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Cardio High intensity interval training (HIIT) explained

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a sort of cardio that was primarily intended to improve performance of athletes, by training in short sessions. It is a whole other way of training than low intensity training.

First of all, what is low intensity training? Low intensity training is an aerobic cardio workout on a 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. Jogging, walking, cycling, etc. are good examples of a low intensity training.

It is said that low intensity training is the best way to lose weight. This is true, but only DURING that workout. Research has shown that this kind of cardio burns 50% of fat to change this into energy, while high intensity training only burns 40% of fat (and thus burns more carbohydrates than low intensity training).

So what happens after a low intensity workout? Not much! Your heart rate will go down, you will start breathing at a normal rate again, and thus your body is put back into a normal metabolic state. Now THERE lies the big difference with a high intensity workout!

Since a HIIT will place your body into an anaerobic state, you will build up “oxygen guild”. Making lactic acid during this anaerobic state, ensuring that your body produces enough energy to keep running, causes oxygen guild. Why is this interesting? This oxygen guild will have to be “paid” by the body later on (to turn lactic acid into glucose again, by a cycle called the “Cori Cycle”). This means that even after the workout, your breathing rate will be higher than normal, as it has to pay for the oxygen guild, right? The body retrieves energy to repair the body by lipolysis, aka burning fat! This means that you will be burning extra calories all day long, up to 24 hours after the workout!

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