What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) refers to any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity (anaerobic activity) and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. An example of this type of exercise is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat this 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute workout.

7 Advantages of HIIT Include

  1. Time Efficient
  2. Better Fat Burning
  3. Gain Muscle
  4. No Equipment Necessary
  5. Healthier Heart
  6. Increased Metabolism
  7. Do It Anywhere
female sprinting

Wiseman Health Take-Home Advice

When you add high-intensity interval training to your exercise routine, you’ll appreciate its value. While traditional aerobic exercise has its benefits, anaerobic exercise has really been forgotten. In many ways, it is superior to traditional exercise in that it dramatically  improves muscle composition, heart health, brain health, lung capacity, along with a number of benefits. Looking at the differences between sprinters and marathon runners shows the different manifestations of these two polar opposite approaches. In fact, a recent study from Denmark found that high-intensity interval training may increase certain muscle proteins that affect energy metabolism and muscle contraction, which helps explain how and why this quick-but-effective training impacts muscles and boosts a person’s metabolic rate (burning more calories) long after completing HIIT exercises. Thus, it really should be part of everybody’s routine, along with aerobic exercise, weight training, yoga, Pilates, and other forms of exercise that work different aspects of the body. The greatest advantage of HIIT, in our opinion, is time efficiency as it only takes 15–20 minutes to complete. You can really do this with any form of exercise and you can do it anywhere. For example, cycle for 1 minute as hard as you can (or 85%) then bring it down to 25 % or rest for 2 minutes. Do this routine for 15 minutes. Good luck 😉

Editor’s Note: This content was created by our Wiseman Health content and writing team, without the influence of artificial intelligence engines. Our goal is to be your trusted source for natural health and medical information. This article was originally published on January 16, 2014 and has since been updated.

Hostrup, M., Lemminger, A. K., et al. 2022, May 31. High-intensity interval training remodels the proteome and acetylome of human skeletal muscle. Retrieved March 9, 2023 from https://elifesciences.org/articles/69802.

5 Replies to “What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?”

  1. I really like the visual you included here! The sprinter looks like a lion and the marathoner looks like a gazelle waiting to be eaten!

  2. I used HIIT several years ago to get in the best shape of my life and it was amazing! After illness and injury I’m ready to get fit and I’m using HIIT again. Thanks for the timely topic!

  3. My wife and I are doing HIT based on Body By Science. Excellent results so far with only 15 minutes of ARX Machine weight training per week.

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