Should your fitness routine consist only of HIIT workouts? Probably not. But, incorporating high-intensity intervals into your training schedule a few times per week can help you see results faster, says CrossFit trainer Hannah Eden, creator of the 28-Day Fat Torch guide.
In fact, compared to steady cardio exercise, HIIT burns more fat. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity had participants exercise over a 15-week period of time. Researchers found that fat mass decreased much more for the people who performed just 20 minutes of cycling intervals, three times a week, compared to people who did 40 minutes of steady cycling the same number of times per week.
More fat burn in less time is just one of the many reasons why interval workouts rock. Eden also notes that HIIT workouts are super enjoyable and efficient. Here, inspired by her 28-Day Fat Torch guide, Eden gives us nine reasons why every training schedule should incorporate intervals.
And if you like the tips you read here, check out the 28-Day Fat Torch guide for even more fitness advice.
1THEY’RE TIME EFFICIENT
By combining strength training and intense cardio exercises into one timed workout, HIIT targets multiple muscle groups while increasing cardio fitness. “You’ll reap the most benefits in the least amount of time,” Eden says.
2THEY’RE ENGAGING AND FUN
“Since HIIT workouts don’t take much time, you won’t get bored and will definitely stay engaged,” Eden says. “They are a lot more enjoyable than long, low-intensity workouts.”
3YOU’LL BURN CALORIES FOR HOURS
HIIT burns more calories than continuous exercise due to the afterburn effect. “You will continue burning calories for about two hours after your workout is complete,” Eden says.
4HIIT BOOSTS ENDURANCE
HIIT can improve your endurance and overall health. “It improves your blood pressure, which in turn fuels your body and brain to allow you to keep going for longer,” Eden says.
5THERE'S SO MANY VARIATIONS TO TRY
Eden likes to incorporate some strength movements into her programming. She says the options are endless, and strength movements incorporated with intense cardio enhance your results. “HIIT does not limit you to sprinting it out for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off,” Eden says. “You can constantly switch up your training. The sky is the limit!”
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