Fitness, Weight Loss
High intensity interval training

How To Burn Fat and Lose Weight With HIIT

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective exercise for improving respiratory fitness and health as well as lowering body fat levels. HIIT workouts involve alternating between short high-intensity exercises and longer low-intensity exercises, repeatedly for a certain period of time.

 The intense exercise may range from 5 to 30 seconds, performed at 75% to 90% of your maximal heart rate. 220-age is the commonly used formula to determine maximal heart rate, this is the number of times your heart can beat in a minute without exertion. My maximal heart rate is 194 (220-26yrs).

High-intensity exercise should be followed by longer low intensity exercises performed at 50%-65% maximal heart rate. Then continue the workout while alternating high and low intensity exercise for a period of 10-40(max) minutes.

If you're overweight, this article will show you how to lose weight with high intensity interval training #hiit #lose #weight #flabfix

Why HIIT is better than cardio for both fat burning and weight loss

 why HIIT is better than cardio

You may be skeptical about this statement but I promise you will agree with me after this read.

 Almost every book or article you read says low intensity cardio is the best for fat loss and all high-intensity workouts do is burn carbohydrates. This is not true! This article will reveal the benefits of interval training over moderate cardio in burning fat.

Though it is true that cardio burns a higher percentage of calories from fats than HIIT, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose more fat when you engage in cardio training, let us see why.

A half of the calories burned during cardio training are from fats, while in high intensity training 40% of calories burned if fat. So if you walk for 30 minutes and burn 150 calories, it means you have burned 75 fats –calories. On the flip side, if you do a 15 minute interval training and burn 300 calories, you will burn 120 fat-calories (40% of 300= 120). Clearly you can see that you will end up burning more calories and fat with HIIT than cardio.

The benefits don’t end there, with HIIT calorie burning doesn’t stop after the exercise, it continues up to 24hrs after the workout. On the other hand, moderate cardio only burns calories during the workout, when you finish exercising the caloric expenditure goes back to normal.

Another important point you should keep in mind is that engaging in long periods of cardio will make you lose fat and muscles as well, this means slower metabolism. While Interval training strengthens and defines your muscles more, this boosts your metabolism and increase the number of calories burned through the day.

A good example would be comparing a long distance marathon runner and a sprinter, who looks healthier?

Even if you are time-poor, take 15 minutes off your busy schedule and do HIIT exercises to burn fat and improve your body’s ability to efficiently use energy.

What are the Safety measures with HIIT Training?

You may be thinking, I can’t do it, I’m overweight or I have health problems.

Good news is that HIIT can be adjusted for people with different levels of fitness and different health conditions. These workouts are performed in different forms of exercise like; treadmill, aqua training, cycling, jumping rope, swimming, walking, elliptical cross-training, and in different group exercise classes.

If you have a health disorder or you are overweight/ obese, consult with a physician before you start HIIT training. If you are a HIIT beginner you need to have a certain level of fitness, this is referred as “base fitness level”.

In order to establish base fitness level start with cardio training 3 to 5 times a week for 20-60 minutes per session, a period of 4-8 weeks. This will help create muscular adaptations which will improve the flow of oxygen to the muscles and the heart.

Starting HIIT without any level of fitness is not safe and can lead to musculoskeletal injury.

We all know the risks involved with living sedentary lifestyle or long periods of physical inactivity; coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health disorders. Engaging in HIIT will reduce the risk of these diseases and you’ll live a healthier and longer life.

The number of times you can do HIIT in a week

Interval training is very exhausting and uses a lot of energy compared to normal cardio, due to this factor; you need a longer recovery period. Start with one HIIT workout per week while still doing normal cardio, then after you gain more fitness and endurance move up to 2 workouts a week, spreading them through the week.

With time you can drop normal cardio and focus on interval training, for 3 or 4 sessions a week.

Workout routine for HIIT

With HIIT you will get what you put in, if you push your body throughout the workout, you will burn more calories and fat but if you don’t push yourself you will barely burn any calories.

For the best results make sure you are working at maximum intensity. To determine your intensity level use talk test, if you can carry on a conversation then that’s moderate intensity, high intensity is when can’t hold a conversation and uttering words is causing discomfort.

If you complete the workout and feel that it was easy, you are not training at a high intensity enough.

From the exercises I mentioned above, choose one which you think is best for you and you’ll find enjoyable (after you have attained base fitness level) then follow this routine:

Week 1 and 2

  • High-intensity exercise: 15 seconds
  • Low or moderate-intensity exercise: 60 seconds

Repeat this 10 times, and then finish with a 15 seconds high-intensity burst.                                                                                                         

This should total to 15 minutes, Workout once a week.

 Week 3 and 4

  • High-intensity exercise: 30 seconds
  • Low or moderate-intensity exercise: 60 seconds

Repeat it ten times, and finish with a 30 seconds high-intensity burst.
It will last for 17 minutes. Workout twice a week (spread the workouts through the week)

Week 5 and 6

  • High-intensity exercise: 30 seconds
  • Low or moderate-intensity exercise: 30 seconds

Repeat it 11 times, and then finish with a 30 seconds high-intensity burst.
This should take 19 minutes, workout 2 or 3 times a week.

Week 7 and 8

  • High-intensity exercise: 30 seconds
  • Low or moderate-intensity exercise: 15 seconds

Do this 25 times, and finish with a 30 seconds burst.                                                                                                     

This should total to 20 minutes, workout 3 or 4 times a week.

By following this routine you will be able to lose weight and burn fat, start the routine and let me know how it works for you.

Important: Warm up before any exercise, a 5-10 minutes warm up is enough; it helps reduce chances of injuries. Only engage in exercises which you are comfortable with, immediately discontinue any activity that causes you pain or discomfort.

Combining HIIT with strength training

If you are looking to lose weight, combining a low calorie diet and high intensity training will give you great results. But if you want to want to lower your body fat percentage and build muscles, you need strength training.

In my case, I’m looking to get leaner and build more muscles so I have started combining HIIT with strength training and its working great so far. It might be challenging the first few weeks but it becomes easier with time. If you decide to combine these two remember to give your body enough recovery period to avoid fatigue.

Have you currently doing HIIT or planning to start? Leave a comment and let me know, or share your previous experience with HIIT.



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