October 11th, 2019 | Updated on June 5th, 2020
HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training, has been all the rage nowadays. It seems that every personal trainer, fitness guru, and online marketer is recommending it to their clients. Does it really live up to the hype, though? Well the answer is fortunately, a big fat yes.
Study upon study has verified the benefits of high intensity interval training, and some studies even suggest that it’s better than steady state cardiovascular training. Here’s a few of science-backed reasons why you should add HIIT to your training regimen.
1. Improved Metabolic Rate
Many people are concerned about how many calories they burn while on the treadmill, but did you know that most of the benefit to cardio isn’t even the calories you burn while doing it?
Studies have found that HIIT in particular improves your metabolic rate long after you’ve hopped off that elliptical, with some showing that the benefits last as long as 24 hours.
According to one study conducted by a Canadian university, the benefits of high intensity interval training can last as long as 24 hours afterwards:
- “Despite large differences in exercise VO₂, the protracted effects of SIE result in a similar total VO₂ over 24 hr vs.
- CEE, indicating that the significant body-fat losses observed previously with SIT are partially due to increases in metabolism post exercise.”
So, the next time you think about doing a grueling 90 minute steady state cardio session, think again and consider adding in a quick spurt of high intensity interval training.
In addition to this, consider using a pre workout supplement before you do your HIIT, so that you can gain the added metabolic benefits, plus more energy to power through your workout.
2. Boosted Endurance
Many people think that you have to run for hours at a time to boost your endurance, but the latest research shows that the exact opposite may be true. While steady state cardio certainly does have its place, HIIT may be a good way to increase endurance as well.
According to a study published by the University of New Mexico, a little bit of all out HIIT not only increases skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, but improves endurance as well:
- “The major goals of most endurance exercise programs are to improve cardiovascular, metabolic, and skeletal muscle function in the body. For years continuous aerobic exercise has been the chosen method to achieve these goals.
- However, research shows that HIIT leads to similar and in some cases better improvements in shorter periods of time with some physiological markers.
- Incorporating HIIT (at the appropriate level of intensity and frequency) into a client’s cardiovascular training allows exercise enthusiasts to reach their goals in a very time efficient manner.”
While HIIT is certainly no way to prepare for an ultra-marathon, if you’re looking for a time efficient way to quickly improve your endurance, HIIT may be the answer to your problems.
3. Anti-Aging Benefits
Exercise is well known for its ability to stave off the grim reaper, but what about high intensity interval training? Well, according to a paper presentation at the 2012 European Society of Cardiology annual meeting, it may have a ton of benefits as well.
The paper found that subjects who participated in frequent high intensity interval training had increased telomerase production, as well as decreased p53 expression, both of which are good for preventing the aging process.
In addition to having a positive impact on DNA, the paper found that HIIT also:
- Firms skin up
- Increases energy
- Improves muscle tone
Seeing that wrinkly skin, decreased energy, and less strength are three major indicators of aging, it may be a good idea to jump on that exercise bike and do some HIIT a couple times a week.
4. Increased HGH
One of the major benefits of high intensity interval training is its ability to increase human growth hormone production in the body. In fact, according to modern research, HIIT may be the holy grail for unlocking the human body’s production of HGH.
HGH has long been known to help users build muscle fast, particularly if they’re a hardgainer. This is important, because HGH is well known to increase muscle mass very rapidly.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Physical Education in the UK, HIIT can potentially increase HGH production by as much as 450%:
- “Three of the participants completed a further control trial involving no exercise. Metabolic responses were greater after the 30 s sprint than after the 6 s sprint. The highest measured mean serum hGH concentrations after the 30 s sprint were more than 450% greater than after the 6 s sprint (18.5 +/- 3.1 vs 4.0 +/- 1.5 microg l(-1), P < 0.05). Serum hGH also remained elevated for 90-120 min after the 30 s sprint compared with approximately 60 min after the 6 s sprint.”
- “There was a large inter-individual variation in the hGH response to the 30 s sprint. In the control trial, serum hGH concentrations were not elevated above baseline at any time. It would appear that the duration of a bout of maximal sprint exercise determines the magnitude of the hGH response, although the mechanism for this is still unclear.”
This is by far the most impressive benefit of HIIT so far, and although more research is needed to confirm it, the science paints a clear picture. Whether you’re old, young, a bodybuilder, or just an amateur weightlifter, adding some HIIT into your routine may not be a bad idea.
In conclusion, adding some HIIT to your workout routine is one of the most potent ways to shred body fat. Whether you’re old or young, a bodybuilder or a powerlifter, adding some High Intensity Interval Training into your workout routine is a great thing to do.
Not only will you improve your hormonal profile, but you’ll also improve your strength by upgrading your heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently. You’ll get more Human Growth Hormone (HGH), less wrinkles, more endurance, and better metabolism. What’s not to love?
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