Reasons to Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training in Workouts


High Intensity Interval Training pic

High Intensity Interval Training

Based in San Diego, California, Ashkan Khabazian is an emergency department clinical pharmacist for Sharp Healthcare, where he has been since 2009. In his free time, Ashkan Khabazian enjoys staying active and in shape, especially through high-intensity cardio.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective workout that alternates between periods of working at maximum capacity and low-intensity recovery. Here are three reasons to incorporate HIIT into your workout.

1) Burns more fat in less time. One study found that people lost more fat by doing 30-second sprints over a period of four to six minutes, with rest periods in between, than they did through 60 minutes of walking at an incline on a treadmill. Furthermore, HIIT increases the metabolic rate for as much as 24 hours and increases the muscles’ ability to use fat for energy.

2) Better at preserving muscle. Muscles, which burn more calories per hour than fat, are key to losing and maintaining weight loss. Cardio-based exercises preserve fewer muscles as they lead to a calorie deficit while HIIT increases weight loss and preserves muscles.

3) Curbs cravings. As cardio leads to a calorie deficit, food cravings increase. Studies have shown that HIIT can result in brain changes that decrease hunger and increase fullness from consumed food.


Benefits of Interval Training

Interval Training pic

Interval Training

A graduate of the PharmD program at the University of Michigan, Ashkan Khabazian serves as lead emergency department clinical pharmacist at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California. In his free time, Ashkan Khabazian enjoys interval training at Orangetheory Fitness.

Characterized by alternating bursts of intense physical exercise followed by short periods of lighter activity or rest, interval training provides a number of health benefits. Because interval training causes multiple spikes in heart rate during a workout, it can actually burn more calories than sustained moderate exercise for the same length of time. Furthermore, your body will continue to burn calories long after the workout is finished, due to a biological principle known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.

From a practical standpoint, interval training workouts can take a wide variety of forms, depending on an individual’s fitness goals. For those interested in improving aerobic capacity, try incorporating sprints. For those interested in building strength, weighted exercises fit in well with interval training programs. Many consider program flexibility to be one of the biggest selling points of interval training.