Burn More Fat With HIIT

Faster Fat Loss and Increased Energy

Chances are you have heard the term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) tossed around. Well, it’s a workout term and with summer just around the corner and the renewed interest in burning fat that many people have this time of year, it is time to figure it out. So, what exactly does it mean?

In short, high-intensity interval training involves very intense anaerobic training for a short period of time. In other words, it’s basically picking your favorite anaerobic cardiovascular exercise and going all-out at it for a given time period. Normally during HIIT, you try to keep your rest periods as short as possible while still maintaining an optimal workout. If you rest too long and lose your elevated heart rate, your workout may not be as effective. Recent research shows that HIIT can really help fat oxidation in the body, ultimately leading to a better physique with more energy.

Fat oxidation is the process of fatty acids going through a metabolic reaction that basically results in more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for the body to use. ATP is the body’s first form of energy that it looks for. The more ATP the body has in store before exercise, the longer and more intense the workout can be. If the workout proves to be very efficient because of this oxidation process, fat loss should follow. Increasing fat oxidation may also reduce symptoms of both type 2 diabetes as well as obesity.

Both fat oxidation and high-intensity interval training can both be incorporated into a single workout. Fat oxidation has been shown to increase during running exercises. I’d recommend sprint intervals to get the most out of fat oxidation. Also, train in a fasted state rather than eating hours prior to the workout. According to one study, fast at least six hours before your workout to get optimal fat oxidation. However, the study says that the time and intensity of a workout and how it affects fat oxidation is relatively unknown. In the end, training in a fasted state and doing sprint intervals is a great HIIT workout that optimizes fat oxidation.

These workouts should be done frequently, mainly due to the added health benefits of performing them. HIIT cardio has been shown to lower body fat, blood pressure and your heart rate. It also strengthens your cardiovascular system, making you less susceptible to coronary artery disease. Like I said earlier, fat oxidation reduces symptoms of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Aside from health benefits, HIIT cardio is very time efficient and fun if you do it right. There are so many forms of it that you get to pick and choose the exercises you like the best, incorporating them all into a great workout.

Performing high-intensity interval training in high temperatures has many benefits as well. Other than the dramatic increase in perspiration, cardiovascular health improves due to the increase in blood plasma volume. In addition, skeletal muscle force increases while your overall core temperature drops. Contrary to what one might believe, you’ll actually be able to perform better in the cold too. Your VO2 max will also improve as you will be able to train through a wider range of temperatures than before. Even though training at high temperatures can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, research shows that training at these temperatures can exhibit many beneficial physiological changes.

Whether it’s jumping rope or running sprints, it really doesn’t matter what kind of HIIT workout you do as long as you do it effectively and in hot enough weather. Common protocols of the workout include drinking enough water (16-24 oz) before training, listening to your body through the humidity, and not going overboard with the workout. The last thing we want is for your workout to suffer. Overall, performing HIIT cardio has tremendous benefits. It not only improves cardiovascular health but also keeps you in great shape.


Sample HIIT Cardio Workout

Sprint 20-30 seconds

Push-ups 20-30 seconds

Sprint 20-30 seconds

Body Squats 20-30 seconds

Sprint 20-30 seconds

Burpees 20-30 seconds

Sprint 20-30 seconds

  • Rest 30-50 seconds after each round
  • Complete 3-5 cycles of these
  • High-speed indoor cycle can be subbed for running if desired


Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs with an emphasis on high-intensity interval training (HIIT).






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