7 Reasons HIIT is the Fastest Route to Flat Abs


HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is one of the fastest ways to get a lean, strong body, and is characterized by quick bursts of intense exercise (usually at 80% to 95% of your maximum heart rate) interspersed with short periods of rest. This type of interval training continues to grow in popularity because it delivers amazing results, FAST. Here are the top 7 reasons you should give HIIT a try:

#1 You can Do It Anywhere

HIIT can be performed with little-to-no equipment, even at home! In fact, many of the most popular and effective interval training movements (such as burpees, mountain climbers, and power jacks) do not require any equipment at all! All you need is a few feet of space to get an amazing workout.

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#2 You’ll Burn More Calories in Less Time

HIIT workouts get results FAST. Studies show that intense bursts of activity can burn more calories than endurance-style training (such as steady-state jogging or using the elliptical) in less time. Aside from quick calorie-burning, interval training also provides a host of health benefits (such as lowered cholesterol and blood pressure levels, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved heart health) without spending hours on the treadmill. So, why wait? HIIT can get you slim and healthy while leaving more time for your to-do list!

#3 You’ll Burn Calories, Even at Rest

Speaking of calorie burn, HIIT workouts increase your metabolism for hours after your workout. This is due to a phenomenon known as EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Without getting too technical, EPOC occurs when the body tries to regain balance and replenish its energy stores following a tough workout, temporarily increasing metabolic rate. In fact, interval training is best way to stimulate the EPOC effect, as it takes more time to replenish energy after this type of training than traditional, steady-state workouts.2 Studies actually show that a single HIIT workout can elevate your metabolism for a full 24-hours!

#4 You’ll Burn Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time

Another time-saving benefit of HIIT is its ability to encourage fat loss while simultaneously building strength. Interval-style workouts typically alternate between cardiovascular and strength training exercises, leaving you stronger while also shredding fat. Even better, many traditional interval-training exercises (such as plank jacks, kettlebell swings, and jumping squats) build strength and burn calories at the same time. This makes HIIT one of the quickest ways to reveal toned, flat abs.

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#5 You’ll Never Get Bored

HIIT is the best form of exercise for those who become easily bored with routines. Interval training workouts are all about intense bursts of exercise, and there are a limitless number of exercises that can be used to spike the heart rate, tone the body, and burn calories. Even better, interval workouts typically move quickly from one exercise to the next, preventing boredom. If the thought of another long walk on the treadmill sounds dreadful, give HIIT a try!

#6 HIIT is Appropriate for All Levels

 We’ve been talking a lot about intensity. In fact, the name “high-intensity interval training” can sound downright intimidating to new exercisers. However, HIIT is actually a modality that can be adjusted to suit all fitness levels. This type of training is all about temporarily elevating the heart rate, based on your body’s capabilities, and can be adjusted to account for lower levels of fitness. For example, a more advanced exerciser may do 50 seconds of exercise, interspersed with 10 seconds of rest, while someone new to interval training may do 30 seconds of exercise with a full 30 seconds of rest. New exercisers or those with joint problems can also modify by using lighter weights and choosing low-impact exercises. The possibilities are endless!

#7 You’ll Feel Amazing

HIIT workouts leave you feeling happy, strong, and full of energy. This form of exercise is certainly challenging, but the feeling of accomplishment it provides is hard to beat! As you continue doing HIIT, you’ll see your stamina improve and likely perform exercises you never thought possible. You’ll also feel the positive effects of mood-boosting brain chemicals that accompany exercise (endorphins, serotonin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), to be exact). HIIT is indeed one of the fastest ways to a healthy body and flat abs!

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1. Kravitz L. High-intensity interval training. American College of Sports Medicine. https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf. Published 2014. Accessed July 8, 2016.

2. McCall P. 7 things to know about excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). American Council on Exercise website. https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen. Published August 28, 2014. Accessed July 8, 2016.

3. For all day metabolism boost, try interval training. American College of Sports Medicine website. http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/for-all-day-metabolism-boost-try-interval-training. Accessed July 8, 2016.

4. Warren J. Does exercise release a chemical in the brain? Livestrong website. http://www.livestrong.com/article/320144-does-exercise-release-a-chemical-in-the-brain/. Updated June 2, 2015. Accessed July 8, 2016.




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