How HIIT Training can help you lose weight and get fit

Taylor Holmes
by Taylor Holmes

How HIIT Training can help you lose weight and get fit


Yep you guessed it, another blog on the topic of HIIT (high intensity interval training). You may have heard about all the benefits already, but have been hesitant to try HIIT because it sounds too hard, or too intense. The reality is though that HIIT Training takes less time, and if you ask us, is a lot more fun than spending an hour on the treadmill for the same, or less benefit! 


In this article our exercise physiologist Taylor, will explore how HIIT training could benefit you and your lifestyle, and how the stereotypical group fitness-style, gym-based circuit isn’t the only definition of HIIT. He even takes us through a modified version of a HIIT program, which could help you reach your goals faster! 


HIIT helps you burn more calories!


What we should explain  and establish first is the difference between HIIT and steady state, “traditional”  cardio exercise. Steady-state cardio is aerobic: It requires oxygen and is fueled mostly by stored fat. HIIT, by contrast, is anaerobic: The work intervals don’t rely exclusively on oxygen, and are fueled mostly by stored carbohydrates. In fact HIIT can be far superior in fat loss and improved cardiovascular outcomes than traditional steady state cardio. 


In a recent study compared with weight training, biking, and running, 30 minutes of HIIT burned 25-30% more calories. During this study, the HIIT repetition consisted of 20 seconds of high-intensity, followed by 40 seconds of rest. This means that the HIIT group actually exercised a third of the time of the other groups. Who doesn’t want to burn more calories in less time? The combination of active and rest periods maximizes your calorie burn and increases cardiorespiratory fitness in half the time. This is the body’s ability to supply oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. If you consider yourself time poor or the idea of running for kilometers on a treadmill bores you then this could be the right fit for you!.


If Burning Calories isnt your goal..? 


If burning calories and losing weight isn’t your goal, HIIT can actually be far superior in improving Vo2 max. I know this term can be a buzzword in the health and fitness industry, but short periods of higher intensity exercise with low intensity intervals allows you to repetitively reach higher heart rates throughout the sessions than traditional steady state cardio. Most people don’t have hours to dedicate to exercise. This model allows you to be effective with your time but also achieve your strength and cardio related goals. 


Where do I start? 


If you’re worried about the intense style of exercise it’s okay, the intensity of these sessions can be modified to suit your current fitness level. The common belief is that HIIT training has a maximal effort repeated over and over for an extended duration – most commonly a class of around 45 mins. However below i describe how you can adopt the principles of HIIT training to suit your level and time allowance. 


Round 1: Chair squats 30 seconds on 15 seconds rest (30:15)
Round 2: Bench push ups – 30:15
Round 3: Banded row – 30:15
REPEAT 4 x rounds minimising rest time between sets. 


As you can see the above example is quite simple, but the focus is on reducing rest time between exercises to increase your heart rate, elicit a cardiovascular response, whilst also improving strength. The above exercises can also be modified to suit your current fitness and strength level. 


Some may argue that if you never reach the upper percentile of your maximum heart rate you may as well do continuous cardio exercise, however, if you want to enjoy your exercise, and are time poor or dont have the space to walk, ride, swim or use equipment, then this is a great option for you!


Taylor is an accredited Exercise Physiologist who works at Pathways Physiotherapy. If you have any further queries about the benefits of HIIT Training, you can talk to Taylor at the clinic by calling (03) 97522368. 


Alternatively, you can book an appointment to see Taylor to get a specialised exercise program, designed specifically to suit your needs by BOOKING ONLINE.