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5 Ways HIIT Will Revolutionize Your Workout

We love debunking health and fitness fads. If you don’t know what we mean, check out our investigation into smoothie diets, the ultimate guide to intermittent fasting for athletes, and our research into whether superfoods are worth the hype for athletes. You’ll get the picture.

Of all the fads we’ve investigated, there’s one (besides ice baths!) that we’re confident is here to stay, and that is a grueling, sweaty, pushing-yourself-to-the-limit, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout.

If you read the D-Word religiously (thanks!), you’ve already heard of HIIT and why we love it. We’ve incorporated it into one of our laws, The Law of Maximizing Input, because it’s just that good. Now, we’re back to preach more sweaty goodness and to tell you five ways incorporating HIIT into your regime will revolutionize your workouts.

“If you don’t find the time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get the results.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Are you ready to shake up your regime and maximize your input? Here are five reasons HIIT is the answer.

1. They Take Less Time (and Space!)

No more excuses! When it comes to HIIT, it takes as little as 15 minutes to reap the full benefits of the workout. For those of us who LOVE the gym and consider it a haven to spend time in, tackle a slightly longer HIIT session and then capitalize on your freed-up time by cooling down properly and maybe adding in a stretch or two (we see you, people leaving the gym directly after the last set). For those of us who don’t, well, now you can’t psychologically block yourself from getting gains by saying you don’t have the time.

Oh yeah, and if you “don’t have time” to get to the gym, HIIT workouts can still kick your ass, even without weights and equipment. Having no excuses also applies to physically getting to the gym. HIIT doesn’t require much space, and the workouts can be easily modified. Get outside or warm up by moving furniture around so you can crush your 15 minutes at home and call it a day.

Looking for your first HIIT workout? Try out this one from Mr. and Mrs. Muscle on YouTube.

2. High Burn

The point of interval training isn’t just to get your heart rate up but to confuse it. By performing bursts of high intensity followed by a moment of recovery, your cardiovascular and muscular systems need to work that much harder to keep up. When you perform regular cardio, your heart can get into a rhythm, efficiently providing the right amount of blood and oxygen to your body. With the stop-and-go of HIIT, there’s no chance to rest and slip into auto-pilot. Just how good is HIIT? According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, HIIT burns up to 30% more than other forms of exercise.

3. High After Burn

We LOVE that HIIT is efficient and scorches calories during the workout, but that’s not even the best part. HIIT also burns calories after the workout, sometimes up to 24 hours. This is called Excess Post Energy Consumption (EPOC), otherwise known as “afterburn.” Remember how hard your heart has to work? When you work it hard enough, like the sweaty intervals of HIIT do, it takes longer to fully recover and reset. During that recovery time, your body is still burning calories. How many calories? Enough to more than make up for the reduced time commitment.

4. Functional Movements

As we said, you can do HIIT even without fancy machines or basic weights. You’ll reap the benefits as long as you get your heart going in intervals at a high enough intensity. Plenty of HIIT workouts focus on functional movements. While athletes want to train for the gains they want, the average person needs to train and be strong for everyday life.

Another great thing about HIIT is that those functional movements are easily swapped out for other things. Have bad knees? No problem; you can find an effective, no-or-low-impact movement to incorporate instead. Don’t care about Olympic lifting? You won’t find that type of movement in HIIT anyway. For a sample, check out that YouTube video above — Mr. and Mrs. Muscle offer modifications for each exercise. Dare we repeat it? NO EXCUSES!

Priming your body for the things you need to do every day is essential as a human — especially if you’re getting older. You might as well make it as efficient as possible and burn off excess calories while you’re at it.

5. Adds Variety to Your Regime

Variety is the spice of life! What better way to kick your workout regime up a notch and switch it out than by punishing your body with a short but deadly session. Just like you need rest days for recovery, your body must change things so everything stays fresh and effective. Without variety, you’ll not only burn yourself out mentally but also reach that autopilot state of mind (and body) that kills both motivation and the effectiveness of your workouts. Plus, if you’ve reached a plateau that you can’t shake, adding something new can often be the cure.

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HIIT Me, Baby, One More Time

Once you recover from your first HIIT workout, life will be like one big Blackjack game — you’ll be asking the workout dealer to HIIT you. With so many benefits, it’s worth adding to your regime to see if it works for you. Not only is the variety great for your motivation and body, but the convenience of a quick and long-lasting burn is undeniable. Take less time, take less space, burn more, burn longer, and treat your body to the ultimate “fitness fad.”

PS. Ready to get HIIT with the ultimate workout? Stay tuned for our upcoming, DRYWORLD HIIT workout challenge!

“The afternoon is usually conditioning. So whether we're on the bike or the track, we're doing intervals.” — Francis Tiafoe

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