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high intensity interval training

How To Lose Weight Fast Using High Intensity Interval Training

Are you looking to lose weight but just don’t have the time to perform cardiovascular exercises for hours? Then high intensity interval training might be what you are looking for.

I’ve been using steady state cardio exercises like walking for some time now. I try to make use of my commute from work to home. And fit in my walking sessions in those so that I can save time.

However, I recently learned about a method called high intensity interval training that can be performed for a relatively short time such as a few minutes and give the same if not better results.

That is what got me interested and here is the information that I could gather on it.

What is high intensity interval training?

High intensity interval training (or HIIT) is usually divided into a high intensity workout followed by low intensity work or rest. For example, you could sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds.

This makes it highly efficient when compared to the regular, steady cardio that people perform such as walking, jogging, etc. As a result, you need to spend very little time performing the workout and get the same benefits of weight loss and metabolic boost.

High intensity interval training can be performed either by using cardiovascular exercises or by using weight training exercises or even body weight exercises.

What are the benefits of high intensity interval training?

Helps in fat loss

Since this type of training will elevate your heart rate, you will put your body in a state that makes it possible to lose fat.

Helps increase metabolism

After performing intensity workouts, you will get the added benefit of the after-burn effect. This means that your metabolism will increase and your body will be in a fat burning state for 24 hours after your workout.

Helps improve your aerobic capacity

By performing intense workouts, the amount of oxygen that your body can use will also increase. So this will help increase the overall aerobic capacity of your body.

Helps reduce muscle soreness

If you workout with weights, then you must often face muscle soreness. By performing HIIT, your body will be able to handle higher amounts of lactic acid buildup. This will help reduce muscle soreness.

Helps improve insulin sensitivity

Performing intense workouts will help your muscle to use the glucose stores in the body. This will help prevent storing the excess glucose in your body as fat.

Helps build muscle

If you performing HIIT using weights, then not only will you get all of the benefits including losing fat but you also have the potential to gain muscle.

Will boost your endurance

Since you will perform short intervals of high intensity, this will boost your endurance and you will reap the benefits in other activities like hiking, trekking, workouts, etc.

Helps save time

Studies have shown that with high intensity interval training you can achieve the same or even better results in half the time it would take using steady cardiovascular exercises.

Why high intensity interval training is good for losing weight?

HIIT makes your body use glucose during the intensity phase and the fat during the recovery phase.

HIIT makes you work at high intensity and so you tend to burn more fat.

Also, with HIIT, you can performing for a longer period of time compared to regular cardio. This will also help you burn more fat.

In addition, high intensity interval training provides you with the after-burn effect that helps your body burn fat during the 24 hours after you have performed the HIIT workout.

What are the basics of a high intensity interval training workout?

It is recommended that you perform a HIIT workout around 2-3 times per week.

Below are the basics of a simple high intensity interval training workout that you can perform on an elliptical or a stationary bike.

  1. You need to warm up for around three minutes.
  2. Then exercise as intensely as you can for 30 seconds to get your heart rate up.  This is the intensity phase. The intensity should be sufficient so you are gasping for breath and feel like you won’t be able to continue further.
  3. Then for the next 90 seconds, you can slow down your speed and keep pedaling. This is the recovery phase.
  4. You need to then repeat the intensity phase and the recovery phase a few more times based on your fitness levels. Usually anything from 5-10 cycles should be good.
  5. Once you are done take another three minutes to cool down.

It is advisable to use a heart rate monitor so that you can measure your heart rate and reach 90% of your maximum during the intensity phase.

Instead of the elliptical, you can also use cardio such as swimming, jump rope, cycling, etc. to perform the above workout.

Some high intensity interval training workouts

Before trying any HIIT workout, please make sure to warm-up for around 5-10 minutes. You can perform the exercise at a slow place as part of the warm-up.

Tabata Stationary Bike Workout

To perform this workout, you will need a stationary bike.

  1. Warm-up for around 5-10 minutes on the stationary bike at a slow pace and a lower resistance setting.
  2. After the warm-up, increase the resistance to what you are comfortable.
  3. Bike with intensity for 20 seconds.
  4. Then bike very slowly for the next 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat this for 8 cycles. So this will make the workout of 4 minutes.
  6. Cool down for around 5-10 minutes by biking at a slow pace.

Walk Back Sprint Workout

To perform this workout, you will either need a track or a location where you can sprint for around 10o-200m.

  1. Warm-up for around 5-10 minutes using stretching exercises and a light walk or jog.
  2. Sprint as fast as you can for around 100-200m as you are comfortable.
  3. Then walk back to the starting point.
  4. Then sprint back again and walk back to the starting point.
  5. Repeat this cycle for 4-10 times.
  6. Cool down for around 5-10 minutes by walking at a slow pace.

Jump Rope Workout

To perform this workout, you will need a jump rope.

  1. Warm-up for around 5-10 minutes using stretching exercises and slow paced jumps.
  2. For 2 minutes, jump rope as many times as possible. Then rest for 2 minutes.
  3. For 1.5 minutes, jump rope as many times as possible. Then rest for 1.5 minutes.
  4. For 1 minute, jump rope as many times as possible. Then rest for 1 minute.
  5. For 30 seconds, jump rope as many times as possible. Then rest for 3 minutes.
  6. Repeat the workout 1 to 2 times.

Conclusion

I hope you will be able to lose weight using the quick high intensity interval training workouts that you have learned.

Now you should know enough about HIIT including the benefits, how you can lose weight using it, and some of the different workouts you can try as a beginner.

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References

  1. http://www.builtlean.com/2013/08/19/interval-training-workouts/
  2. http://www.muscleforlife.com/high-intensity-interval-training-and-weight-loss/
  3. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/6-ways-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit-can-significantly-boost-weight-loss-results.html