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by John Harris Fitness

Despite the ever-changing April weather, summer is approaching every day, leaving less time to get in shape. That's why many are still on the hunt for a workout that's not only highly effective but also delivers quick, bikini-ready results. Additionally, it needs to fit seamlessly into our busy lives, making time efficiency crucial. What might sound like high demands can be easily summarized in one term: HIIT! This fitness trend is an absolute miracle worker in the battle against stubborn body fat and requires much less time compared to conventional fitness training. In this post, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about HIIT – and believe us, it's truly a hit.

What Exactly is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, which means it's a workout conducted in phases. Essentially, there's a high-intensity phase followed by a recovery phase. This cycle can be repeated as many times as you'd like. The goal is to gradually increase the number of cycles throughout the course of the workout.

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High-Intensity Phase

During this phase, the objective is to push yourself to your limits. The aim is to give it your all during each high-intensity phase, which should last about 15 to 60 seconds. While this might seem brief, it becomes a long period of time when you're exerting maximal physical effort, causing your heart rate to surge.

Recovery Phase

Each high-intensity phase is succeeded by a period of recovery, which should ideally be about two to three times longer than the high-intensity phase. During moderate exertion, your heart rate can decrease, and you can gather new strength for the upcoming power phase. Maintain this recovery time until you feel ready to give it your all again.

Flexible Training

One of the great advantages of HIIT is its flexibility, as it can be tailored to your individual preferences. Whether you're on the treadmill, using the elliptical trainer, or employing TRX bands – HIIT can be performed on all cardio machines or through exercises like Burpees.

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Effects of HIIT

This rapid and repetitive alternation between physical exertion significantly stimulates your circulation and metabolism, leading to calorie burn. Yet, the true magic of HIIT lies in the "afterburn" effect. This phenomenon means that your body continues to burn fat even after the workout has ended. The greater the disparity between your normal metabolic rate and the rate during high-intensity phases, the longer your body takes to return to its baseline, resulting in more post-workout calorie consumption. This makes HIIT more effective than traditional endurance training, where fat burning stops immediately after exercising.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

This rationale also explains the short duration of HIIT training. Including warm-up, it should not take more than 30 minutes in total. Don't forget to stretch after the workout to mentally and physically conclude the session on an optimal note.

Initial Challenges

HIIT can be challenging at the beginning since pushing yourself to your physical limits is no easy feat. For beginners, shorter phases that are gradually extended during training are recommended. However, perseverance is definitely worthwhile, as you'll begin to notice initial results – both visually and physically – in no time.

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