Eight Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Jermaine Sempebwa
Jermaine Sempebwa
· 2 min read
Personal trainer enjoying the benefits of high-intensity interval training.

The fitness industry has seen a rise in the popularity of workout programmes such as CrossFit and Insanity which all fall under the umbrella of HIIT workouts. 

What do all these exercise programmes have in common and why are they so popular? High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise format that involves periods of short intense exercises followed by less intense recovery periods. These routines are overall no longer than 15 to 30 minutes yet provide a host of fitness benefits.

Read on to find out more about the scientifically proven benefits of high-intensity interval training.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #1: It's Efficient

HIIT is an ideal workout strategy for busy work schedules and for those looking to get in shape in the shortest time possible. Research supports that you can achieve more progress in a 15-minute HIIT workout than you can from running on the treadmill for an hour.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #2: Increased Fat Burning

In a HIIT workout it is possible to burn more calories in 15 minutes than a person would burn at steady state on a treadmill for an hour. The result of training at a high intensity challenges the body to work harder in recovering and repairing fatigued muscles after the session. This results in burning more body fat and calories in a complete day after a HIIT workout than you would from a steady state workout.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #3: Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

Studies have shown that after 8 weeks of HIIT workouts subjects are able to cycle for twice as long as they could before whilst maintaining the same pace. This indicates an increase in their cardiovascular fitness and tolerance to lactic acid build up in the muscles.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #4: No Equipment Needed

Running on the treadmill, skipping and rowing all work well for HIIT workouts, but no equipment is needed to gain the same results. Exercises such as running outdoors, high knees, jump squats or jump lunges work just as well at increasing the heart rate to give you the same effect. 

(If you like the idea of training with little to no equipment, you might also be interested in this calisthenics workout for beginners.) 

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #5: Lose Weight, Maintain Muscle

Some of the negative responses to low calorie diets are a loss of muscle as well as fat, which ultimately lowers the person’s metabolic rate. HIIT workouts along with weight training have been shown to preserve muscle mass ensuring that most of the weight loss comes from fat stores.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #6: Increased Metabolism

In addition to maintaining muscle mass and increasing fat burning, HIIT workouts stimulate production of human growth hormone during the 24 hours after a workout, which has the effect of increasing the body’s metabolism.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #7: Do it Anywhere

Because HIIT workouts are such a simple concept you can adapt them to whatever time and space constraints you have; you can do them in a hotel room, at home, in the park, at the gym, or on a hill. Regardless of what is available to you, you can still have an effective workout following the same protocol.

Benefit of High-Intensity Interval Training #8: No Time for Boredom

‘But what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.’ HIIT workouts aren’t for those who exercise for social reasons; HIIT workouts are for people who are focused on getting results and getting them fast. You won’t get bored doing these workouts because there’s simply not enough time!

Where to find out more

You can find out more about Jermaine, a leading personal trainer in London, on his profile and website. Get in touch to discover how he can help you utilise HIIT workouts to reach your strength and fitness goals.