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HIIT: The Most Efficient Way to Work Out

What if I told you that working out for a shorter period of time might actually give you better results than a longer workout?  Sounds like a dream come true, right?  Well, when you perform High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT, you WILL see better results in less time.  Why?  Because HIIT is the most efficient way to work out.

For years, experts have known that interval training delivered better results than any other kind of exercise.  Alternating your levels of exertion has proven to be the most effective way to both lose weight and to increase fitness.  There have been a number of formulas and programs created based on interval training.  (Tabata and CrossFit are two examples you might be familiar with).

So what exactly is HIIT?

High intensity interval training involves alternating moderate and low intensity with incredibly high levels of intensity.  Let's use running as an example.  With interval training, you could alternate periods of walking and jogging with running.  With HIIT, you would alternate walking/jogging with a sprint.

Better Results with HIIT?

Study after study shows that you can get better results by doing HIIT with walking/sprinting than by running at a steady pace for twice as long.  This is contrary to what people have been led to believe about exercise.

High intensity interval training  increases both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.  HIIT and also burns UP TO SIX TIMES more body fat.

How does HIIT increase fat loss?

One Australian study compared women who were following a 20-minute HIIT program consisting of cycles of 8 seconds of high intensity followed by 12 seconds of rest with a second group that followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at 60% of their maximum heart rate.  Guess what?  The HIIT group lost 6 times more body fat than the steady-state exercise group.

A 1994 study out of Canada conducted a similar study and found that even when their steady-state cardio group burned significantly more calories during their workout, their HIIT group lost more fat.  Why?  It is believed that more fat loss occurs from HIIT due to an increased resting metabolism following an HIIT workout.

Additionally, HIIT has been shown to cause up to a 50% increase in the amount of special proteins in muscle that boost fat burning.  These proteins increase fat burning both during workouts and when resting.

Other Benefits of HIIT:

In addition to leading to rapid weight loss, HIIT has been shown to increase muscle mass in both men and women.  Know what else?  HIIT has been shown to increase testosterone in men.

It has been proven that when you combine a lower carb diet with a high intensity interval exercise routine, the oxidation of fat is increased during exercise.

What is the most effective HIIT formula?

In 2012, researchers at the University of Copenhagen published a study that become known as "10-20-30".  These numbers refer to 30 seconds at low intensity, 20 seconds at medium intensity, and 10 seconds at high intensity.  In our running example, you could walk or jog lightly for 30 seconds, then run at a medium-high intensity for 20 seconds, and finally, sprint for 10 seconds.  Repeat this cycle for five minutes.

When does the 10-20-30 HIIT formula not work?

One drawback of the 10-20-30 formula is that it is difficult to do on a machine, like a treadmill, which will often take longer than 10 seconds to reach the desired setting change.  Additionally, it is very important when performing any kind of HIIT that you only do it a maximum of every other day.  And finally, HIIT is only for healthy individuals with joints capable of handling the load of jumping/sprinting.

Who can benefit from the 10-20-30 HIIT formula?

High Intensity Interval Training can benefit everyone from the deconditioned to high level athletes.  The beauty of the 10-20-30 formula is that most people can maintain a high intensity for 10 seconds.  Also, ten second periods at the max level seem to be short enough to avoid the build up of lactic acid that produces burn.

What is an ideal program for utilizing the 10-20-30 HIIT formula?

First, you would want to warm up.  A sample workout would include two to three 5-minute intervals using the 10-20-30 formula (that is run slowly for 30 seconds, run normal for 20 seconds, and sprint for 10 seconds).  Build in at least a two minute low-intensity rest period between the intervals.  Do this workout two to three times per week.

(I have designed a fantastic program based on this concept.  The plan includes workouts and meal plans for just $22.  For more information about the program I have available for purchase, click here).

Train smarter, not longer.


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HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training for better results in less time

Marcy Vogler is a lifestyle makeover coach, personal trainer, and mother of three.  Marcy is passionate about helping women make over their lives from the inside out.  To learn more about the courses Marcy offers, check out our parter website at  For daily inspiration, join Marcy's Facebook Group:  Love Your Day, Love Your Life.



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