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Metafit - What is it? It's HIIT that's what it is!

During a Metafit work out the intense work periods may range from 5 seconds to 30 secs long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself. The recovery periods may last equally as long as the work periods and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. The workout continues with the alternating work and relief periods totalling 20 to 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

HIIT training has been shown to improve:

  • aerobic and anaerobic fitness

  • blood pressure

  • cardiovascular health

  • insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)

  • cholesterol profiles

  • abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.

Why is HIIT Training so Popular?

HIIT training can easily be modified for people of all fitness levels and special conditions, such as overweight and diabetes. HIIT workouts can be performed on all exercise modes, including cycling, walking, swimming, aqua training, elliptical cross-training, and in many group exercise classes. HIIT workouts provide similar fitness benefits as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time. This is because HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout. The post-exercise period is called “EPOC”, which stands for excess post exercise oxygen consumption. This is generally about a 2-hour period after an exercise bout where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and thus using more energy. Because of the vigorous contractile nature of HIIT workouts, the EPOC generally tends to be modestly greater, adding about 6 to 15% more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure.

HIIT Misconceptions

1. Longer is better = false

True HIIT shouldn’t last 60 or even 30 minutes. The idea behind a good high-intensity workout is to go all out; think sprint vs. jog. When the length of your “high-intensity” workout approaches 30 minutes, the intensity will diminish. If you’re working for over 25 minutes – you ain’t doing a HIIT workout!!!

2. All exercises are well-suited for HIIT = false

Not all exercises should be used for HIIT training. To achieve true high intensity, use full-body movements that tax your cardiovascular system and build strength endurance. For example, burpees, squat jumps, sprints. Bodyweight exercises tend to be the most effective for maximum output. Single-joint exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions don’t offer benefits of total-body conditioning. Remember if you can talk while you’re doing high-intensity intervals, you have to ask yourself is this really a HIIT workout?

3. HIIT alone will shed fat = false

It’s true that one of the benefits of HIIT is that it triggers excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, also known as afterburn, which helps boost your body’s metabolism for hours after a high-intensity workout. But, afterburn is not a license to eat everything you desire. If you indulge in a huge cheat meal after every workout, you will never see the results you want. Don’t use HIIT to justify poor eating habits; instead, clean up your diet and not only will you have more energy for your workout, but you’ll start seeing the results.

4. HIIT training will bulk you up = false

HIIT will burn fat while maintaining lean muscle, improving cardio endurance, and improving work capacity. Work capacity refers to the body’s ability to work at different intensities and durations. Muscular hypertrophy is achieved by using bodybuilding training, so don’t be afraid to squat, deadlift, press heavy things on your non-HIIT days.