With popular fitness studios like Barry's Bootcamp and Orangetheory Fitness putting HIIT workouts on the map, it's worth seeing what high-intensity interval training is all about. People are loving HIIT for multiple reasons — with efficiency at the top of the list — but one of the most noteworthy benefits of this workout is its power to torch calories. According to OTF coach Tim Brown, "Studies show that even as little as 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training can burn more calories than an hour or more of jogging or walking."
Other perks include increased cardiovascular and muscular endurance. HIIT can lead to the EPOC (excess postexercise oxygen consumption) effect, which can boost your metabolism and help you burn calories even after you've finished your workout. This afterburn also helps you lose weight, not muscle. Additionally, interval training is great for your heart. "It increases the flexibility of your arteries and veins, essentially giving your heart a nice workout," Tim said.
Things to Keep in Mind
Most importantly, always stay properly hydrated. "Interval training exerts a lot of energy and sweat to cool your body down during bouts of high intensity, so keep water handy," Tim said. It's also recommended that you consult your doctor before attempting HIIT workouts (or any other exercise programs) if you've had prior health concerns. And because interval training burns a ton of calories, recovery is key. "To keep your body firing on all cylinders, you must properly recover after your workout with smart and quality calories to feed your muscles, secure your gains, and reach your goals!" Tim said.
To help you get started at home, here's a simple interval workout from Tim.
Do the below circuit three times, performing each exercise for 30 seconds and resting for 10 seconds before moving onto the next one.
Take a water break. Continue with the same format for the below exercises.
- Jump squats
- Mountain climbers
- Bird dogs
- Walk-down push-ups
- Jumping lunges
- Pulsing squats