In recent years, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular as a way to improve fitness and health. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of HIIT as compared to traditional strength or cardiovascular training. While each type of exercise has their own advantages, HIIT offers a unique combination of benefits that make it an effective and efficient way to improve cardiovascular fitness, burn fat, and build strength.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting out on your fitness journey HIIT can be a great fitness tool. We've put together this guide to provide you with valuable information about HIIT and how it can help you and your clients achieve their fitness goals. So, let's dive in and discover the benefits of HIIT! 


What is HIIT & What are the benefits?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves short, intense bursts of activity followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. It's an effective way to improve cardiovascular health, build strength, and burn fat. These workouts offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for people looking to improve their overall health and fitness. These are just a few of the benefits of HIIT workouts:

Burns more calories in less time: HIIT workouts are designed to get your heart rate up quickly and keep it elevated, which burns more calories in a shorter amount of time than traditional cardio or weight training.

Boosts metabolism: HIIT workouts can help to increase your metabolism, which means you'll continue to burn calories even after your workout is over.

Builds cardiovascular endurance: By pushing your body to work at a high intensity for short periods of time, HIIT workouts can help to improve your cardiovascular endurance.

Builds strength: Some types of HIIT workouts, like strength-focused HIIT, incorporate resistance training exercises that can help to build muscle and improve overall strength.

Improves insulin sensitivity: HIIT workouts have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

In comparison to traditional cardio, HIIT workouts are more time-efficient and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. Traditional cardio is still effective for improving cardiovascular endurance, but may not be as effective for burning calories or boosting metabolism. When compared to traditional resistance training, HIIT workouts focus on cardiovascular endurance rather than building muscle mass although there may be a strength component in some HIIT workouts. 

As mentioned above one of the most critical things that consistent HIIT workouts can do for the body is cause cardiovascular adaptations that can be markers of improved health. An improved heart recovery rate is one of the most apparent changes. this is the rate at which the heart rate returns to resting levels after exercise and is an important indicator of good cardiovascular health. One other vascular change that HIIT can have a positive impact on is endothelial function. The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels and is responsible for constriction and enlargement of the blood vessels and thus plays a large role in blood pressure. Exercise can improve endothelial function and lead to improved overall health.


What types of HIIT workouts are there?

There are many types of HIIT workouts, and these are just a few that are frequently used:

Cardio-focused: These workouts involve exercises like running, cycling, rowing, or jumping jacks, performed at a high intensity for short periods followed by rest or low-intensity periods.

Strength-focused: These workouts combine strength or resistance training exercises, like squats, lunges, and push-ups, with periods of high-intensity cardio.

Mixed: These workouts combine both cardio and strength training exercises into one workout.

Tabata: This workout involves 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for eight rounds.

AMRAP: AMRAP is an acronym that stands for As Many Rounds As Possible of a set of exercises in a specific time period.

EMOM: EMOM is another acronym and stands for Every Minute On the Minute. This workout involves performing a set of exercises every minute on the minute for a specific time period.

There are many variations of these workouts and you can customize them to fit your fitness level and goals. The key is to work at a high intensity and challenge yourself during each workout. To get you started, here are two HIIT workouts - one focused on strength and one focused on cardio:

Strength Training HIIT Workout:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of jumping jacks, lunges, and squats

30 seconds of push-ups

30 seconds of kettlebell swings

30 seconds of burpees

30 seconds of rest

Repeat for 3-4 rounds


Cardio-Focused HIIT Workout:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of jogging in place, jumping jacks, and high knees

30 seconds of mountain climbers

30 seconds of jump squats

30 seconds of high knees

30 seconds of rest

Repeat for 3-4 rounds


It really can be as simple as that but remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity as you get stronger and always seek a physician's advice before starting any fitness program. With HIIT, you can achieve your fitness goals while saving time and having fun. 

And when you get a degree in exercise science from Lionel University, you learn how to design any type of fitness program, including HIIT programming. Further, the doors to fitness job opportunities are wide open. Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, specialists in exercise science are in demand.

As you go through your degree program at Lionel, you can also earn your personal training certificate and master trainer certificate in the first few months. This means you can start working as a personal trainer while you finish your program! And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility. 

Check out our programs and contact Lionel today!