HIIT Your Cardio Hard

High-Intensity Interval Training is a workout strategy that is intended to increase performance with shorter training sessions. High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is one of the best methods for muscle retention and fat loss. Studies have shown that long endurance activities such as aerobics cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which is why HIIT should be emphasized. HIIT and interval training are very similar and the only difference between them is the intensity in which they are done. Interval training is a varying of intensities within a workout, where you add a low-intensity session with a high-intensity session.

You can perform your interval training in many ways, and you should also use variety. It can be performed on a Stairmaster, mountain bike, local track, or stationary bike. As with all methods of exercise, you should rotate the type of exercise performed to keep your body from adapting. If you desire longer-lasting results, cardiovascular work should be a priority on your fitness to-do list. Your main emphasis in exercise should be on cardio health, strength training, and flexibility. As with most cardio exercises, you should track your heart rate, distance, intensity, length, target heart rate, calories burned, and cool-down time.

One of the great things about HIIT is that it can be applied to other activities as well. Running stairs, riding a stationary bike, a stair-stepper, or any activity where you can shift from high intensity to low intensity will work wonders. Let`s say that you`re going to add HIIT to running sprints or steps. Start working in intervals! Jog for a certain amount of time, sprint for a certain amount of time, followed by a short jogging session, and keep repeating a certain sequence until your time is finished.

We`ve always been told that low-intensity aerobic exercise is the best method for ridding the body of unwanted fat. However, new research proves this opinion to be false. The reason that this low-intensity opinion of cardio exercise came about is a study that showed that lower intensity cardio burns a greater percentage of calories as opposed to carbs. In research, HIIT has been shown to burn fat 50% more effectively than of lower-intensity exercise. HIIT speeds your metabolism and keeps it running at a fast rate for up to sixteen hours after your workout. The bottom line is that HIIT burns a higher number of calories than that of lower intensity.

If you are looking to burn fat quickly, HIIT is the way to go. However, not everyone responds properly to this method. Diabetics whose body already has problems managing carbs should not train with HIIT. Other people who have just started a workout program should start with low-intensity and slowly start incorporating intervals as they get more advanced. The demands of HIIT can only be used by experienced trainees because newbies will simply give up after the first day of hard work. Take things one day at a time and the results will be experienced at a later time.

Zach Bashore
April 26, 2006

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