The HIIT Workout – Is It Really Worth All The Fuss?

hiit workout

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is known as short interval training. High intensity interval training has been gaining popularity for many years. The HIIT workout consists of alternating between short periods of very intense efforts and periods of recovery at lower intensity. For example, the Tabata method (20 seconds of intense effort, 10 seconds of rest) has become one of the most popular forms of the HIIT workout. This form of training is praised by its supporters for its potential to burn a lot of calories in a short time and for its effectiveness on fat loss. However, is this type of training the best choice for everyone?

hiit workout

Source: Unsplash


Improved cardio-respiratory fitness and athletic performance

The HIIT workout

HIIT training is effective in improving anaerobic physical ability. This is important for sports that require short and intense efforts such as team and combat sports. The HIIT can be even more effective when customized according to the sport. For example doing jump intervals for volleyball players or punching intervals on a heavy bag for boxers. Interval training (including HIIT type) also increases VO2max and aerobic capacity and is therefore very useful for endurance athletes.

Effects on fat loss

What is HITT Workout

HIIT training, thanks to its high intensity, burns more calories in less time than continuous training. In addition, it is accompanied by an increase in resting metabolism. That is to say that the caloric expenditure in the hours following the end of a HIIT-type training is higher compared to after a training is continued. According to the results of two meta-analyzes, this type of training is effective in promoting fat loss, including abdominal and visceral fat loss.

Effects of HIIT workout on the risk of chronic diseases

HIIT is an effective training method to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. A meta-analysis has shown that HIIT training can reduce blood pressure and fasting blood glucose in obese or overweight people. A study in women found that HIIT was as effective as continuous training in improving lipid profile and glycemic control. It also allows 25% to 56% less time per week to be spent on training.

hiit workout

Source: Unsplash

Convenient for people in a hurry

A common reason people give for not doing sports is lack of time. The HIIT workout can not be sustained for a long time, since its intensity is very high. The total duration of a HIIT session is usually 15 to 30 minutes. Thus, this training method is useful for improving fitness and spending a lot of energy in a short period of time. But beware, even if condensing sports hours is a tempting solution, it’s not a reason to become sedentary the rest of the time!

HIIT workout requires few equipment

With the weight of the body and the right choice of exercises (such as jumping squats, jumping rope, jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups or even running intervals), you can easily get a complete workout very intense!

hiit workout

Source: Unsplash


The benefits of continued training and HIIT training on body composition and risk factors for chronic diseases would seem to be quite similar. Except that continuous training requires more time. In reality, the most effective training will most likely be the one you will be able to perform on a regular basis in the long run. It is up to you to choose whether you prefer continuous training, HIIT, or a combination of both.

One common perception is that HIIT training is just for people who are in excellent physical condition. On the contrary, it can be modulated according to the abilities of each. By varying the duration and intensity of the periods of effort, the recovery time and the chosen sport (for example cycling versus running).

hiit workout

Source: Unsplash

On the other hand, this type of training carries a higher risk of joint injuries and is not the best choice for people who have a greater susceptibility to injury. In addition, high intensity exercise causes a short-term increase in blood cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Thus, people who already have high metabolic stress parameters would benefit from promoting a more moderate intensity continuous workout.

Leave a Comment