Maximizing Fat Loss with High-Intensity Training
HIIT workouts are incredibly popular. These quick (but intense) workouts are becoming more and more of the norm. If you’ve ever seen someone sprinting on the treadmill or doing a crazy sweaty circuit in the gym, they’re probably taking advantage of the benefits of HIIT.
Still, even with all its recent popularity, high-intensity training has actually been around a long time, since at least 1910 when professional runners and Olympic athletes used interval training to improve stamina.
It’s no secret that people see fantastic results by using HIIT to maximize fat loss and save time.
The Difference Between HIIT and LISS
First, let’s explore what HIIT and LISS mean respectively.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It’s characterized by periods of intense activity interspersed with short rest periods. A great example of HIIT-style training is sprinting. You perform at the top of your threshold for a short time before you take a break to recover.
LISS stands for low-intensity steady-state training. LISS is characterized by steadily working at less than maximum effort for long periods of time without a break. Going back to the running example, long-distance running is a type of LISS exercise.
Both have their pros and cons and most fitness experts agree that incorporating both styles into your workout regimen will show the best results. However, it’s been agreed upon that HIIT is best for those short on time. Here’s why.
HIIT is More Efficient
What does a HIIT workout actually look like? Let’s break it down.
HIIT workouts alternate between an extreme stage lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 20 minutes where the activity is performed at 90%+ of a person’s maximal heart rate. The rest stage lasts 2 to 3 times as long but where the activity is performed at 40% to 50% of a person’s maximum heart rate.
Since your heart rate is being elevated quickly, it is essentially training your heart to recover just as quickly. Experts agree that the effectiveness of HIIT is all about your heart’s ability to pump blood through your body. After all, that’s what fitness is all about – your body’s ability to recover quickly. Long story short, HIIT creates more variability in your heart rate.
HIIT is also effective for two other reasons: it increases your lactate threshold and it can burn fat for hours after a workout.
You know that burning feeling you get during an exercise? That is caused by the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles. When you do intense training (such as HIIT), your body goes into an anaerobic state (meaning it produces energy without the use of oxygen) and does not remove the lactate from your muscles. Aerobic training, on the other hand, uses oxygen and so you don’t get that burning sensation. One benefit of HIIT is that it increases your lactate threshold and you’ll be able to work out harder.
Furthermore, after a HIIT workout, your body experiences something called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). During intense exercise, your body gets depleted of oxygen so after your workout it increases the rate of oxygen intake to compensate. That means that your body continues burning calories for up to 24 hours after a workout. It doesn’t get much better than that!
To sum up, HIIT effectively targets your anaerobic energy system which causes more heart rate variability compared to LISS. A common comparison shows that 20 minutes of HIIT can have the same result as 50 minutes of LISS training. We’re all busy and that extra half an hour goes a long way.
HIIT and Fat Loss
In addition to saving time and having a super-strong heart, HIIT also aids in fat loss.
HIIT contributes to burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout. Studies have shown that HIIT significantly increases epinephrine and norepinephrine levels over the course of three months with just 15 minutes of HIIT per day. This suggests that your hormones are creating a continuous metabolic state post-exercise. In other words, your body is continuing to burn fat while you sleep. It doesn’t get better than that.
For many people, doing HIIT for 25 minutes at a time, for example, instead of an hour of LISS on the elliptical creates a better relationship with exercise for them. And with all of the amazing benefits that have been observed thanks to HIIT, we’d have to agree that it’s worth a shot.
If you’re brand new to exercise, it’s essential to work with a personal trainer to minimize any risks of injury. There is a risk of jumping into HIIT workouts too quickly, especially if your current level of cardio fitness or joint strength is lacking.
HIIT workouts do take a larger toll on your body and if you’re doing strength training, you’ll need to manage your recovery carefully. LISS can work together with HIIT workouts because they can be done more frequently with fewer impacts on your strength training. But again, that’s where working with a personal trainer in Dubai is essential.
The best fitness trainers in Dubai will work with you to gradually increase your stamina and soon enough, you’ll experience all the benefits of HIIT that so many others have come to know and love.