One of the most common misperceptions about exercise is that it’s necessary to spend hours on end sweating buckets to obtain benefits like weight loss or muscle growth. So it’s easy to justify skipping a workout because you “don’t have enough time” to make it worthwhile. But the truth is, working harder rather than longer using short bursts of high-intensity exercise gets results.
 
Here are five reasons why:

  1. It gets you into the zone - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) pushes you into the anaerobic training zone that taps well into your body’s reserves and, if the workout’s intense enough, continues for hours afterwards. This is due to something called the Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect. What’s more, with HIIT your metabolism clocks in extra hours to make the necessary repairs to muscle cells broken down from upping the intensity.  
  2. It gives you a longer burn - with high-effort cardio training, not only does your body metabolise a higher degree of fat for fuel during the workout, but also continues to do so after the workout to replenish your muscles energy reserves to pre-workout levels thanks to EPOC.
  3. It targets fat cells - the stress caused by HIIT leads to the release of large amounts of hormones called catecholamines (power fat burning hormones) that are produced from the fat cells themselves, particularly those found deep behind your abdominal wall. 
  4. It’s more oxygen hungry - exercise scientists have determined that our bodies burn calories at a rate of 5 calories per litre of oxygen consumed. Short intervals of high intensity exercise - particularly involving our bigger muscle groups like the legs, butt, back and chest - require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and recovery periods.
  5. It enhances stamina - HIIT produces a significant amount of waste products at the cellular level that cause muscular fatigue. During the rest interval, your body’s recovery systems are working overtime to remove these. As a result, HIIT workouts train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-effort exercise, enhancing stamina and energy!

HIIT workouts can be applied in many strength and cardio type formats that require just 20 minutes or much less to do. These formats enable you to get more bang for your buck and receive numerous health benefits in less time.
 
Little wonder more and more fitness professionals are concluding that effort is the new strong.