I know among my friends and family HIIT is not commonly discussed, and no it’s not because I hang out with fat and lazy people, or that my family is not obsessed with workouts like I am, rather HIIT is somewhat new to fitness, and most of my friends and family are of the older set, so we aren’t as “with it” if you will.
Runner’s world published a great article on incorporating HIIT and a running routine, with the concept of running faster when incorporating HIIT into your daily workouts.
While HIIT definitions vary, repeats are generally 10 to 60 seconds long, run nearly full out, and are followed by a rest period lasting one to four times the length of the effort (so you’re recovered to do the next repeat at the same speed and with good form). Researchers have found the low volume, high intensity approach of HIIT training can boost your speed and fitness. -Runner’s World
There are some disadvantages to HIIT in that injury seems to be more prevalent, but this could be due to the levels of fatigue and not having good form. Runner’s world mentioned performing HIIT in terms of running only, but I’ve been experimenting with other forms of HIIT like P90X3 and 21 Day Fix to really get my body ready for my long runs and I can say I have really seen a difference in my body over the last 6 months. I used to run only as my form of exercise, and while my cardio was, and still is, strong, my body was never all that strong. I could never do a pull up before doing P90X3, and now I can do at least 4, and can do many sets when using the pull up assist.
A lot of the studies I’ve read, or found on the web have shown that HIIT is the best form of fat burning, and maintaining muscle mass available. And well after the exercise is completed these studies have shown that HIIT workouts burn 8-9 times more fat than normal cardio workouts. And while HIIT burns a lot of calories during the workout, where it shines is post workout where upto 24 hours later your metabolism stays elevated, meaning more calories burned over the following 24 hours than would have been burned had you not done a HIIT workout.
Some of the benefits include
- Burn more calories
- Fat burning increases during and post workout
- Metabolism stays high AFTER workout
- Increases power
- Shorter workouts
- Decreases appetite
- Increases speed
- Increases endurance
That list alone is what swayed me to incorporate HIIT workouts, not just within running but also for more full body routines. If I’m going to improve I need to change it up, do different workouts, confuse my muscles, and train to move fast. I don’t want to be that slow chick in the back of the pack, I want to win my age groups as I get old, and if I want to improve and get faster, I really firmly believe HIIT is the way to do. And to be honest HIIT is not the saving grace, it’s not the end all, you do need to have other workouts too, HIIT in moderation should be part of your workout routines.