HIIT Classes More Effective For Weight Loss?

It’s a common story that we, as online fitness coaches, hear year in, year out from all sorts of people from all walks of life… they hit the gym as much as their busy lives will allow, but they either never fully achieve their weight loss goals or they get nowhere near them at all.

This can be incredibly frustrating and demotivating, leading to people actually abandoning their health and fitness regimes altogether… which certainly isn’t the answer. You’ve got to persevere, it’s true, but if something isn’t working at the gym change it, don’t quit it!

New research from the Federal University of Goias in Brazil, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and reported on by the BBC, has just revealed that high intensity interval training (more popularly known as HIIT) could actually be more effective in terms of weight loss than longer but less intense training sessions and workouts.

Although all those taking part in the study did lose weight, those who took the HIIT classes saw greater weight loss of 28.5 per cent. People doing interval training (cardiovascular exercise with repeated bursts of intense effort, broken up with recovery periods) lost 1.58kg on average compared to the 1.13kg lost by those doing less intense workouts.

Commenting on the findings, lecturer in health and exercise science at the University of Stirling Dr Niels Vollaard was quoted by the news source as saying: “Firstly, HIIT may lead to greater energy expenditure after exercise - metabolism may be increased for up to a day following a HIIT session.

“Secondly, after a HIIT session, you may be less hungry. In our research, we have shown that appetite hormones are indeed affected. It is, however, not easy to study whether energy intake is reduced as a result of this in the longer term when following a HIIT routine, so at the moment we are still unsure exactly what the reason is.”

Top tips for beasting that HIIT class

Be brave

Don’t go in there thinking it’s going to kill you as this will have a real impact on your performance. Tackle the class head on and in the right mindset, and you might be surprised at how well it actually goes.

Listen to your body

If something hurts or twinges, don’t ignore it. Adjust the exercises you’re doing to suit your mobility and any injuries you might have so you don’t hurt yourself further or cause yourself an injury.

Recover properly

Again, listen to your body and do what it tells you. If you’re new to HIIT, you’ll ache in all sorts of weird and wonderful places so don’t rush back to the gym before you’re ready. You could do lots of self-myofascial releases instead in order to ease your muscles back into good health.