Most of us separate our workouts into two categories: cardio and strength training. What if there was a way you could combine both of them to get a better workout that also takes less time?
It sounds too good to be true, but such a method of training actually does exist. It’s called high intensity-interval training.
Examples of HIIT exercises include, but are not limited to:
- High knees with jump rope
- Jumping lunges
- Knee raises
- Pull ups
- Push ups
- Squat jumps
The purpose of HIIT is to workout very hard while taking very short breaks. The continuousness resistance that your body faces while having minimal time to rest gives you the benefits of both strength training and cardio. If you’re not already convinced to trying HIIT, here are four reasons why you should:
1) Burn More Fat Calories
Believe it or not, you actually burn more fat and calories during a shorter HIIT session than you would on a longer jog. Because HIIT exercises gets your heart pumping more intensely than a medium-paced, lengthy jog, you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. In the photo above, Georges St-Pierre is looking at you and wondering why you’re not doing HIIT.
2) Healthier Heart
Don’t be surprised when your stamina increases after weeks of doing HIIT workouts. Studies have shown that pushing your heart rate to the anaerobic zone makes it stronger and able to endure more strenuous exercises. By “anaerobic zone,” we mean the point where your heart is beating so fast it feels like it’s going to explode.
3) Lose Weight, Not Muscle
Anyone who’s tried to cut weight before will tell you that it’s hard to maintain muscle mass while trying to lose fat. While long cardio sessions will contribute to depleting your muscle mass, and weightlifting regimens will not help you increase your stamina, HIIT workouts will help you lose fat, maintain muscle, and increase your stamina. It’s a triple win!
4) Increase Metabolism
Studies have shown that HIIT significantly increases production of your natural human growth hormone (HGH). What does HGH do? I’m glad you asked. It increases the amount of calories you burn and boosts your metabolism. Additionally, it makes you stronger and promotes youthfulness by slowing down the aging process.