High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a theory of exercise that pushes the body to reach a maximum performance for short spurts of time. This method has been proven to burn more body fat, while at the same time also help maintain muscle integrity.
There are two main directions for HIIT workouts. Some choose the cardio HIIT which focuses on increasing the level of output for short periods of time – for instance a walk, jog, run interval.
Resistance HIIT maintains an even pace for the workout, but increases the resistance for short intervals – for instance biking at the same pace but choosing to increase the resistance to push the body harder, or jogging at the same pace but choosing to increase the incline on the treadmill for a short interval, and then returning it to the original state.
Both types of HIIT workouts are great methods for fat burning. They are also good for time management, since HIIT workouts generally last only around 15 to 20 minutes (although it’s important to remember that this is a time limit which beginners may have to work up to). HIIT cardio and resistance training also carry over the benefits of the workout for up to 36 hours after the workout is complete.
The major difference between the two types of HIIT workouts is stress. Because the resistance training remains at an even pace, there is less stress exerted on the joints. The increase in intensity comes from the increase in the resistance.
The path to a HIIT workout is not as important as reaching that intensity level. Resistance training and cardio can both be beneficial choices. Mixing up the HIIT workouts between the two might even help to stimulate interest, as it can easily take the ‘mundane’ out of practicing the same old workout time and time again.
No matter how you choose to get in your HIIT workout, be sure that you consult a physician before you begin. HIIT can be tough on the body, and it is always a good idea to be checked out by your doctor before beginning a major exercise regime. You want to give yourself every possible benefit of this type of program, and it all starts out with a YES from your doctor.