5 benefits of HIIT to lose weight and get in shape

By summarizing the training Hiit allows you to get a lot of results:

  • Increasing muscle glycogen content at rest
  • Increasing the ability to use fatty acids
  • Improved peripheral vascular structure and function
  • Performance improvement
  • Improvement of the maximum oxygen uptake

What is the best HIIT protocol for fat loss/ weight loss?

There are several research-based HIIT protocols.  From the well-known Tabata method (Tabata, 1997), which provides for the repetition of the same exercise for 6-7 times alternating 20" of high intensity work with 10" of recovery, to circuit workout, from the EMOM method to the classic interval method, from Timmons, Johnathan Little and Martin Gibala to Craig Ballantyne etc.
High skip with rope
It is the intensity achieved that makes the workout effective, as opposed to the exercise selection. The necessary intensity will be easier to achieve with some movements than others, but the most whole body or lower body compound movements can be used to achieve an effective workload. To raise the heart rate and increase or reduce the workout load, key variables can be used to progress or regress an exercise:

  1. Range of movement
  2. Speed of movement
  3. The complexity of the exercise
  4. Load added to the exercise (e.g. from a free body squat to one with the rocker arm)
  5. TUT (Time under tension)
  6. Amount of muscle mass used in the exercise (e.g. progression from a bodyweight squat to an overhead squat)

How long does a HIIT session need to be to get results?

Running in the city
There are many articles that present HIIT programs of about 20 minutes duration to get results, but is it necessary?

In part, yes, 20 minutes of high-intensity workout contributes significantly to the consumption of fat mass, if it is accompanied by a correct and personalized dietary program. The central part of the workout cannot have a long duration (> 30-40 minutes) because of it impossible to maintain a sufficiently high intensity to be considered HIIT for this duration. If prolonged, this type of workout can lead to a reduction in the quality of exercise technique with a consequent increase in the risk of injury and potentially reduced recovery adaptations following workouts.

20 minutes of high-intensity work contribute significantly to the consumption of fat mass, provided that it is accompanied by a correct and personalised dietary programme.

Many studies have been carried out showing that 20 minutes of activity per day led to a significant reduction in fat mass after one month and an increase in lean mass.

Warm up and cool down

One clarification must be made regarding HIIT workout session structure. To achieve the best possible results during a HIIT workout session, a thorough warm-up is necessary to prepare the body for the intense exercise and an enough cooldown phase should be included after the main session for safety.
Jumps to the steps
The warm-up phase is essential for injury prevention. In addition to preparing the body for the activity, this phase starts the metabolic processes for energy production. If done properly, the warm-up allows you to have a proper energy consumption at the end of the workout will weigh on the calculation of calorie expenditure.
After 20-25 minutes of high-intensity workout, our body has a good number of fats ready to be used for energy purposes. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this moment and benefit from it. For this reason, the advice is to continue workout after the main session with less intense activity and keep it for about 15 minutes.

Example HIIT workout session plan

Here's a brief outline of high-intensity training:

  • Warm up (10'): Start the workout by performing multi-joint exercises alternating with locomotion exercises (running, walking, jumping, jumping forward, etc.) to mobilize joints, take muscles through a full range of motion, and raise heart rate gradually.
  •  Main session (20-25'): The choice is vast: For example, Circuits of 6-8 exercises alternating 20-30" of work with 10-15" of rest, or 8 rounds of the same exercise doing 20" of work and 10" of recovery or, a classic interval where you can alternate exercises to run, rowing, jumping rope.
  • Cool down (10-15’): Initially continue the workout with a low impact activity. Jogging on the spot may be a choice or even continue the previous circuit at a significantly decreased intensity. Always leave 5' for stretching and relaxation exercises at the end of the workout.
The warm up phase also has a very important function. In addition to preparing the body for the next activity, this phase also initiates metabolic processes for energy production. If done properly, the warm up allows you to have a proper energy consumption that at the end of the workout will weigh on the calculation of calorie expenditure.

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