High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an enhanced form of interval training
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training is commonly referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you’d just done a steady-state workout.
This means that you will be burning up to nine times more fat while sitting on the couch later that night than you would have if you’d spent an hour on the treadmill at a moderate pace.
Obviously, I am talking about intense training. You will need to push yourself out of that comfort zone you have gotten used to and really challenge yourself. If you are willing to do this, however, I can guarantee that you will spend less than half the time you usually do on those machines and get much leaner in the process.
The benefits of HIIT
HIIT training has a number of benefits in addition to the reduction in training time. First of all, this type of training is far superior to steady-state exercises when it comes to increasing your VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you can uptake during exercise. This means that you’ll be in much better shape when it comes time to play a game of football with the guys.
Secondly, when you perform long-duration, moderate-intensity exercise, you can actually put yourself in a catabolic state in which you will start losing muscle mass. That’s right: Some of that hard-earned muscle will start degrading itself in your quest to get lean.
The reason is that there are two types of muscle fibers in your body: fast twitch and slow twitch.
Slow twitch fibers are more compatible with endurance training (such as a steady-state one-hour run), whereas fast twitch fibers are more compatible with short, intense bouts of exercise (such as weightlifting or sprinting).
When we train in one of these modes, our muscle tissue has a tendency to take on the appropriate properties. As an illustration, imagine a marathon runner and a sprinter. The sprinter is composed of fast twitch muscles and carries a great deal more muscle mass, whereas the marathoner has a lot of thin, slow twitch muscle fibers so that his body is as light as possible to transport across those great distances.
This is going to the extreme to prove a point; however, you can see how much of a difference the type of training you do has on your body shape.