Interval Training, also referred to as High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a training method that huge benefits. It involves short bursts of vigorous exercise at 80-95 percent of your maximum heart rate for a duration lasting anywhere from five seconds to eight minutes, alternated with periods of rest or active recovery.
Examples would be 60 seconds of squat jumps followed by 30-60 seconds of marching on the spot or sprinting for 2 minutes followed by 30-60 seconds of walking or jogging.
This type of exercise brings results that can be far superior to extended bouts of moderate exercise. So let’s take a look at why this is, and why interval training is a must to include in any training plan.
1. It halts aging at a cellular level
Wow! If ever there was a reason to work out, surely this has to be up there with the best… Interval training has been proven* to stimulate the production of the proteins needed by the mitochondria (the ‘powerhouse’ of the cells of the body) to create energy. This naturally slows as we age, but HIIT training appears to prevent, and even reverse, the decline.
2. Burn more calories for longer
Not only do you get a great ‘calorie for effort’ ratio, but you continue doing so for hours afterwards. This is because the body takes up to 24 hours to recover from the intense bursts of effort. During this period you produce up to 450 percent more growth hormones than usual, and this increases the amount of calorific burn.
3. Workout for less time with increased effect
Quite simply, interval training takes less time than extended moderate intensity workouts, but delivers far superior results. A workout lasting just a few minutes reaps the same (or better) results than a lesser effort carried out for a far longer duration.
4. Pump up your heart health
By pushing yourself into what’s known as the ‘anaerobic zone’ for very short periods is hugely beneficial to your heart. You’ll know you’re there because you’ll be hugely out of breath, probably unable to speak for a few seconds and feel your heart pumping really hard.
5. Lose weight – not muscle
None of us want to lose muscle mass when we train and/or diet. But HIIT training encourages fat loss, rather than the deterioration in muscle tone found when doing long (and boring) endurance training.
6. You can do it anywhere
While you can use equipment for intensity training (skipping rope, bike, gym equipment etc.), it’s also just as effective with no kit whatsoever. This makes it a fab workout to carry out any time or anywhere as you can mix up any exercise to push up your heart rate. Fast feet, jumping lunges, high knees… The only limit is your imagination.
7. You’re more likely to stick with your training efforts
Because, let’s face it, training can become tedious. When you’d rather be doing something other than exercise it can be a challenge to dedicate an hour of your time to working out. But 10 minutes or so? Now, who can’t spare 10 minutes? And interval training is fun – nothing better than challenging yourself for a short amount of time to get those juices flowing…
8. Increase your VO2 Max
This is the level at which your muscles can utilise the oxygen in your blood. The better this is, the more efficient your body becomes. Interval training is one of the fastest ways to improve this oxidative capacity.
9. Boosts your aerobic capacity
Your aerobic capacity determines how long you can carry out any aerobic activity. This in turn improves your physical performance, something that’s relevant for any sport you do and also in usual movement in everyday life.
10. It wards off many life-limiting diseases
HIIT is a great way to help prevent conditions such as Type II Diabetes, obesity and all the other related conditions that come with them.
Quite simply, interval training is one of the ultimate additions to any exercise efforts, and can be tailored for every person, lifestyle, level of fitness and location. Top Perth gym chain, Bailey Fitness, offers great advice on interval training. They also run a variety of classes that utilise HIIT, get you motivated and take your fitness to a whole new level.
Discover more at www.baileyfitness.com.au and make 2020 the year that you supercharge your fitness with this ultimate form of training.