It is not a good idea to lose weight too fast. But when I was looking to lose weight, or even just trim up, I always looked for the fastest way to get there. Does an exercise exist that will get you there fastest? I asked around, and many of my friends or family that are in the fitness business recommended I look more closely into HIIT training workouts.
I have done HIIT workouts before, and they have done a great job. So we’re going to look at what HIIT exercises are, the advantages of HIIT and their disadvantages, and then we’ll decide if it really answers the question; what is the best exercise to lose weight fast?
What Exactly Are HIIT Training Workouts?
It took me years to actually remember what HIIT stands for, until I did them. Then I didn’t forget ever. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. What exactly does that mean? It really is very simple. It is performing a short burst of exercises that are high intensity, and alternating with short rests.
Even though my main focus for working out is strength training, I still incorporate HIIT into my workouts. I break my workouts into one day of chest, shoulders, triceps, one day of back and biceps, and one day of legs. I alternate my physical therapy workout for my knee surgery recovery, with leg day every other time. So after each workout except for my regular leg day I get on the treadmill and walk a minute and a half, then sprint for 30 seconds. That treadmill work is HIIT.
However, your workout can be completely made of HIIT. I followed one fitness trainer who made an entire workout like this. It was a four-minute warm up, with 15 to 35 minutes of HIIT, then a 5-minute cool down stretch. She also incorporated the Tabata Protocol workout into some of it, which is considered the best of the HIIT workouts by some. It is different in that you do 20 seconds of 100% intensity exercises followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals. Seems really easy, right? Well even though the HIIT workouts are shorter than my hour to hour and a half of strength training, it is definitely not easier. High Intensity is the key to understanding this work out!
The Advantages Of HIIT
There seem to be a slew of advantages to doing your workouts this way. And when I did my trainer’s workout, I really saw great results, a flatter tummy, and inches lost! And this was before I altered my eating habits to work better with my workouts! But don’t let me get away from the specific advantages! There are a lot of scientific explanations for why HIIT works so well, but to keep it simple, here’s what it boils down to:
- It raises your heart rate, thus improves your cardiovascular system.
- Increases your metabolism and up to 48 hours after your workout!
- Burns fat. Yay!
- It’s a quicker workout.
- Equipment is optional.
- Can be done anywhere.(I’ve done it in a hotel room :<D)<d)< li=””></d)<>
- It works!
- Can reverse aging.
- Helps develop your focus and helps you push yourself.
- It is massively flexible in the combination of moves and types of moves you can do.
- It can be easily tailored to your fitness level.
Yep, The Disadvantages Of HIIT
From my personal experience I can say what were disadvantages for me, but first let me hit what my research found.
- You have to be honest with yourself.
- Doing too much of it can cause injury.
- Doing too much of it can make it less effective.
- If you don’t recover right it can be less effective.
- Not doing each move correctly can cause injury.
As you can see there are a lot more advantages than disadvantages. And maybe one of these disadvantages doesn’t seem like a disadvantage. But in order for HIIT to be effective, the high intensity part has to be high intensity. So if you’re doing it at too low of an intensity and you’re not being honest with yourself about how high your intensity is, it will not work. And then your doing some work for nothing.
Making sure moves are correct in any work out is important, but in HIIT, because you are working at a faster more intense rate, it is more likely you will injure yourself if you’re not doing the move right. And the short intense part of it is supposed to be short for a reason. So if you do it too long it will be less effective.
HIIT Training Workouts – Is It Really The Best?
I struggled with adding another point to the disadvantages list. And that is the point that you have to like it. I’ve actually done a couple of different HIIT workouts. They worked really well. The first one I did was B.A. I did one of them for an exercise in one of my acting classes and everyone couldn’t believe I could do some of the moves I did. They are really hard. And I loved this workout because it was so challenging, for about a year. Another one, by the trainer I talked about earlier, again was super effective. But I stopped liking it after one time through the workout regimen.
I didn’t add this to my disadvantages list because really with any workout, if you don’t like it, it won’t work. So it is just important for you to make sure that even though a workout may be super effective and healthy, you have to love it to continue doing it. The workout method you love is the best for you to lose weight fast.
There are also a couple of things that are important to know for the HIIT workout. Because an elevated heart rate is very important to the effectiveness of HIIT, you want to monitor your heartrate. I did it by counting my heartbeats in the above mentioned workouts. Now my treadmill at the gym does it for me. But the best way is to get a heartrate monitor. According to my research you want your heartrate to get up to about 90% of your maximum heartrate. You should not be able to talk well.
And most of my research sources, and my previous trainers agreed that the low intensity part of the workout should always be doubled time-wise, compared to the high intensity part of the workout. So if you do 10 seconds of high intensity moves, then your low intensity rest should be 20 seconds. And each can range from 10 seconds to 60 seconds and above.
You Know What Works Best For You
What is the best exercise to lose weight fast? I believe the one you love doing, that works best for your schedule, and your fitness and health goals is the best answer to that question. I found that combining more strength training with a little HIIT works best for me. Along with the diet that also works best for me, that combination has me going religiously to the gym and enjoying it. Ok, I’ll be honest I am now obsessed with working out and how it makes me feel.
If you aren’t sure what you like because you haven’t tried different workouts, then you might consider trying to find a HIIT workout that you like. Because from what my trainers and my research tells me, it is one of the most flexible, most effective, most time saving workouts you can do. You could say you get the most bang for your buck with this one. But only if you enjoy it. And if you do go on a hunt for different workouts, you definitely want to keep in touch with your healthcare provider to make sure what you want to try will be healthy for you and not hurt you. And feel free to let me know what you’re trying in the comments!