Most people would agree that the best way to lose weight is to eat properly and to exercise on a regular basis. If this is common knowledge, then why is it so difficult? Why has the rate of obesity in this country increased over the past 20 years? These are very complex questions that I cannot begin to answer here. What I can address however, is a more effective way to use exercise for overall health and to achieve your weight loss goals.
Known by several different names such as Burst Training, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This acronym does not refer to the type of exercise being performed, but rather, the intensity that is performed at. HIIT is done with aerobic type exercises such as running, jumping rope, biking etc. Most people that try to lose weight with aerobic type exercise do what I refer to as ‘steady state aerobics.’ What this means is that they do an exercise such as jogging or walking at the same pace for 20-45 minutes. In contrast, during HIIT training, a person will perform the exercise at maximum intensity for short burst which last between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. They then rest for a similar length of time. This routine is repeated several times during the workout. Workouts are usually shorter in length; they usually last 10-20 minutes.
We all know people that walk or do light jogging. These are great exercises for getting blood to the muscles and to help loosen the joints. Many of these people, despite their regular exercise habits, still have a bit of a gut. Why is this? Your body changes and responds to stress. If you perform the same exercise at the same steady-state pace, your body adapts to this stress so as to expend as little energy as possible. Being that it takes energy to lose weight, what is the incentive to lose weight if the body can complete the task at the weight that you currently are. With HIIT, you perform an exercise at your maximum intensity. This stresses the body and thus has to make changes every time you place this type of stress on it. There is also the issue with growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone is responsible for helping build muscle and burn fat. This is not produced in the body with slow, steady state exercises.