I'm sure you have seen a lot of HIIT workouts in social media, but why is it so famous, does it really work?
What is it?
HIIT (high intensity interval training) is the performance of short sessions of high-intensity effort interspersed with recovery or low intensity time.
The intensity intervals are short because the body cannot maintain the optimal activity level to do HIIT for long.
When we exercise we have different ways of generating energy, among them the aerobic system, efficient for long periods of time at moderate and low intensity (per example when we do the popular "cardio") and the anaerobic system that gives us fast energy but runs out quickly (weights, sprints, etc), HIIT allows to combine both.
You burn more calories and you can get a complete workout in less time.
Speeds up your metabolism. Your body keeps burning calories up to 48 hours after finishing because it’s difficult for your body to recover (it demands more oxygen).
When you do HIIT you reach up to 85% of your maximum heart rate and generate considerable metabolic stress on the muscle, so your body begins to generate testosterone, growth hormone, among others that helps with muscle volume and definition.
HIIT proves that you don't need to spend hours training to get benefits like weight loss, improve body composition, and better overall health and wellness.
A question I constantly receive about HIIT is how many times a week it can be done, 2-3 times a week is perfect, maximum four. However, this will depend on your fitness level, and your body adaptation to these types of routines. And remember that to do HIIT you must reach almost the maximum of your capacity in each exercise time interval, if you have to do 30 seconds of squat jumping but you do it at a pace where your heart beat doesn’t really increase you are not doing HIIT.