We all know that aerobic training can be really boring at times. Running on the treadmill or doing an exercise bike certainly doesn't seem stimulating; and as if that weren't enough, the effect of this type of training on the reduction of fat mass is often disappointing.
What if we said that you can pass less time in the gym and at the same time burning more fat? This statement may seem counterintuitive at first glance, yet there is a scientifically proven training method that can speed up metabolism - and consequently calorie consumption - even after we leave the gym, and for an extended period of time.
We are talking aboutHigh-Intensity Interval Training, often abbreviated HIIT.
HIIT is a training method where - as opposed to classic aerobic workouts - the key element is intensity rather than duration. HIIT alternates low or moderate intensity aerobic intervals with high intensity intervals.
Basically, instead of running on the treadmill at a constant speed for 20 minutes, you alternate periods of slow running with periods of fast sprinting. For example, you can have periods of 50 seconds of running at normal or slow speed interspersed with fast shots lasting 10 seconds.
The most encouraging fact is that a HIIT workout lasts less than a traditional aerobic workout. Scientific results also show that HIIT improves both aerobic and anaerobic performance, and has the effect of burning more fat despite the shorter duration.
It is a scientific fact that metabolism remains elevated even for many hours after training. Once we leave the gym, at home or at work, we continue to burn calories at a higher rate than normal.
This phenomenon is known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), i.e. excess oxygen consumption after training. As long as the body is in the recovery phase after a workout, the metabolism remains accelerated. Consequently, the more exercise-induced muscle damage, the longer you will burn calories and fat at a higher rate.
HIIT is most effective in inducing exercise damage to muscle fibers and consequently is the best way to speed up post-workout metabolism .
There are also other mechanisms by which HIIT helps us lose weight faster. Scientific studies have demonstrated the role of HIIT in increasing the amount of muscle enzymes that stimulate the use of fats for energy purposes , and in increasing the amount of proteins that transport fats to the mitochondria, where they will be burned for produce energy .
In summary, High-Intensity Interval Training turns out to be an extremely efficient method for increase our athletic performance, and to lose weight quickly without spending too much time in the gym.
You can increase the intensity of your training gradually, for example reducing recovery times between the various series, or by modifying our training program with the inclusion of some exercises performed in circuit.