Yes, that is a real thing, unless you believe that the longer you can maintain the same pace on that treadmill the more fat you will burn. With high-intensity interval training, or HIIT as it is casually called to make things easier for all of us, you can be burning way more fat by spending way less time at the gym.
And no, you don’t have to indulge in very difficult exercises to indulge in HIIT. In fact, you can incorporate it within your regular workouts and see amazing differences in the results you will begin to achieve.
What is HITT?
High-intensity Interval Training, as the name somewhat suggests, basically refers to training with appropriate intervals between workouts to trick your body into thinking that the workout has finished, and then restarting at the same pace to make your body exert more energy to regain that same momentum, subsequently burning more fat in the process.
This does not mean that you stop a workout for 10 minutes and then restart it and call it a HIIT. The trick lies in stopping and restarting with the right time of intervals in between, usually 10 seconds.
It Burns More Calories
This does not mean that you can burn more calories regardless of whatever workout you do with HIIT. But if you compare the same workout as a standalone and with a HIIT version of it, you will realize that the same workout will enable you to burn more calories when done with the HIIT method as when done the usual way.
More Fat Burn In Lesser Time
Usually we indulge in endurance training when we are trying to target that extra layer of fat beneath our skin which we absolutely hate. With HIIT, you can be sure to burn fat much faster than any endurance exercise when performed the same amount of time.
This happens because of the body’s heightened need for an energy source, as the level of exertion under HIIT is much higher. To fulfil this need, the body switches to a heavier source of energy, which is fat, thereby burning fat from even the hardest areas, such as the stomach.
According to the Journal of Obesity, indulging in only 20 minutes of HIIT workout of various kinds three times a week helped people lose around 4.4 pounds of fat from their body in only three months.
The Calorie Burn Happens Even After the Workout
The trick to burning calories is to keep that metabolism rate in the body as high as possible. Unfortunately, our metabolism does not work that way, and slows down immensely especially when we are sitting idle.
HIIT exercises keep this metabolism going even after the workout is long over, because we push our bodies beyond their capacity to the point where it becomes difficult to breathe. Since it takes effort for our body to calm itself, hence more calories are burned to bring the body back to a full resting state, even though the exercise has stopped.
It Strengthens the Heart
There is no workout at the gym which targets the heart, although exercise of any kind does good to it. But indulging in HIIT puts extra stress on the heart, making it work harder than it does with normal workouts, eventually making it stronger and healthier. This theory is backed by the American Council on Exercise, which has drawn a parallel between HIIT workouts and improved cardiovascular strength.
Lower Blood Sugar and Optimal Blood Pressure
Many around the world suffer from increased blood sugar levels caused by heavy food intake or a high or low blood pressure due to a variety of factors. HIIT workouts help solve both problems, as it has been linked to better insulin resistance. Since we’ve already established that these workouts drastically improve cardiovascular health, it only makes sense that blood pressure levels become optimal as well.
More Oxygen Consumption
Now this is a good thing because it improves your lung capacity as well as clears out your cardiorespiratory system, enabling better consumption of oxygen by the body. This means that your stamina will improve as time passes, meaning that you will not find walking up the stairs as strenuous as before.