8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
And why it needs to be part of your regular workout routine
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout. It sounds too simple to be effective, but science doesn't stretch the truth. Read on for eight proven benefits of this powerful workout:
Super-efficient HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. (Watch and try this video of a 10-minute fat-blasting cardio routine that burns more calories than a half hour on the treadmill!) And according to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.
That's not even the best part! Using the Tabata training method, you can complete an effective HIIT workout in just 4 minutes.