High intensity interval training

When we think about saying No pain no gain, we have to ask how effective and how hard is High intensity interval training (HIIT) ?

When launching this blog I started also with a promotion of body training as the only way to be really fit and to achieve nice toned body. Especially in last year I do regularly High intensity interval workouts 3-4 times per week, as they give  me good results and do not take me a lot of time.

Still, when people are firstly introduced with this concept, where losing weight /getting fit seems simple, big disbelief is showing up based on traditional understanding of fat burning process, where fat is starting to be burned after 40-50 min of steady cardio, after glycogen reserves from muscles are spent. I remember my hours in the gym, warming up, doing weight training and then spending next 40-50 min on the runner to make sure that my fat is burned. Of course, lightly jogging as for other I had no energy anymore after weights training. Although I do not exclude the possibility of success with this approach, for me it did not work for various reasons and this is how I came to HIIT.

High intensity training by its definition describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. Usually they last between 20-40 min, even less. There are a lot of kinds  with more or less intensity, frequency of intense parts vs rest but this is a bottom line. There is a lot written about this, many studies done but  all of the internet sources I have found about this over the years, confirm that with  HIIT your metabolism is so boosted that you burn fat 24 hours after a workout while preserving your muscles. Various sources give HIIT also credit for increased production of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which besides ability to burn more fat also slows down your ageing process.

One misconception which I notice with respect to HIIT is that people do not believe in its efficiency, because it seems too easy and to short to be true. Well, those people probably did not try to do one of them. Looking youtube video is one thing and trying to do it is totally other. This trainings wipe your body so hard, that in the beginning after each training you feel like a wounded animal before your body adjusts to them.

Answering the question is it enough to train this short period of time once per day in order to have those really muscled bodies like fitness personalities who are couching these trainings, probably goes beyond this topic, which is basic fat loss.  For ultimate success and definition besides eating right, very important is introducing more frequency respectively weights in HIIT, depending what are your goals.

So to draw the line, for optimum fitness results you have to invest a lot. You have to eat very clean most of the time, train consistently and combine different approaches until you reach your goal. Everybody has to find his own approach considering his own goals. But HIIT are with right eating definitely great way to  lose fat relatively fast and to get motivated experiencing  positive results fast. They are very brutal and demand high level of decisiveness. They demand consistency so  building sports habits is imminent. This later   helps you to try new kinds of HIIT  until you reach your goals.

For me, eating mostly clean and body weight trainings which I did mostly following Zuzka, but occasionally also other trainers on Youtube were enough to lose first 15-20 kg. After this I have introduced also weights-kettlebells. Now I am in the stage where weight is satisfactory but still some shaping and fat burning to do. So, in this stage besides 3-4 kettlebell respectively body weight HIIT I have introduced also some morning empty stomach HIIT cardio, to burn last fat. I have also discovered new youtube trainer who seems promising. Will keep you updated. 🙂

Last but not least, there are tons of evidence online about success stories based only on HIIT trainings. Pages where very often those “raw” videos, pictures and stories are published are for example  BodyRockTV and Daily Hit.  Maybe first step can be to add them as friends on fb or to subscribe to their page so you can get daily updates about their activities. This can help to shape your own opinion.

Until then-train insane or remain the same!