What if I told you there was a workout that you could do that would allow you to burn fat more quickly than just about any other exercise in existence, requires no special equipment at all, and it is extremely easy to do? Well, scratch the easy part, but I can help you with the other two. The exercise technique is called high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short and it is one of the most effective fat loss methods known to man.
HIIT is a simple principle to understand and it simply combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise coupled with longer duration low intensity exercise for a brief recovery period. Here is a quick scenario of how you may perform a high intensity interval training workout:
Start by warming up with 4 to 5 minutes of light jogging or doing jumping jacks to get your blood flowing. Then, begin jogging at a light to medium pace for about one minute. Now, break into your first low to moderate intensity jog, then sprint for about 30 seconds and without stopping simply slow down to the jogging pace you were at before. You have now just completed a 90 second higher-intensity interval training session. To complete an entire workout, simply continue doing those interviews 5 to 10 more times and peaking a little higher in intensity with each rep of the workout. More advanced trainers will work up to as many as 8 to 10 interval sessions but either way the entire workout will last no more than about 25 to 30 minutes.
For those of us that are used to spending an hour or more doing grueling cardio workouts, the short duration HIIT sessions may seem like we're not doing enough work to truly reach the fat loss goals that were after. The fact of the matter is, high-intensity interval training is actually proven more effective than the longer paced workouts because of the amount of work you are performing in that small period of time. It has been shown in clinical studies that after performing high-intensity interval training, your body will continue to burn fat at a rate of about nine times more over the hours following the workout than you would have just spent an hour on the treadmill at a medium pace. Your body will continue to stay in this fat burning state much longer than with regular exercise thereby increasing the fat loss benefit you receive from a HIIT session.
In addition to the calories and fat that can be burned with high intensity interval training, one of the other positive effects of the exercise is in the building of fast twitch muscle fibers thereby increasing your overall muscle mass. Long-duration aerobic exercise, such as marathon running, will actually work to diminish the amount of muscle that you have. Marathon runners are usually skinny, but if you want to maintain or actually build muscle like a track and field sprinter with your cardio workouts, then high-intensity interval training may be the answer you are looking for.
The perfect combination of shorter duration workouts that not only burn fat but help to maintain and build muscle mass make high-intensity interval training and extremely effective fat burning workout to add to your regimen.