High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is taking the fitness world by storm. Gyms and athletes everywhere have adopted interval training in their routine. The explosive, dynamic, and fast-paced workout style has helped people lead healthier and sustainable active lifestyles. But what makes it so effective?
Extensive studies measuring HIIT have unanimously agreed that it’s an effective program to follow for weight loss and overall health. Here’s a glimpse of what it is and why it’s so groundbreaking:
What is HIIT?
It’s is short, vigorous cardio bursts (around 30-45 seconds), then short resting intervals. Depending on factors like weight and gender, HIIT can burn up to 16 calories a minute. That means just a 20-minute workout can burn over 300 calories. It only takes seconds for high-intensity portions to boost your heart higher than steady-state cardio, “boosting your aerobic capacity,” according to U.S. News.
The miracle behind it is a natural process called Excess Post-Exercise Consumption (EPOC). In summary, it’s the calories you burn after a workout. After expending energy from an interval workout, your body needs to restore oxygen levels and reach normal resting levels again. Reaching resting levels (homeostasis) requires energy within itself – and you can achieve the extra burned energy by interval training. The American Council on Exercise describes it as “similar to how a car’s engine remains warm after being turned off, once a workout is over… your body’s metabolism can continue to burn more calories than when at complete rest.”
6 Reasons to Try HIIT at Your Next Workout
- It improves your cardiovascular system. Because HIIT isn’t focused on building muscle or looking lean – it’s based on endurance. Because your body uses oxygen more efficiently, you’re reducing the risk for blood clots.
- It controls blood sugar. No matter what food you eat, that food makes your glucose levels spike (some more than others – this is called glycemic index). HIIT has proven beneficial to moderate that spike, especially in type 2 diabetes patients.
- It helps you lose fat. Compared to steady-state workouts, HIIT has shown to burn more fat (not just weight). Because of that EPOC effect, interval training regularly can lead to aj increased calorie deficit.
- It can boost endurance. This goes hand-in-hand with a healthy cardiovascular system. High-intensity workouts increase your VO2 max, the amount of oxygen your body dispenses during exercise. The higher you max, the higher your endurance.
- It prevents muscle decline. HIIT even has benefits at the cellular level. In a study in Cell Metabolism measured the mitochondrial capacity of people exercising with HIIT, weights, and a combination of the two. The study showed those doing only HIIT experienced a 69 percent increase in mitochondrial capacity, the cell’s ability to consume oxygen and create energy.
- It reduces heart rate and blood pressure. In comparison, HIIT can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals more than moderate-intensity exercise.
Top 4 Wedge Ledge HIIT Exercises
With Wedge Ledges, you can take those benefits and more to your next workout. Your next workout can be customized to your goals and experience with these four stack-able three-inch boxes. Here are some of our favorite Wedge Ledge HIIT exercises to add to any cardio circuit:
- Mountain Climbers: Place your hands on three Wedge Ledges stacked, and feel the burn in your abs for this killer cardio/core exercise.
- Pistol Squats: Up your squat game and try them one-legged. Completing as many pistol squats as you can in a intervals with the Wedge Ledges’ support will get your heart rate up and add some challenge to your next leg day.
- Squat Jumps: Any kind of jumps are a staple for any HIIT workout. These alternating squat jumps on the floor onto the Wedge Ledges with intervals are sure to get your heart pumping for any strength day.
- Kettlebell Swings: With the additional space from the Wedge Ledges, you can safely complete kettlebell swings to add a fun resistance to your squat. Do this total body exercise in intervals to feel major endurance gains.
- Box Jumps: Keep it traditional with your interval training with box jumps using Wedge Ledges. Either jump on them, or over them. Try them at a higher level for each interval to push your limits.
More and more athletes at the novice and professional level are experiencing HIIT’s endless health benefits. Because you can carry the Wedge Ledges anywhere, the ultimate HIIT workout is with you anywhere. The non-slip grip ensures that you’ll stay safe during jumps, mountain climbers, and any other explosive interval exercise you’ll include in your next workout. To create a total-body HIIT workout with your Wedge Ledges, grab inspiration from 100 Ways to Wedge or follow us on Instagram.