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Burn Body Fat Fast with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Updated on November 12, 2010

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

High Intensity Interval Training sessions are short and intense cardio workouts that have shown to burn body fat much more efficiently that slow aerobic sessions. High intensity exercise is known to raise hormone levels, which encourages muscle growth. More muscle also increases your metabolic rate which in turn burns more calories.

HIIT workouts usually last no longer than 20 minutes. This makes them easy to fit in with peoples hectic schedules and perfect for training in the morning before work, or during the lunch hour.

In HIIT, repetitions of high intensity exercise are followed by a period of medium intensity exercise. For example, sprinting for 10 seconds would be followed by jogging for 20 seconds and this would be repeated about 6 to 10 times.

HIIT Workouts

You can perform HIIT using the treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine and just about any cardio machine found at the gym. Almost any exercise can be turned into a HIIT workout. Check out the list below for some inspiration.

  • Running up the stairs
  • Training with a heavy bag
  • Skipping
  • Bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, burpees and press ups)
  • Plyometric exercises (tuck jumps, split squat jumps, medicine ball throws)

Heavy bag training is not just for boxers anymore. As mentioned above the heavy bag can provide a fantastic cardio workout. Throw a high volume of punches at the bag for 30 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and then go again. Do these 6 to 10 times for a brilliant high intensity workout that also helps reduce stress levels and improve upper body strength.

Read more on choosing the right heavy bag for your training.

Skipping is another great cardio alternative to the conventional running or cycling. The cardio benefits of skipping incredible, because of its calorie burning effect in such a short amount of time. Skipping also helps to develop timing and good footwork making one of the most efficient workouts possible. It also happens to be a lot of fun.

Tabata Training

Tabata training is one of the most popular HIIT methods used. It involves doing 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 repetitions. Tabata training therefore lasts for only 4 minutes and produces incredible results, especially in the anaerobic capacity of trainees.

Research has shown that Tabata training can produce better results than steady intensity training performed for longer and with greater frequency. The key with Tabata training is to really push yourself during the high intensity reps.

Time to Get Intense

No more dull workouts. HIIT is fast, exciting and extremely beneficial at improving fitness levels and shredding unwanted body fat. Also you do not need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to get started. So what are you waiting for?


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    • dwelburn profile image

      David 5 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Good hub; yes HIIT is a great way to train. Tabata was shown to give more benefit in 4 mins (+10 min. warmup) than an hour of moderate intensity cardio, done 5 days per week for 6 weeks.

      Would not normally recommend anyone do it 5 days per week though. These were well conditioned athletes. Most people will get great results with 2 - 3 times per week.