MH compiles its best-ever articles to get you burning fat, fast
Some guys burn fat like a furnace and get sleeve-ripping guns in no time at all. Their secret? Four words: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). There’s a reason why almost every trainer swears by HIIT. Cycles of intense anaerobic exertion followed by slower recovery periods are proven to burn fat and build muscle – fast. And here’s how to make the most of it.
Knowledge is power
You could spend hours on mind-numbingly boring cardio exercise with little results, or less time on high intensity results to get massive gains. An easy choice, right? HIIT really means more muscle, less fat and all in less time – this is not a drill. Researchers from McMaster University in Canada discovered high intensity training delivers the same physical benefits as traditionally tedious endurance training. In other words, HIIT has its cake then eats it too (and then burns that cake off in record speed).
HIIT burns away fat
High intensity training will kickstart your metabolism, meaning you’ll still be burning calories long after you leave the gym. The intense anaerobic exercise opens up a tab of energy and lets you settle the bill with blubber. This means you can burn up to 5% of your body fat with a simple 20 minute workout. according to researchers from Southern Illinois University.
HIIT packs on the muscle
The human body has two main muscle groups: fast twitch and slow twitch. Small slow twitch muscles are great for endurance, but they’re unlikely to fill out your t-shirt – unless you’ve accidentally shrunk it in the wash. Fast twitch muscles, on the other hand, are larger and used for power movements.
But changing slow twitch muscles into fast twitch is incredibly difficult, right? Well, no. Researchers at the Department of Clinical Physiology in Stockholm found HIIT is an effective way of transforming fibres from slow to fast. It’s no wonder Joel Edgerton has his own HIIT workout to get in blockbuster shape.
HIIT cranks up your cardio
A few weeks of high intensity workouts will also boost your V02 max – the key metric determining your pace, power and endurance – by 6% more than standard cardio, according to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology. That’s right,a workout of less than 20 minutes per session is better for your cardiovascular health than longer workout sessions. Seriously. This is because HIIT recruits more muscle tissue – around 80% compared with 20-40% for moderate jogging or cycling. It’s a simple formula: more muscle use = better cardiovascular fitness. HIIT has it all covered.
Your abs love HIIT Intensity training is a sure-fire way to a defined six-pack. Why? Your abs hide behind a layer of fat that HIIT removes while jacking them up at the same time. You’ll be struggling to sit up after our extreme intensity abs workout,but you’ll see signs of your six-pack emerging in no time. We can’t promise it won’t hurt, but it’s the quickest way to an ironclad core. You can thank us later.
Muscle mass?HIIT the bike
A short warm up, intense pedalling, cool down. That's all you need for some serious gains. Oh, and the entire thing lasts less than twenty minutes. Scientists at Canada's McMaster University found 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike are equally effective as hours spent at low-intensity. Getting bulked on a bike couldn’t be faster.
Want to burn fat?HIIT the rowing machine
Warm up. Row like there’s no tomorrow. Recover. Repeat. It’s really that easy to drop off the fat. Mark Coles, a fat loss specialist at M 10 fitness,recommends using power intervals on a rower: go flat-out for 30sec then do 2min slowly. Repeat 4 times 2-3 times per week. “This stimulates growth hormones and increases fat loss,” he says. Researchers from the University of Tasmania found that just four weeks of HIIT training improved the time-trial performances of competitive rowers in comparison to traditional training.
Don’t over do it
Since HIIT is so effective, all you need to fight is the urge to overtrain and you’ll be well on your way to washboard abs. More than three high intensity sessions a week could cause havoc to your gains, according to a study published in the journal Plus One. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that those who used HIIT three times a week saw an 11% improvement in their endurance but those who exercised every day showed no development. Put simply, HIIT means less workout time and more gains.
Eat well for best results
HIIT will transform your body into a rocket – and all rockets need fuel. A study in The Journal of Nutrition found that just 20g of protein before a session can enhance your calorie burn over 24 hours and taking amino acids 30 minutes prior to training could build 42% more muscle than those who took them after intensity training. You can also carb up guilt free as the oxidative stress of HIIT could force the body eat up muscle for energy, meaning a couple of slices of wholemeal bread,or even a bit of pasta will do you the world of good.
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