calories.
By now, you may already be aware of how HIIT works. But there are still questions you need to seek answers for. For example, you should learn how intense you should go during the high-intensity interval sessions. How long should your rest periods be between intervals? How frequently should you do HIIT per week? Should you engage in other workout routines other than HIIT?
Getting answers to these questions is critical to achieving your fitness goals. Despite what many people would have you believe, HIIT isn’t the only thing that could help you lose weight.
How HIIT Actually Works
If you want to go a bit scientific, then you should learn that HIIT is all about maximizing the volume of oxygen your body can use during an intense workout session. This is often referred to as your VO2 max. It plays a significant factor in determining how high your endurance level is.
According to studies, your high-intensity interval sessions should make your body reach between 80 and 100% of your body’s VO2 max. The problem, though, is that you probably don’t have any idea what your VO2 max currently is.
The good news is that there is a simple trick you can use to approximate this metric. After performing a high-intensity interval and you feel as if you cannot take in as much oxygen as your body wants, then you have probably reached your target. If you can still convertors pretty smoothly, then you need to work a little bit harder. For most people, this translates to giving about 90% of their total physical effort.
HIIT vs. Low-Intensity Cardio Exercises
If you’ve been hitting the gym for quite some time now, then you have probably seen a lot of people walking or jogging on the treadmill for what seems like forever. They believe that low-intensity forms of cardio are the best way to burn fat and lose weight. It is hard to put the blame on them, however, considering the fact that research shows low-intensity exercise is use energy from fat stores instead of glycogen.
Multiple studies, however, prove that shorter periods of high-intensity cardio exercises result in more fat loss compared to longer, low-intensity forms of cardio. This is why you need to engage in HIIT to see a lower number on the weighing scale as quickly as you can.
You should get back to the basics to understand why HIIT works well for a weight loss. It allows your body to burn more calories than a low-intensity exercise.
For example, you jog multiple times a week and you burn 200 calories per session. Let’s say that about 100 of those calories come from fat stores.
This may result in weight loss, but you can improve the results by engaging in high-intensity workouts. A high-intensity cardio of equal duration can help your body burn up to 400 calories per session, about 150 of which comes from fat stores.
Assuming that you keep the same diet, it’s easy to see how HIIT helps you lose more weight compared to other forms of cardio.
The Bottom Line
There is a reason why so many people have gotten into high-intensity interval training. It’s not just a fad that promises to help you lose those extra pounds without exerting any effort. Just remember that you need to sustain those high-intensity intervals for an extended period – if you’re looking for an all-in-one HIIT machine, check out the Bowflex HVT. This requires strength, endurance, and willpower. It wouldn’t be easy, but you will thank yourself for putting in the time and effort once you see those stubborn pounds go away.