You have probably been told, just like the rest of us, that in order to burn the greatest amount of fat you need to do cardio for 20 to 60 minutes at a moderate intensity. This will indeed melt the fat away, but HIIT is a more efficient and athlete-friendly way to train and burn fat at the same time.
How HIIT Works
With HIIT, you will be working harder than you normally work but for about a quarter to a half of the time that you would normally spend on the cardio machine of your choice. HIIT is so intense and effective that you only need 15 to 20 minutes, tops!
Here's What You Do:
- Pick the cardio machine of your choice (treadmill, elliptical, rower, bike, swimming) and perform a 5 minute warm-up.
- Then take time to stretch properly and you are ready to begin.
- Start at a moderate pace for 1 minute, then crank up the pace to 90 or 95% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).
- Continue at this effort for 15 to 20 seconds, then slow down to your starting pace for another minute followed by another all-out sprint for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Do this for no more than 15 minutes.
- After that finish your workout by cooling down for 5 minutes and thoroughly stretch afterwards.
If you perform this right I guarantee that you will be totally exhausted after 20 minutes of this.
Benefits Of HIIT
A study at Laval University in Quebec, Canada found that HIIT cardio helped trainees loose nine (yes, 9!) times more fat than those who trained the traditional way (moderate speed for 20-60 minutes). Combine HIIT with your weight program and you boost your metabolism through the roof!
The Reason HIIT Is So Successful:
- When you work at a high intensity, you burn more total calories per pound of body weight.
- High Intensity workouts such as weight training and HIIT boost growth hormone levels.
- Elevates the body's metabolism throughout the entire day!
What does this mean for you? The more calories that you burn in a day, the more weight you are able to lose. Even if weight loss is not your goal, HIIT is for you. Athletes will see better gains from doing HIIT cardio as opposed to traditional cardio.
Unless you are training for a marathon, you do not keep a constant pace during your sport. All sports whether it be soccer or football, even baseball or basketball have a point where you need to change gears and hit a full sprint.
HIIT will not only help your cardiovascular system, but will train the anaerobic ATP/CP system as well. Not only will you increase your cardiovascular endurance, but improve your raw speed and explosiveness as well!
What Is ATP
Otherwise known as Adenosine TriPhosphate, ATP is critical to the release of energy. ATP is an adenosine-derived nucleotide that supplies large amounts of energy to cells for various biochemical processes, including muscle contraction and sugar metabolism, through its hydrolysis to ADP.
I will let the study speak for itself. HIIT provides a more effective workout in much less time! Everyone can benefit from HIIT cardio, whether it be the person who is trying to lose weight or the professional football player training for the upcoming NFL season! Give HIIT a try and I am sure that you will not go back to the traditional way of performing cardio again!