9Round Fitness Blog
HIIT : When Enough Is Enough
What is HIIT?
Without getting too complicated, HIIT (high intensity interval training) simply means that you alternate between a high intensity exercise for a given time and a lower intensity exercise (or rest) for a given time. HIIT workouts usually prescribe specific work and rest periods, as well as a given number of rounds to complete. For instance, 9Round workouts consist of three minutes of high intensity activity, followed by a 30 second “active rest period.”
What Research Says About HIIT Workouts
There have been a number of studies supporting the idea that HIIT is more effective at burning fat than typical steady state cardio (like biking or jogging). For example, one study measured the effects of 15-weeks of HIIT versus steady state exercise on young women. While the women in both groups improved their conditioning, only the women in the HIIT group experienced improvements in their weight, body composition, and fasting insulin levels.
Why is HIIT More Effective at Burning Fat?
The objective with HIIT workouts is to crank your heart rate up to 85-90% of its maximum so that you are working anaerobically, or without oxygen. This leads to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), also known as the afterburn effect, where you’re burning more calories throughout the day because your body has to recover from that intense exercise.
When you’re jogging at a moderate pace, you’re using a different energy system (aerobic), which primarily uses oxygen to fuel your muscles. In other words, when you go for a casual jog, you don’t induce the afterburn effect and therefore don’t burn any additional calories later in the day.
An important note to keep in mind – all of the studies on HIIT’s effectiveness have shown that you really need to be close to your maximum heart rate to reap the benefits of HIIT. 9Round helps ensure you are getting the most out of your HIIT workout by using wearable heart rate tracking technology. The 9Round PULSE® belt measures your heart rate throughout your workout and broadcasts it onto a huge screen, visible throughout the gym. You should remain in the “Yellow Zone” for the majority of your workout in order to reap maximum rewards, in the form of fat burn, long after your workout has ended.
How Long Should a HIIT Workout Last?
This seems to be the question everyone is asking. According to a popular NY Times article, there is research that supports the idea that all you need is 7 minutes. On the other end of the spectrum, there are people that go to hour-long HIIT classes at the gym. To say there is huge variance is an understatement.
The 9Round workout is designed to give you the most health benefits from a 30-minute HIIT workout. If, at the end of nine rounds, you feel you haven’t fully exerted yourself, chances are you weren’t working hard enough, or performing the moves with the precision required to challenge you and work the intended muscle groups. We often get the question, “Is nine rounds (or 30 minutes) really enough?” To which we emphatically respond, YES – if you’re doing it right.
The good news is, with our heart rate tracking technology, and the assistance of a certified 9Round trainer – which is included in every workout – you have all the tools you need to burn massive amounts of fat, nine rounds, and just 30 minutes, at a time!