There is a common misconception to think that the more time we spend working out and exercising, the more weight we will lose. There may be some people out there that actually like spending hours doing cardio or in the gym doing repetitions after repetitions and ab work. But the rest of us, we do it to see results! We do it to keep fit and healthy and looking amazing!
That being said, exercising for longer periods of time isn’t bad for us. But the myth that more time exercising equals more result has been busted! Recent studies have actually shown that shorter, but more intense workouts may actually be more effective and help you meet your weight loss goals faster. So if you’re trying to lose the 5 pounds you gained over Christmas or want to improve you’re the riding time to get home. Short bursts of high intensity interval training (HIIT) is great news for us as it means we can spend less time in the gym and more time enjoying our life.
So What Exactly Is A HIIT Workout And How Does It Work?
For the majority of us, it is very rarely to reach our body’s maximum performance. We just don’t give our bodies the opportunity. But there are some major benefits of reaching your body’s maximum performance such as improved endurance and speed.
What Does Your Body’s Maximum Performance Mean?
Basically it means to be pushing yourself as hard as you can for short period of time. Whether it be running or riding hard for example. Most of us can work out for longer periods of time at a slower pace nowhere near our maximum performance, but if we always did this (like many of us do) then our bodies would never be stimulated the same way as if we were at our maximum performance level. Even if we only hit this maximum performance level for a short period of time. HIIT involves pushing your body to do a specific exercise as hard as you possible can but for a defined short period of time such as 1 to 2 minutes.
Don’t Have Time To Work Out?
As you probably know, life is busy. We don’t all have time to spend hours in the gym or going for long hikes each week. Even if we tried to commit to this, life will get in the way and you will probably soon fall out of the habit of exercising. This is another reason why a shorter workout might actually get you better results. You can no longer use the excuse of “I don’t have time to work out today”. We all can find around 15 minutes each day which we can commit to exercising. You could watch 15 minutes less of TV, sleep 15 minutes less, or find that 15 minutes somewhere else in your day. And some extra motivation, some studies have shown that with HIIT workouts, 2-3 times per week may be all you need to see results. No more working out 5 days a week pumping weights and running on the treadmill.
Long Workouts Then Overeating
I used to work in a restaurant that was at the end of a grueling hike which took people somewhere between 1 hour and 2 hours depending on their fitness level. The elevation gain was around 900 meters which really worked people. Every day I would see people come in after their hike and order nachos and beer as a reward for doing the exercise. They would eat way more calories than they burnt off. This basically nullified the massive climb and workout.
I would see it time and time again. The thing is, I used to be the same. Each time I did a long exercise session or huge bike ride, I would then come home and feel like eating everything in sight. And probably a beer or two. I have found however that after my HIIT workout, I have more energy to take on the day without the food cravings I get with a more traditional endurance cardio workout.
HIIT Can Be More Enjoyable
Most people find that short bursts of intense exercise more enjoyable then spending long periods of time on the treadmill for example. Spin bikes in the gym or running on the treadmill can be very boring as you probably know. This is another reason why we constantly make excuses to avoid going to the gym. It’s boring! Pushing yourself hard for short periods of time (especially with a friend) can be quite fun. And intervals can be as little as 20 seconds of pushing hard then take a short break. So it’s more enjoyable and takes up far less time. Sound Awesome? It is!
Results Are Seen Faster
We all want to see results right away from our workouts. That is why so many of us try working out for longer periods of time. We want to see results fast! But give a HIIT workout a go as you may find you see results in around half the time. Yep, half the time! There is more research coming out every day to support this. This sounds great to me, hope you like the sound of it too. More bang for your buck. This kind of high intensity workout have benefits to people of all fitness levels. So whether it is your first workout, or you are a seasoned workout, HIIT can be for you.