Learn about HIIT training and all its benefits

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You’ve probably heard of HIIT workouts more than once. This acronym comes from “High-Intensity Interval Training”, which translates as “High-Intensity Interval Training” and is known as one of the most effective workouts to lose fat, but it also provides a number of other benefits. 

This type of training is characterized by the performance of short high-intensity cardiovascular training sessions at maximum speed, alternating with periods of low intensity or recovery. 

You can apply the HIIT methodology to different activities, whether in bodyweight training, such as bicycles, ellipticals, or treadmills.

HIIT training benefits

Speeds up metabolism

This is one of the great benefits of HIIT, since increasing the basal metabolism implies an increase in the energy that the body requires to fulfill basic functions, so even at rest, we will continue to burn calories. This is attributed to the EPOC effect (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which means an excess of oxygen consumption post-exercise. The additional consumption of oxygen at the end of a training session is intended to return the body to its state of balance and is what will allow energy expenditure at rest, for approximately 36 hours after training. 

More in less time 

HIIT seeks that in the high-intensity intervals we really work at our maximum performance capacity, around 80-90% of our heart rate, so they last between 4 to 20 minutes, as it is the time that the body can really resist working at maximum intensity. So in a very short period of time, you can perform a very complete training. 

Improves stamina

The HIIT methodology workouts record an improvement in VO2 max. This is one of the best indicators to measure cardiovascular endurance and accounts for the body’s ability to transport oxygen to the muscles during training. In addition, it increases the body’s ability to use fat for energy, increasing endurance in long-term activities (such as long-distance running). 

Increase in muscle mass and power 

For the reasons that we already saw previously, HIIT workouts are known as one of the most effective ways to burn fat, however, they also favor muscle power, that is, there is an improvement in the strength-speed relationship. On the other hand, it generates an increase in free testosterone levels, favoring muscle gain. 

Read More: 8 steps to improve recovery after training

How to perform a HIIT workout?

hiit training

The HIIT methodology is applicable to any cardiovascular exercise, so you can perform high-intensity interval training in routines with body weight, cycling, elliptical, treadmill, or whatever your option for cardiovascular training is. 

We tell you about some methods to perform HIIT workouts

Tabata method 

This method consists of a 4-minute workout, performing 8 high-intensity intervals of 20 seconds each, alternated by 10 seconds of total rest or active rest with moderate-low intensity exercises. 

You can apply this method by choosing a single exercise to perform the 8 intervals, four different exercises, and giving it two laps or you can even make all your exercises different. 

HIIT Giabala method

This method is recommended if you have not been training for a long time, as it is a little less intense than Tabata, but with the same benefits as HIIT training. 

This consists of performing 30 seconds of high-intensity exercises, interspersed with 4 minutes of active rest with low-intensity exercises. The number of sessions can vary according to the physical condition of each person, but in the case of people with good physical conditioning it could reach up to 7 or 8 repetitions. 

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Little-Gibala method 

This is a variant of the Gibala Method, being a little more intense than the traditional Giabala, as it increases the time working at high intensity and decreases active rest. 

This method consists of performing 60-second sessions at high intensity, interspersed with 75 seconds of active recovery with moderate-low intensity exercises.