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Health / Fitness

The gentleman’s guide to HIIT

Five reasons to give this trend a go

Aside from HIIT currently being on trend and one of the most popular go-to classes and training sessions around, we should be educating ourselves around the ins and outs of it all and asking ourselves why HIIT?

Here are five reasons for doing HIIT from a Les Mills expert.

1. Efficiency within your training

  • High intensity interval training is one of the most efficient ways of exercising.
  • HIIT is a form of interval training, where you alternate short bursts of intense anaerobic exercises with short recovery intervals.
  • It aims at maximising muscle recruitment, through cardiovascular exercises to reach your threshold, aka exhaustion.

2. Cheapest pill on the market (for healthy heart and other health benefits)

  • Apart from drastically minimising the risk of heart disease, there are so many health benefits that go hand-in-hand with working out. To name just a few: it assists in lowering blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.

3. No equipment needed

  • Often, we limit our exercise opportunities by thinking we need equipment. We don’t.
  • Simple body weighted exercises can be integrated into a HIIT-structured workout and deliver optimal results.
  • That said, equipment can add variety and an extra challenge to your HIIT workouts.

4. It’s fun and provides mental stimulation

  • HIIT keeps your mind stimulated.
  • One study shows 92% of participants favoured a HIIT workout over traditional moderate continuous exercise.  
  • It gets us out of the plateau we often experience within our fitness journey.

5. It burns fat and increases metabolism

  • HIIT training is extremely effective at burning fat.
  • It improves lean body mass as well as maximal oxygen consumption.
  • We call this the EPOC effect (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). It essentially means your body continues to use oxygen and burn fat for hours after you’ve stopped exercising.

I’m a HIIT Coach and addicted to Les Mills Grit, which is a 30-minute HIIT programme. It offers three different athletic focuses, while delivering a HIIT-structured workout. We explore speed and agility training, explosive power and plyometric training as well as strength and resistance under load and range training — all with HIIT being the focus.

The writer is Global Brand Ambassador and Master Trainer at Les Mills

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