Research has shown that runners can actually gain weight over time if they don’t switch up their cardio workouts. This is because your body begins to adapt to an exercise over time. In order to reap all the benefits of your workout, it is important to challenge your body. One way to do this is through HIIT Cardio Workouts.
What Does a HIIT Cardio Workout Entail?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. While this routine is relatively short, it is quite challenging. HIIT works by consistently changing the speed, distance, and rate of your workout, confusing your body and scorching calories. This routine can be done using any type of cardiovascular workout (i.e. running, elliptical, biking, etc.). A basic HIIT routine might consist of a five minute warm-up at a good pace, followed by the highest increase in intensity you feel you can exert for one minute, and a return to a steady pace for another minute.
This pattern is repeated for the remainder of the workout, which can continue anywhere from six to ten repetitions, depending on your fitness level. Most HIIT programs will last from fifteen to thirty minutes. Starting out, you will likely find that a one-minute rest period is too little. If this is the case, it is ok to take another minute or so, just until you feel you can give it your all again. As with most cardio workout routines, HIIT should be performed about three times a week.
The Benefits of HIIT Training
The first, and most obvious benefit of this type of cardio training is time. One of the most common reasons people fail to maintain their workout routines, or simply elect not to workout at all, is time. With HIIT, you can complete a quality cardio workout in four to thirty minutes (that’s right, four minutes), depending on the specific routine you choose.
HIIT can also improve cardiovascular endurance, making workouts not only shorter, but easier. Since you’re not working at a steady pace, HIIT increases the maximum amount of oxygen your body can take during exercise (known as your VO2 max).
Another benefit of this type of training will greatly appeal to bodybuilders. As opposed to long-duration exercise at a moderate pace, HIIT does not put the body into a catabolic state (in which the body actually burns muscle instead of fat). That’s right, if you don’t vary your routine, you can actually begin to lose muscle and gain fat!
If you think the benefits of HIIT are limited to those fifteen or twenty minutes you’re on the treadmill, think again. This workout can elevate your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) for up to twenty-four hours after your session is complete! This means that you are burning more calories when you’re sitting at your desk, watching TV, and engaging in any other everyday activity that requires little to no effort.
Whether you’re short on time but still want to lose weight and keep in shape, or you’re a bodybuilder looking to burn fat and show off your hard earned muscle, a HIIT routine will ensure you meet all of your fitness goals!