As a personal trainer, one of the most common questions I get from gym-goers is how to lose fat fast. It's not unexpected as most people who exercise wants to look lean and tone and fit into nice clothing and be able to show off their bodies on the beach without the excess weight. However, most people still think that aerobic training is the way to go for fat loss. But it seems that recent research does not support this notification.
The latest findings suggest that High Intensity Interval Training also known as HIIT when compared to low intensity steady state aerobic type exercises is far more time-efficient in burning the fats in the body. In fact, there was one research that found HIIT is 9 times more effective in burning the fat than the conventional aerobic training. An Australian study actually found that the women subjects engaging in HIIT lost more overall fat body than the women in the steady state aerobic groups. The best thing about HIIT as shown in both studies is that the time required to perform the training is very short compared to the conventional aerobic training.
So what is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of training that consist of short periods of maximum intensity bout interspersed by low intensity within within the same workout. However, do not be confused with the general interval training where you just vary between higher intensity bout and lower intensity bout. The distinction between HIIT and the general interval training is the all-out effort. Without the maximum effort, it is not HIIT and it would not be effective for fat loss. Because HIIT requires the highest possible effort, it is not possible to perform more than 20-30 minutes.
Why is HIIT so effective in fat loss?
Although you can burn more calories with the normal steady state aerobic if you put in the time, it is not always as effective in losing fat as most people think. Furthermore, how long can you sustain putting long hours into aerobic training that yields very little results compared to HIIT. Because you could not perform more than 30 minutes in HIIT, you certainly do not burn as much energy as long duration steady state aerobic training during the workout. However, HIIT increases the metabolism in the body in the post workout that aerobic training does not. As such, your body becomes more effective in burning the fat at rest. Think about it … How long can you exercise versus rest? Does not it make sense to train the body to be efficient at burning fat at rest.
Why HIIT is the Smart Way to Lose Weight?
Very often, most people's approach to weight loss is burning more energy through doing more exercise. What most people do not know is that resting metabolism impact 60-70% of our daily expenditure. Therefore, we should aim to improve the metabolism through training. HIIT which is time-efficient not only increases metabolism, it also preserves lean muscle tissue which is another important factor to increasing metabolism.