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Does HIIT REALLY burn 9x more fat?

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Old 02-23-2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Does HIIT REALLY burn 9x more fat?

I read this somewhere online. However, the methods seemed awfully complicated... and it said you couldn't use a treadmill. I dunno. However, I was wondering how many people here use High Intensity Interval Training- and do you feel it is really more effective than steady cardio? I am thinking of trying it. But, I haven't done it before. Would it be okay if I just ran until I couldn't run anymore, and then powerwalked until I had receovered? Or do I really need to time myself? How long should I do it for? I really feel like I need to take my workouts to a more intense level. I really want to get the biggest bang for my buck when it comes to exercise, ya know? I would LOVE insight on this from people who have done it.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:08 AM   #2
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Overall, HIIT burns more calories than steady state, because the calorie burn lasts longer after the session is finished. With steady state you burn calories during the exercise and only for about half an hour afterwards.

HIIT just means that you go for an all out sprint then drop back to a recovery period, using short intervals. Yes, you can use a treadmill. I am not a runner, and at -25 outside, will not run/walk outside.

You can start with interval training. Walk/jog at a higher speed for 1-4 minutes, then drop the speed for a recovery time. The ratio is up to you. Sometimes I do 4 minute intervals, sometimes 2 min, sometimes even 10 min, adjusting the speed to the length of the interval.

Steady state cardio has its place in a cardio program, so don't drop it. Instead, mix it up- try intervals, then steady state, etc

When I actually manage to get to the gym consistently, I will do an interval session, try to surpass it the next time, aim for a HIIT the next time, then drop back to steady state the next time. It just gives me a bit of a challenge and variety.

Hope this helps...
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Many of the programs I've purchased for fat loss suggest a 3 day/week full-body weight liffting regime with 2-3 sessions of HIIT. The HIIT sessions are anywhere from 20-25 minutes long. Some people do longer intervals, but I've seen recommendations as low as 30 second sprints with 1 minute of "recovery" (a walk), to as high as 5 minute sprints with 5 minutes of recovery. I think depends on where you are physically. I tend to like the shorter sprints/recovery version--it's less like steady-state cardio that way.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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I would think that '9x' is probably a big overstatement, but HIIT does burn more calories than steady-state cardio and it has an 'afterburn' effect that has you burning more calories for the rest of the day. I also like it because I find steady-state cardio to be a tad boring, and HIIT is not boring to me--it's too hard to be boring.

For those unfamiliar with HIIT, the idea is that for 1 minute (or 30 seconds) you push yourself as hard as you possibly can (without burning out or hurting yourself), and then you recover for 1 minute (or 2 minutes) and catch your breath and then do the hard interval again.

You absolutely can use a treadmill. I do all my HIIT on the treadmill--I run (steady-state) outside but don't do HIIT outside. That would be inordinately complicated. The timing and interval part is important because you're trying to make the cardio as INefficient as possible for your body. Your body gets constantly thrown off by the speeding up and slowing down, and it's that inefficiency that gives you the extra calorie bang.

Where you start depends on your level of fitness. 15 mins of HIIT before your steady-state cardio is probably a good place to begin, and you can work up to faster and harder intervals. I'm fairly fit and at the moment, my intervals are 1 min walking 4mph (brisk, but only marginally faster than the pace I use for wandering around my life--it is important that the slower interval be slow enough that you can fully recover before the next HI interval), then 1 min running 9mph (which, right now, is as fast as I can run for 1 min), 1 min walk etc. The goal is to keep pushing the intensity of the sprint minutes and make steady improvements there. If you're not that into running, you can get the same effect with inclines or with the resistance levels on the elliptical or bike.

Fun!
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Last edited by baffled111 : 02-23-2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
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I can only do HIIT on a dreadmill because I'd rather gouge my eyes out than doing long and steady on one of those...lol... so when I absolutely must work inside I do HIIT because I can be on and of that thing within 30 minutes... ... Outside it just seems weird, for me anyways, to do HIIT... HIIT is probably automatic when your outside because there are hills, stop lights, etc that are making you stop and slow down all the time...
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:15 PM   #6
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Default HIIT on the elliptical

I do HIIT on the elliptical which works incredibly well. I usually warm up for 5-10 minutes, do HIIT for 20-25 minutes, rest for 5 minutes then do steady state for 20-30 minutes (total usually around 60 minutes). This is a pattern recommended in New Rules for Lifting for Women book for people who just can't bear to give up their endurance work. I do different patterns just to mix things up and will do this generally 2x per week (in addition to other cardio and weight lifting). Here are two different patterns that I do on the elliptical that give a good workout:

Patttern 1

10 minute warm up, building up to your base level for HIIT (I will start at level 6 and over 10 minutes work up to level 10).

20-30 minutes HIIT -- 1 minute at level 15, 2 minutes at level 10, repeat as many times as I can handle.

5 minutes off the machine or slow at level 1

20 minutes steady pace, starting at level 7 and going up one level every 5 minutes


Pattern 2 - Ascending HIIT (this one's a killer)

10 minute warm up (same as above)

20-30 minutes HIIT -- 1 minute level 10, 1 minute level 11, 1 minute level 10, 1 minute level 12, 1 minute level 10, 1 minute level 13, 1 minute level 10, 1 minute level 14, 1 minute level 10, 1 minute level 15. At this point, I usually descend through the cycle or start the cycle over.

5 minutes off the machine or slow at level 1

20 minutes steady pace, starting at level 7 and going up one level every 5 minutes


There are also HIIT workouts that include exercise not using machines doing things like burpees, jump rope, jumping jacks, etc. Also, spinning classes will often incorporate HIIT. Fartleks and speed work in running are also HIIT.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:47 PM   #7
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Hey Rif, welcome! If you're doing the NROLW program, come hang out in the Strength Training forum. Several of us are doing the program and griping about it.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:28 AM   #8
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I just started doing HIIT on my treadmill and really love it!!
I had been doing long endurance sessions of power walking --up to nearly two hours which was really kind of ridiculous.
I used to run but never got back to it after I broke my leg.
What I love about HIIT is that as a number of people have said it is not boring. I'm so focused on timing the intervals that my mind stays engaged.
I've started slowly ( I hit my weight goal about a year ago and am actually lower now so weight loss is not a goal for me though maintenance certainly is) and am building up by .1 for the sprint part ( really a jog for me) each session.
I do 3 sessions a week and 3 sessions of WL.
Since I am not nearly as fit as Baff ( and older I would guess), I started with the suggested beginning pace of 6 to 7% of perceived exertion on the sprint parts and am going to work up to the 9% of perceived exertion.
I do 1 m. sprint and 2 min recovery.
In a video that was posted to another fitness site Craig Ballentyne of Tubulence Training said it is very important to go down to a slow walk for the recovery time.
I go down to 3.5
I decided to do a combo HIIT and endurance session of an hour with 15 mins of warm up/steady state walking and 15 mins of cool down/ steady state cardio and 30 mins of HIIT.
I had thought of doing the couch to 5K program in order to run for 1/2 an hour but really I think I would find it too boring after the "fun" of doing the HIIT sessions.
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Last edited by KatieK : 02-24-2008 at 09:45 AM.
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