Top 5 Reasons Why HIIT is Better Than Steady-State Cardio

Author: Katie W.

High-intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, is a widely popular form of exercise known all over the world, and there is a strong likelihood that you have heard the term before. Our co-ed group training classes are designed to use bursts of intense exercises followed by short, low intensity recovery periods to help you reach your fitness goals. It’s been a common component of exercise for a while now, designed to improve overall health and fitness. But, if you are still on the fence about whether to incorporate HIIT workouts into your lifestyle choices, let the benefits of high-intensity interval training speak for themselves.

1.) Burn Calories More Efficiently

Raise your hand if your life is kinda busy these days (hand raising). We all live busy lifestyles and finding time to exercise during the day can be tough. One of the best parts about our co-ed HIIT classes is that you can burn a lot of calories in a short time. HIIT workouts cater to athletes who want an effective workout and don’t have a lot of time to spare. The combination of both active and restorative rest periods maximizes the calories that you burn and increases your cardiorespiratory fitness in half the time that you would spend doing steady state cardio. The workout also improves your body’s ability to supply oxygen-rich blood to all your working muscles. 

2.) Increase Metabolism with Higher Metabolic Rate After Exercise

What does that even mean!? Well, allow us to explain. Who doesn’t love burning calories long AFTER a workout? One-way HIIT workouts help you do this is by keeping your metabolic rate, the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories, raised after you are finished working out. 

HIIT workouts can also boost your metabolism after exercise more than steady state cardio. Due to the intensity of the workouts, your body burns additional calories as you go throughout your day. In turn, your body will begin to shift to using stored fat as fuel rather than carbs. Ideally you want to be burning as much fat as possible during your workouts, leaving your limited carbohydrate sources for when you really need them. 

Oh, and we forgot to mention one important thing… HIIT stimulates the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) This is a hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration. HGH is described by some as the key to slowing down the aging process. We just gave you our secret to why PIT members look so good! You’re welcome.

3.) Build Endurance for Sports & Competition

How would you answer this question: When you work out, how long can you keep going before you become exhausted? Your answer is a measure of your endurance.  Endurance can also be measured by your VO2 max. Your VO2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise. This is the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilize during exercise and is generally considered the best indicator for your cardiovascular fitness. HIIT leads to significant improvements in VO2 max compared to other forms of exercise in a shorter time. Why is endurance important? Endurance training can improve your metabolism, reduce your risk of heart disease, support mental health, improve your sleep, increase your lifespan, and promote a youthful appearance. Not only do you improve your oxygen consumption with HIIT, but you can also do it within half the time of traditional forms of endurance training. 

4.) Lose Fat, Not Muscle

When you are trying to lose weight, it can be a challenge to lose fat without your muscles taking a cut as well. Steady-state cardio encourages muscle loss, whereas our co-ed HIIT classes preserve muscle while ensuring maximum weight loss. If you are looking to get rid of that stubborn belly fat, students have found that HIIT workouts help reduce both subcutaneous (under the skin) and visceral (fat mass around the organs) fat. 

HIIT can help preserve or retain your lean muscle mass. Our classes are designed so that you slowly begin to increase your proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers. What are those? Our skeletal muscles are made up of induvial muscle fibers. There are two types of skeletal muscle fibers, fast-twitch and slow-twitch.  Fast-twitch muscle fibers are a main factor of your strength and speed. Our muscles do not consist of one type of muscle fiber. All your muscles are a mix of the two. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are important to train because if you don’t use them, you lose them, especially as you get older. Training and maintaining these fibers offer potential benefits to helping you achieve that sculpted look.

5.) HIIT is Flexible, Convenient and FUN!

HIIT can sometimes sound intimidating. But, great news, our classes aren’t designed solely for    the experience’s athlete. An advantage of HIIT is that you can tailor and customize it to your specific needs, abilities, and goals. It is approachable for all athletes and fitness levels. The goal of HIIT is to get your heart pumping, and how that looks will look different for everyone. It’s actually a very beautiful thing!

As HIIT can cater to so many abilities, it is important to identify if the level of effort you are exerting is intense enough for you. To find out how our classes can be effective, measure your heart rate. It should spike, and you should find it difficult to speak during this portion of your workout. Although uncomfortable, we don’t reach our goals staying within our comfort zones! The discomfort is a sign that you’re pushing your body. Remember, you can do ANYTHING for 1 minute. 

So, what are you waiting for!? Time really is one of the most precious resources and we never seem to have enough of it. Some days, it’s more difficult to schedule time for your personal well-being and fitness goals, and it’s easier to skip a workout because you feel as though you won’t have enough time to make it worthwhile. But you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results. You simply need to make sure that the time you do spend exercising is as effective and efficient as possible. But even beyond getting an incredibly efficient workout for your time, you will burn calories long after your workout, build your metabolism and endurance, burn fat while building lean muscle and improve your overall health and well-being. See you soon

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