One of the sporting trends that is likely to consolidate this year is HIIT (short for High Intensity Interval Training), which is defined in Spanish as high intensity interval training based on a short but very intense aerobic block system.

The rise in popularity of HIIT is due to the fact that it helps increase endurance and burn fat more efficiently without removing muscle mass. Plus, this workout also improves health through better control of sugar, blood pressure and excess weight.

“HIIT is the achievement or repetition of aerobic workout at maximum intensity. Since this intensity is very high, there is a short recovery in between. On the opposite side is LISS (Low Intensity Steady State), aerobic exercise at a constant low or gentle intensity. ”Javier Hurtado, Metropolitan Eurobuilding Personal Trainer.

How does HIIT help you burn fat?

This personal trainer provides several reasons why HIIT can help you burn fat:

The first reason is that you get your calorie burn in less time. For example, if during a LISS session, you need to do 40 minutes on a treadmill or low-intensity elliptical trainer to burn about 500 calories; in a HIIT session, you only need 20 minutes for this purpose. With which you can set aside the remaining time for another type of work and consume extra calories.

The second reason is excess calorie intake after exercise .. During a HIIT session, when your body wants to restore homeostatic balance – to return to normal values ​​- it starts consuming a lot of energy. In other words, you support your metabolism faster. That is, if at rest you burn one calorie for every kilogram of body weight per minute, using HIIT you can burn 1.2 or 1.3 calories.

The third reason is the hormonal cocktail that causes HIIT. Increases blood testosterone levels as well as catecholamines such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. It consumes energy.

The fourth and final reason is that HIIT has muscle strength work that LISS does not. And show the button: LISS is walking, and HIIT is a sprint, because a series of sprints requires strength in the legs. If you overuse LISS and don’t do strength work, you start to lose muscle mass.

While fat burning is superior to high-intensity training, according to Hurtado, success is achieved when you combine two tools to improve body composition: HIIT and LISS.In addition to increased exercise, calorie restriction must be added, which is achieved with less food intake. .

Can everyone practice HIIT?

Hurtado recommends HIIT practice to people who have trained for a long time to avoid problems that arise. This personal trainer warns that you must be careful because not everyone is prepared for these high intensity intervals. “For high intensity training, you have to be strong.”

Maximum HIIT per week?

Practice no more than two days of HIIT, with a 72 hour break between high intensity workouts. Metropolitan Eurobuilding’s coach insists on the importance of recovery. However, with LISS you can do it every day (because it is walking, running, cycling and elliptical smoothly).

Another fact to keep in mind is that you can do LISS during fasting, but you cannot practice HIIT because you will not have enough energy to achieve this intensity. Otherwise, you may experience dizziness, fainting and low blood pressure.

Real HIIT is accomplished through exercises that you can use to develop strength: cycling, treadmill, rowing … In HIIT, you need to make progress: start with 20 seconds of work and 40 seconds of rest. After going through the initiation phase, you can go up to 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. And then 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest.

The health benefits of intense training

High-intensity interval training benefits those who practice it, Hurtado recalls. “There is a study that says that with HIIT, after four or six weeks, you already notice that your body is changing. It also increases insulin resistance and high blood pressure. ”

Likewise, in the first hours after HIIT, levels of leptin (the hormone responsible for satiety) increase, which makes those who practice it not hungry. It also has many benefits in reducing visceral fat (which is stored in the belly).

In conclusion, Hurtado stressed that HIIT and LISS are valid tools and provide health benefits.

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