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.


High-Intensity Interval Training Workout Duration

High-Intensity Interval Training pic

High-Intensity Interval Training

As the clinical pharmacist for Sharp HealthCare’s emergency department, Dr. Ashkan Khabazian assists emergency room doctors and staff in managing a number of infective processes like pneumonia, skin infection, and urinary tract infections. In his personal life, Dr. Ashkan Khabazian is a physical fitness enthusiast and uses high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio to help supplement his weight lifting.

HIIT is an ideal way to get the most out of a shorter workout. As the name suggests, HIIT utilizes high intensity to allow you to get more done in shorter periods, which leads to performance increases and saves time. HIIT workouts alternate between extreme bursts of intense activity and shorter periods of less-intense activity or rest. For HIIT sessions, timing is crucial to maximize the benefits of your workout while also avoiding injuries.

Men’s Fitness suggests that a good HIIT session should ideally last anywhere from just four minutes up to 15. At its longest, your HIIT workout should not exceed 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that a 30-minute HIIT workout does not mean non-stop high-intensity exercise for half an hour. Instead, you should give yourself plenty of breaks between shorter five- to seven-minute intervals of all-out activity where you push yourself to your limit. Short breaks between sessions not only help prevent overuse injuries but also ensure you have the energy to push yourself through each set.