High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval TrainingIf you’ve ever watched an infomercial for Insanity I’m sure you’ve heard Shaun T talk about High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.  The whole Insanity program is designed around this type of exercise, and so is Chalene Johnson’s Turbo Fire.  I’ve done Insanity as a standalone program as well as in a hybrid with P90X and Asylum and can tell you that it really works, so I wanted to write this post about what exactly HIIT is and why it’s effective.

Shaun T explains how he uses High Intensity Interval Training in Insanity by saying that he flips traditional interval training upside down.  Instead of long periods of moderate activity followed by short bursts of high intensity activity, he makes you go really hard for 3 minutes, then gives you a 30 second break where you completely stop.  This is completely different from traditional cardio routines and comes with some great benefits.

For one, you don’t have to workout as long to see the same calorie burn.  Workouts are shorter but see the same or greater results.  An article of the Livestrong website discusses the benefits and explains how these high intensity workouts are putting your body in an anaerobic state, meaning your body is burning energy faster than it can take in oxygen, so you end up burning stored carbohydrates to give your body the energy it needs.  This can really aid in fat and weight loss.  Training like this also allows you to pump more oxygen in and out of your body, so you become more efficient in your workouts and endurance athletes can see big improvements in their performance as well.  So if you’re a triathlete or marathon runner, this could be a great option to put in your training regimen.  To read the entire article check out High Intensity Interval Training for Weight Loss.

I can tell you from experience that High Intensity Interval Training really works.  Not only did I lose 17 lbs with Insanity, but I also saw huge improvements in my endurance.  I remember playing a pick-up game of basketball in the middle of my second month of Insanity and I felt like I wasn’t even getting tired.  If I haven’t played basketball in a while I usually get tired quick, but I felt like I could go all day.  That was a great feeling!  So if you’re looking for a challenge and want to improve your endurance performance you should really give Insanity or Turbo Fire a try!  And for those of you just starting out, make sure to check out my article, Starting Insanity?

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