What is High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise and low intensity exercise. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds, then walking for 60 seconds is high intensity interval training. HIIT can be used both anaerobically (in the gym with weights) and aerobically with cardio.

Why Is HIIT the Best Cardio to Burn Fat?

Exercise physiologists used to believe that “steady state” cardio was superior for fat loss because relatively more fat is used by the body as fuel at lower exercise intensities than at higher intensities.

The “Fat Burning Zone” shown on most cardio equipment as only 60%-65% of max heart rate is really a myth and is NOT optimal for burning fat. At higher intensities, you are burning far more fat, even though the fat/glycogen ratio is lower.

In addition, interval training allows you to exercise at very high intensities for a much longer period of time than steady state, so you burn more fat.

As an added bonus, there’s also an afterburn effect known as EPOC (excess-post exercise oxygen consumption). You increase your metabolism and burn more calories for up to 24 hours after interval training, whereas going for a jog burns almost NO calories after.

Other HIIT Benefits:

There are a number of great benefits to High Intensity Interval Training besides serious fat burn that include:

• Increased Aerobic Capacity – The amount of oxygen your body can use (oxygen uptake) is increased, so your overall aerobic capacity can increase faster than with low intensity endurance exercise.

• Increased Lactate Threshold – Your ability to handle increased lactic acid buildup in your muscles increases.

• Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Your muscles more readily suck in glucose, instead of the glucose going to your fat stores.

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