Monthly Archives: February 2015

HIIT: Build, Burn or Maintain?

Nicki Box JumpHIIT (high intensity interval training) is a cardiovascular training strategy that alternates short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense, or total rest recovery periods. Workouts vary anywhere from 4–30 minutes in duration.

Who benefits from HIIT?

HIIT workouts can be extremely advantageous to your goals when used during the right training cycles, however when it comes down to it, one size does NOT fit all. Specifically, HIIT training may not be best for specific demographics that struggle with certain injuries or ailments, as well as those that suffer from extreme anxiety.  In contrast to HIIT, cardio done at a steady rate keeps coritsol ( a hormone made by the adrenal glands) levels in the system from spiking.

Benefits of HIIT: Build, Burn or Maintain?

Numerous studies published in journals of health and strength have shown HIIT:

  • Leads to increased lasting fat burning and muscle preservation
  • Stimulates production of HGH post workout, which improves glucose metabolism and overall athletic condition
  • Increases size and quantity of mitochondria (energy factories of cells)

While many of the benefits of HIIT are similar to traditional aerobic training, HIIT trumps the effectiveness of the benefits. An increase in mitochondrial oxidative enzymes leads to more effective fat and carbohydrate breakdown for fuel. This means your body will burn more fat post workout. 

Will HIIT build muscle mass? No. However, studies show you won’t lose muscle as quickly during cardio workouts. This style of cardio-based training could very well benefit your program if you are looking to build size and ward off excess fat.

Benefits of HIIT training

Studies show clearly improved cardiovascular, metabolic and skeletal-muscle function in the body during and post HIIT when building mass. A balanced nutritional and training program is essential to build muscle mass and keep off excess fat.  You need to create a well-rounded program design that incorporates a diverse training regime.HIIT style training is fantastic, I love it and have been a strong proponent of it myself, but I recommend incorporating endurance style aerobic training as well, for both mental and physical health.

The more you change things up, the more you stay out of your comfort zone, the greater results you will find.

-Nicki Jackson |

Nicki Jackson