7 Commonly Asked Questions Regarding HIIT
It’s common for most beginners to high intensity interval training (HIIT) to have questions about it. They want to know if it’s effective… or if they’ll see results and so on.
All these questions are perfectly normal. After all, HIIT is very tiring. So, the juice must be worth the squeeze. In this case, it definitely is. When it comes to burning fat and getting you ripped, HIIT delivers on all fronts.
Now let’s look at the 7 most commonly asked questions.
- How long do I need to work out?
Generally, a maximum of 15 minutes should do. There are some HIIT methods like the Tabata Protocol where the exercise session is only 4 minutes long. Basically, you’ll work out hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is repeated 8 times over 4 minutes.
You would be surprised to discover that even with only 4 minutes, the workout is so powerful that people who engage in it are in fat burning mode for hours after it’s done.
While Tabata is extremely demanding, you can opt for easier HIIT styles where you exercise for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds and so on. What really matters is that you give your maximum effort during the training.
If you do it right, you’ll be exhausted within 15 minutes. There’s really no need to go longer than that. HIIT is very effective and doesn’t require long, boring sessions.
- Should I train on an empty stomach?
No, it’s not recommended. Unlike fasted cardio which is done at a much slower pace, HIIT will require you to have energy. The best way to do that is to have a small meal about an hour or so before you work out. A slightly elevated blood sugar level will give you more energy to train harder.
- Will I need any special equipment?
Besides comfortable workout wear, you don’t need any other equipment if your HIIT workout is only made up of bodyweight exercises. As you progress, you may wish to get dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, a jump rope, stability ball, exercise band, etc. This will allow you to add more resistance to your training and make it more challenging.
- Do I need to join a gym?
You could, but you don’t need to. One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is that you really don’t need much equipment or space. In fact, you could do an entire 15-minute workout in your office cubicle at work. You just need the right exercises.
So, if your budget is tight and you don’t want to fork out money for a swanky gym, don’t sweat it. Keep the sweating for the HIIT session that you can do in the privacy of your own home.
- How often should I do HIIT?
Ideally, you should do it 3 times a week. You don’t have to do more than that. Each session will have you burning calories at an accelerated rate for hours.
- Will I see fast results?
You can expect to see results in 3 to 4 weeks. HIIT is very effective for burning fat. If your workout has lots of leg training, you’ll see yourself gaining more muscle too.
- Consecutive days or spread out?
Always spread out your HIIT sessions. If you do one on Monday, you can do a weight training session on Tuesday, followed by another HIIT workout on Wednesday.
Many people worry that they’ll not be exercising enough. After all, it’s just 15 minutes on 3 days a week. The good news is that HIIT is so powerful that you’ll see better results with just 3 days than with 7 days of training in other styles.
The reason we take a day’s break in between is to give the body’s central nervous system a break. If you overdo HIIT, you’ll release the stress hormone, cortisol into your system. We want to avoid that and get sufficient rest between sessions.
To conclude, HIIT is one of the best ways to exercise. Adopt it as part of your training regimen. You’ll be amazed at how powerful it is.