Burning Mega Calories with HIIT

If you’re looking to burn hundreds of calories quick, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the way to go.  Today, we have Shane Barnard from Urbankick to explain the science behind these crazy intense intervals, as well as answer frequently-asked questions about HIIT.

High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) is a great way to increase your Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC.

During a H.I.I.T. training session a person consumes more oxygen than in slower, endurance exercises such as walking, running or cycling.  This increase in oxygen consumption will increase your post-exercise metabolism or oxygen consumption.

Think of your body as a snow globe.  If you moderately shake the snow globe it will take a short period of time for the snow particles to return to the bottom.  But if you vigorously shake the snow globe, it will take much longer for those snow particles to settle down.  Your body is the same way.  If you work vigorously, or higher intensity during your workout, your will increase the time it takes for your body to  return to stasis (balance) after you workout.  After your workout, it takes energy and the intake of oxygen to reduce your heart rate, lower your body temperature and bring your adrenalin levels back down,  This period of time is often referred to as the “after burn”.

After an exercise session, oxygen consumption (and thus caloric expenditure) remains elevated as the working muscle cells restore physiological and metabolic factors in the cell to pre-exercise levels. This translates into higher and longer calorie burning after exercise has stopped.

This means more calories are burned even after you stop exercising while the body works to return to a balanced state.

Research has shown one session of H.I.I.T. burns more calories than a steady state training and can continue to burn calories for 1.5 – 24 hours after exercise.  We promise you’ll feel amazing once you’re done!

Burning HIIT Questions

20140814 IDEA Anaheim Copyright 2014 Len  Spoden Photography.

20140814 IDEA Anaheim
Copyright 2014 Len Spoden Photography.

In addition to burning more calories, are there any other advantages to incorporating HIIT into your workouts?

One important metabolic adaptation that occurs in the body when you safely perform a H.I.I.T. program is the increase in your ability to burn fat!   We metabolize and burn fat in the mitochondria of our cells.  Think of the mitochondria as a fireplace and your body is the house..  When you perform HIIT, you increase the size and the number of mitochondria in your cells.  It is like having not just one fireplace in your home, but one in every room and the fireplaces are big.  By increasing the number and size of the mitochondria (your fat-burning powerhouse), in the cell, you increase your ability to burn fat.

Who would benefit from adding HIIT to their workouts?

Almost everyone can reap metabolic benefits by safely performing HIIT.  Of course you want to consult with your doctor before engaging in a new training program.

Is it safe to do HIIT every day?

HIIT can be safely performed every day, but as with any training program, you want to include variety and more importantly, time to rest and recover.  For example, one day could be a HIIT workout with only body weight exercises, while another workout can by more cardio based or with weights and resistance.  The key is to vary the workouts so you don’t over-train and always allow time for recovery.

If someone has never done HIIT before, how would you suggest they start?

I suggest starting with a low to moderate intensity interval with a longer period for recovery. As they become more comfortable and adapt to the exercises, they can slowly increase their intensity.  


Access the nation's most talented fitness instructors anywhere, anytime, on any device.

3 thoughts on “Burning Mega Calories with HIIT

  1. Pingback: A Year in Review: The Top Health and Wellness Trends of 2015

  2. Pingback: 4 Boxing Workout Tips

  3. Pingback: Steady State Cardio versus HIIT Cardio

Leave a Reply