Why I’m Not a Fan of Endurance Exercise
Just as disturbing, a study in the journal Clinical Science found 93 percent of long-term endurance athletes had severe gut-related problems.
Endurance exercise also chronically elevates your stress hormone cortisol, which stores fat and breaks down muscle. Now, all exercise raises cortisol. But High Intensity Interval Training also raises your anabolic (building) hormones like growth hormone (GH) to balance those cortisol levels.
Most people don’t have enough spare hours in the day to run ten miles or attend lengthy aerobics classes. HIIT can provide impressive results without long-term damage in just minutes a day. Many studies I’ll discuss praise the time efficiency of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and find HIIT superior to endurance training.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
A study in Australian Family Physician High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), as “continuously training at a high intensity for 20-40 seconds to several minutes, separated by a recovery of 1-5 minutes (either no or low-intensity exercise).”
If you don’t own an X-iser, you can also get HIIT benefits on a hill, at your local park, in a mall, or by climbing stairs in your office, hotel, or school. And yes, technology fans: you can even do HIIT on a treadmill or elliptical machine.
HIIT Makes You a Better Fat Burner
I tell clients, “burst to blast fat.” A study in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found HIIT an effective strategy for overweight women to lose fat more effectively because it demands post-exercise recovery. In other words, the more intense your exercise, the bigger metabolic cost you create when you’re done. The metabolic recovery in High-Intensity Interval Training demands to burn more calories, particularly fat calories, post-exercise than low- or moderate-intensity exercise requires, A study in the journal Metabolism assigned young adults to either a 20-week endurance training or a 15-week HIIT program.
Guess who the “significantly greater” fat burners were?
Yep: those who did HIIT.
Likewise, a study in the International Journal of Obesity found that young women performing High Intensity Interval Training three times a week over 15 weeks made “significant loss in total body fat, subcutaneous leg, and body fat, and insulin resistance” compared to steady-state exercise.
You want results fast, right?
also, a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed fairly active women got important fat-burning benefits doing HIIT for just seven sessions over two weeks!
High Intensity Interval Training Benefits Blood Sugar Issues
Impaired glucose metabolism can lead to insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. HIIT provides an efficient, effective way to control blood sugar levels.
Another study in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders looked at how HIIT could improve glycemic control and, therefore, blood sugar levels in young males. “The efficacy of a high-intensity exercise protocol, involving only a 250 calorie burn per week substantially improves insulin action in young sedentary subjects” researchers concluded.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that High Intensity Interval Training could improve glucose control and metabolic function for people with Type 2 diabetes.
High Intensity Interval Training Benefits Heart Health
HIIT improves cardiovascular health. A research in the American Journal of Human Biology found that compared with endurance training, HIIT proved a time-efficient way to support cardiovascular health in adolescents.
Another study in the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research found that HIIT “significantly enhanced VO2max and O2 pulse and power output in active men and women”.
Newer studies, such as one in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, also concluded that HIIT benefits heart health.
During my 25 years in the health and fitness fields, I’ve worked with numerous clients who struggled with weight loss resistance, High Intensity Interval Training improved fat burning, reduced risk for diabetes and heart disease, and helped these clients get lean and toned in just minutes a day.
Many people express initial doubts. “Really?” they ask incredulously, “Could I really get results in just minutes a day?!?” Yes, and I have the science to prove it.
I should add HIIT isn’t easy. You really go all-out here. Bursting should leave you breathless and feeling the burn. If you’re looking for fast and lasting fat loss without sacrificing hours of your day at the gym or running for miles, look for the nearest hill or stairs and literally step up your workout intensity.