You have probably seen the term HIIT all over the internet lately. It became very popular in the online fitness community and the hype is still going strong. So what exactly is HIIT? And what makes it so effective?

HIIT explained

HIIT means high-intensity-interval-training, and just like the name suggests, it is a combination of quick exercises followed by a cool down period. You are supposed to go all in during each round of exercises, and do an active recovery afterwards. A certain set of exercises are often repeated within a specific time frame. For instance, you work for twenty seconds, rest for ten seconds, and then do the same round again.

HIIT will keep your heartrate up and you will burn more body fat over a shorter period of time. If your goal is to shed weight, HIIT might be more effective than spending half an hour on a treadmill or a stationary bike. HIIT will keep you focused on your workout because you have to watch out for the timer. Plus, there is no way to get bored.

Reasons to try HIIT

It is quick: If you don't have plenty of free time, don't worry. You can complete one HIIT session in under half an hour. I am sure that everyone can squeeze in a HIIT session, no matter how busy their daily schedule really is. Plus, you don't need exercise equipment for the majority of the moves because HIIT is bodyweight based, so you can do it even when you are traveling.

It can be done anywhere: Yes, you can do HIIT in your home. You can forget about spending your money on expensive gym memberships. All you need is a bit of space where you can move comfortably and that's it. Be mindful of your neighbors if you live in an apartment building and avoid doing HIIT late at night because it does involve some jumping.

It will fire up your metabolism: Eric Salvador who is a fitness instructor at The Fhitting Room says that HIIT can increase your metabolism and that you will be burning calories at a higher rate even forty-eight hours after a HIIT session. It will do wonders for your body if you do it regularly.

It will build lean muscles: As we have previously mentioned, HIIT doesn't include heavy dumbbells. You will be using your bodyweight for the majority of moves which will improve your general fitness and build long muscles. So yes, it is impossible to get huge bulging muscles from HIIT, but you will have more control of your body and your movement.

HIIT can help with PCOS: PCOS Diva clearly states that HIIT is the best type of exercise for women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women who have PCOS usually have slow metabolism due to the insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be treated with medication, but you also have to completely change your diet and include regular exercise into your daily schedule. HIIT will burn fat and help PCOS sufferers get their hormone levels in order.

It is free: There are numerous YouTube channels which offer free HIIT videos. You can find HIIT routines that will fit your current fitness level, so don't feel intimidated if you are a beginner. You have to start somewhere, right? You will be able to create your own HIIT routines that include your favorite moves soon enough.

HIIT and running

HIIT usually involves bodyweight exercises but it can also be seen in running. Running intervals do involve quick bursts of speed followed by a slower jog that serves as a recovery. It can also be used by runners who are just starting out. For example, you can jog for a minute and then walk for thirty seconds. You will build your endurance quickly and you'll drop those recovery walks from your routine in a couple of weeks or so.


HIIT is suitable for people who have busy schedules but they want to complete a quick and intense training session. What I personally love about HIIT is the fact that HIIT sessions are made of bodyweight exercises and that you don't need any equipment. It is convenient and you can do it pretty much anywhere. My favorite YouTube channel with free HIIT routines is FitnessBlender, but there are plenty of other options available out there. Do a quick online research and find the routines you think are suitable for you. So take the first step and try HIIT out - it is quick, fun, and I am sure you will love it.