HIIT vs Cardio - The Weight Loss Facts

By Howe Russ

High intensity interval training is undoubtedly one of the most talked about weight loss tips of the 21st century. But if you are unsure why so many gym lovers are jumping on board the HIIT train, you're about to find out the main reasons.

Today you will discover the science behind HIIT and the reason it has become such a practised method in gyms around the world over the last few years.

Despite being over twenty five years old, HIIT is still fairly unheard of in much of the fitness world, with many regular gym users still succumbing to the old strategy of performing long, steady state cardiovascular exercise to hit the often fabled fat burning zone. Thanks to the constantly developing scientific studies behind the health and fitness industry, long steady state cardio is now yesterday's advice for those who are looking to burn unwanted body fat!

HIIT was initially discovered almost by accident, when researchers were trying to discover if exercise could help to prevent our metabolism from lowering as we got older. They noticed that the individuals who had been working at a higher level of intensity in the gym had the far greater weight loss results. Back in 1985 this was big news, but it wasn't until five years later that these results were confirmed in a much more in depth study.

The first real instances of people using this new approach in their training was sprinters and swimmers. These athletes saw HIIT as a method to increase their explosive power of short distances, which is very useful in their respective sports.

A 2001 study from Canada provided the first concrete evidence for HIIT as an effective method to lose weight. Studies confirmed that not only did it increase the body's usage of carbohydrates, which is uses for fuel in the workout, it also increased the fat metabolizing enzyme HADH. This was a shock at the time, because it doesn't actually use fat for fuel, it uses carbohydrates. Better still, this increase in HADH lasted for a massive fourteen hours. []

So not only was HIIT proven to be effective for losing blubber, it increased the body's ability to burn excess fat for over half a day after the workout had finished!

The study went on to show that it also increased lean muscle mass and prevented muscle breakdown during exercise. The best result of the study, however, was the fact that the HIIT group burnt off over six times more body fat than their steady state cardiovascular counterparts. This showed that one calorie burnt during a HIIT workout was equal to six during regular cardiovascular activity.

Since then, of course, countless new studies have went on to confirm the effectiveness behind interval training and it has become one of the most talked about discoveries in the history of the fitness industry, with countless personal trainers and fitness experts putting their weight behind it.

Like all new fitness concepts, high intensity interval training has recently made it's appearance in the mainstream. This can lead to some labeling it as a passing fad but, having seen the mounting evidence behind it's effectiveness, you now realize that HIIT can become one of the most productive weight loss tips for those who are prepared to learn a little bit about it before jumping in.

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