If you spend any time near a gym you will have heard of HIIT. People rave about it, from your weekend warriors to your shredded sisters, everyone’s given it a go and the results speak for themselves. But what is it? And why are HIIT workouts for women so popular? Well look no further ladies, we’ve got all the answers right here.
A short sharp workout that burns fat for a day after you finish exercising – sounds like the stuff of dreams. Luckily you’re wide awake and HIIT really is as effective as the rumors.
To help you choose whether it’ll work for you and your training, we delve into all the benefits of HIIT and why it works. After all that, if you really want to get to grips with this style of training, we’ve even created a couple of HIIT workouts for women.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about HIIT and how it can transform your physique.
- What is HIIT?
- The benefits of HIIT workouts for women
- HIIT workouts for women
What is HIIT?
An acronym for high-intensity interval training, HIIT (pronounced hit) is essentially bursts of highly intense exercise, followed by a short break.
For example, sprint for 30 seconds, then rest for a minute. These types of workouts push your body very hard for a short period of time, then allows you to recover for a while, before doing it all over again.
By doing this, you can maximize your output for a short period of time, rather than plugging away at the treadmill for hours at a time. If you’re short on time or you just don’t have the willpower to slog away at one thing, this could be perfect for you.
The benefits of HIIT workouts for women
From fat burning qualities to convenience for the time poor, there are plenty of benefits from HIIT. With this type of training in your regular routine, you can transform your physique, improve your overall health and even cut down on your time at the gym.
Still not convinced? Read on for more…
You’re already spending hours in the weights room working on that toned physique, so you don’t want your cardio to take up too much time. Luckily for you, HIIT training is the perfect option. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to get in an extremely effective lung-bursting, fat-burning workout. Who really wants to spend hours plugging away at the running machine when you can work hard for a fraction of the time and achieve incredible results. Not us.
You don’t need any equipment
If you really don’t have time to head to the gym for a weights session, but don’t want to miss out your cardio, you can do your HIIT training session at home. Whether you’re doing 30-second sprints or a Tabata squat session, you don’t need any kit to turn out an extremely powerful workout.
They burn more calories
Despite their brevity, a HIIT workout can burn 25 to 30 percent more calories than running on a treadmill, cycling or resistance training. You’re working at a higher intensity and pushing your body to the max, which means you’re burning more calories to get it done.
It burns fat
Studies have shown that you can burn more fat by using a HIIT workout, despite it taking less time. Research published in the Sports Medicine Open shows that, rather than burning carbs for energy it turns to fat, making it the perfect addition to your shredding season routine.
Your metabolism will be raised
HIIT workouts seriously torches calories – more than you might think for such a short workout. A 20 minute, highly intense interval session not only burns fat while you’re working out, it can keep your metabolism raised for up to 24 hours later. That means your body will burn more calories than normal for a day after you complete the workout.
It doesn’t waste away your muscle
You’ve heard all the warnings. Extended periods of anaerobic exercises can make your body cannibalise your own muscle gains instead of burning through fat like you want – potentially putting your shredded physique at risk. But not HIIT. Rather than decreasing muscle mass like long sessions of cardio may do, it actually helps you maintain mass by stimulating your fast twitch muscle fibers. These guys help us with our short and strong bursts of energy. Studies have also shown that by adding HIIT to your workout routine, it’ll also help you build up your endurance.
Improves overall health
HIIT can be super beneficial to your overall health, including your cardiovascular strength. Your heart is a muscle, just like everything else you work in the gym and you shouldn’t neglect it. HIIT training is the perfect way to put it to the test.
To put it simply, it’s harder for your heart to change heartrate than it is to maintain a steady beat – even if that’s a raised rate. By working your hardest, then resting, then working again, you’re asking your heart to constantly raise and lower its BPM. By doing this you’re giving your heart it’s own little workout, improving it’s muscular function and making it more effective in general.
It increases oxygen consumption
A recent study found that by including just 20 minutes of HIIT training into your normal activity levels four times a week, you can improve your oxygen consumption by up to nine per cent over a five week period. That’s the equivalent of cycling for 40 minutes four times a week according to the study.
This means you’re improving your bodies ability to process oxygen. So when you decide to give CrossFit a try, sign up for a 5k run in a moment of madness, or even have to chase down a bus, your body will be better prepared to go.
HIIT workouts for women
Whether you’re looking for a short, but not so sweet sprint session or want a fat-burning finisher for your legs day, we’ve got you covered with these HIIT workouts for women.
Sprint HIIT workout
This is an easy one to perform on the treadmill or even out on the street. Up the ante a little and perform your sprints on an incline to really get your body working to the max. A hill or even a set of stairs is a great way to turn up the heat. Set a timer on your watch or your phone to make sure you’re working for long enough and have an appropriate rest.
Perform the following 10 times through:
- 30 second sprint
- 1 minute 30 second slow walking
HIIT legs workout
Work your muscles and cut through fat in this all-encompassing HIIT legs workout. This is the perfect way to finish off a legs day, and will help to support the muscles you’ve been working on the weights room. We’re focussing in on building your booty, upping your heartrate and burning away that fat all in under 20 minutes.
Download an interval training app to your phone and set up the timer to follow a 20 second/40 second pattern for five rounds. Include a couple of minutes rest when you’ve completed all the sets on one exercise.
Perform one movement for five sets, before moving on to the next exercise:
- Squats: 20 seconds of squats, 40 seconds rest
- Jumping lunges: 20 seconds of alternating leg jumping lunges, 40 seconds of rest
- Burpees: 20 seconds of burpees, 40 seconds rest
At home HIIT workouts
Despite it’s incredible results, you don’t need a gym setting to complete an effective HIIT workout. Whether you’re running out of time after a busy day at work, or want to lose weight but you’re not ready to face the gym yet, this could be the answer to all your problems. A HIIT workout can very comfortably be performed in your own home.
To help you squeeze in 25 minutes of fat-burning brilliance in your home, we’ve got a full body workout that is sure to reap rewards. No equipment needed.
Perform five sets of each exercise, rest for a minute before moving on to the next movement:
- Sit-ups: 20 seconds work, 40 seconds rest
- Squats: 20 seconds work, 40 seconds rest
- Press-ups: 20 seconds work, 40 seconds rest
- Walking lunges: 20 seconds work, 40 seconds rest
A HIIT workout for women can be a game-changer when it comes to helping you create that trim, toned figure you’ve been dreaming of. Say goodbye to spending hours on the treadmill and hello to some serious results.
Give your shred a helping hand with an all-natural fat burning supplement. It’ll alongside with your HIIT workouts to improve your metabolic rate, reduce pesky hunger cravings and increase your energy levels to help melt away fat.
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