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High Intensity Interval Training And Fat Burning

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What is High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training (often referred to as HIIT) describes a method of exercise that involves periods of intense bursts of activity that then switch with short periods of rest / recovery. The process of HIIT involves pushes your body into the upper end of your aerobic zone.

Studies have shown that this form of exercises is beneficial to all aspects of health improving cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory and metabolic body functions.

HIIT has been proven to be very beneficial towards weight loss and can be applied to many different types of training including running, weight lifting, cycling or any other form of activity that allows you to push yourself. You can also do HIIT workouts anywhere you choose whether it be in the comfort of your own home or at the gym. You can use HIIT both anaerobically (lifting weights in the gym) or aerobically with cardio exercises.

The great benefit of HIIT is that it trains, conditions and strengthens both of your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. Coupled alongside these benefits, periods of intense energy require the body to draw in more energy and therefore burns more calories during a session. The effect of calorie burning will happen during the session and long after it is finished. This is due to the fact that because you have pushed your body to its absolute limit during the short space of time you are working out, the recovery time is then extended.

Interval training also helps increase your lactic threshold which in turn raises the ability for your body to handle increased lactic acid acid build up in your muscles as well as help with glucose absorption. Gearing up the body to convert Glucose for energy prevents it being sent to be used as fat stores.

The theory behind this method of working out challenges the body as well as causes metabolic adaptions that kick start fat burning as a fuel under a number of conditions.

If you take a look at any of the professional sprinters you will notice the amount of muscle they have on their body. HIIT training aids with limiting the muscle loss that can occur with steady state cardio which can eat into muscle tissue and sabotage your efforts. This is probably one of the most important benefits and why so many athletes and professional bodybuilders choose to train this way.

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How Do I Get Started With HIIT?

interval training fat lossYou want to perform an activity that will get your heart rate up somewhere between 75-85% of your normal heart rate, followed by a quantity of low intensity activity, and you want to repeat this cycle anywhere from four to 12 times (depending on your current level of fitness), that complete cycle is taken into consideration the ‘interval’.

The important factor to remember is you want to keep your heart rate up at this percentage for the full 20 minutes or you will struggle to see the benefits. Below are two simple high intensity workouts to get your started:


  1. Start with 5-7 minutes of moderate paced walking
  2. Run nearly as fast as you’ll for 10 seconds
  3. Walk for twenty seconds
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 six to eight times
  5. Walk for 5 minutes


  1. Use the elliptical on an occasional setting for seven minutes
  2. Crank it up to high (whatever setting is high enough for you to be out of breath once thirty seconds) and take a look at this for thirty seconds
  3. Do the low setting for thirty – 45 seconds
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for to 10 times (depending on your ability)
  5. Cool down for 5 minutes

If you are looking for a great workout that can be done in the comfort of your own home, Fitness Blender have some well made routines that do not require any equipment. Take a look at one of their sample videos of an intense abs and HIIT workout:

It is important to remember that this method of training is intense for a reason and at any point you feel light headed or things get too much, then you must stop immediately. Beginners need to take their time and gradually work into a program.

There are many famous workout programs now available that combine this method of training and also tonnes of great Youtube videos to get your started.

Additional Resources

6 Week HIIT Full Body Workout – Muscleandfitness.com
8 Amazing Fat Burning Intervals – Mensfitness.com

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