LIIT Training For Fat Loss

Paul T. Mitchell III, C.S.C.S.*D, Pn1

 I’m sure you’ve tried or at least heard of HIIT Training. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and studies show it works well for fat loss, increasing cardiovascular fitness and stamina when done correctly. 

Unfortunately for many, when HIIT is applied incorrectly,  joint pain, and injuries can occur. Some will even gain back any weight they initially lost in the first week or two of trying it.

The Problem with HIIT

Many times, there is too much focus on the ‘high intensity’, and not enough focus on the necessary, and (in my humble opinion), more important low intensity-rest periods. 

High intensity intervals are designed to get your heart rate into upper zones. That’s true. But,  this “harder” work also forces your muscles to utilize sugar as a fuel source. Your muscles will break down creatine or glycogen in the muscle to create the energy needed to perform such hard work. Harder is not always better. Sometimes, working harder means burning more sugar in your workout.

What we want instead, is to use the fat around their midsections, hips and thighs as fuel. Continuously burning sugar makes you really good at burning sugar. You become a ‘sugar burner’.  And, your body will ask for that sugar back by making you crave sweets all the time. Even if you go home and eat a great salad with chicken and veggies, etc, notice that you’ll still crave sweets! That’s your muscles asking your body to replace all the sugar you burned during your workouts.

Exercisers are Looking for Fat Loss

Most people are exercising for better health and/or fat loss, not exercising to become professional athletes. Going harder and harder everyday only promotes the desire to quit for most people because it’s just not sustainable and contrary to their goals. 

More attention needs to be paid to the rest in between or the lower zones if you use a heart rate monitor or smart watch. 

For example, if you perform a HIIT interval for 30 seconds, rest at least 30 seconds to a minute to allow your heart rate to get back into a fat utilizing (burning) zone. Make sure that your ‘low’ intervals at least double the time spent in the high ones. I promise you better long-term results that way. 

We can help you determine your correct fat burning zones so you burn as much fat in your workouts.