If you follow the fitness industry, you’ve probably heard of the benefits of HIIT (or High Intensity Interval Training).
The short, yet powerful workouts are touted as the best way to improve your overall conditioning, burn fat, and even balance hormones! (But that’s another article!)
So, what is HIIT anyway?
HIIT, short for High Intensity Interval Training, are workouts that involve working at an intense effort level for a short period of time followed by short recovery periods.
Tabata workouts are one great example of a HIIT style workout.
A Tabata session involves 20 seconds of intense, all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. This is repeated 8 times through, for a workout total of only 4 minutes. It is said to promote fat loss and increase aerobic power – all in a very short period of time.
Seems a little too good to be true…
But, is HIIT really all it’s cracked up to be? And does it actually burn fat, or is that just a myth?
When it comes to the research, the answer is YES!
One study compared MICT (Moderate Intensity Continuous Training) vs. high intensity interval training and the effects that it had on visceral abdominal fat. The study found that both types of training reduced overall body fat. However, HIIT did this in half the time. Half the time!! 
Another study from the International Journal of Obesity compared 2 groups of exercisers to determine the benefits of HIIT for women. 
The women were divided into two groups. The first group did 40 minutes of steady state aerobic exercise for 15 weeks. The second group did 8 second sprints followed by 12 seconds of recovery for 20 minutes.
The results of the HIIT study?
HIIT participants lost up to 7.3lbs, and the steady state exercisers gained up to 2.7lbs. Additionally, high intensity interval training participants saw a significant reduction in overall body fat, as well as subcutaneous abdominal fat (that is the fat just beneath your skin)!
Other key benefits of HIIT
- Reduces fasting insulin levels, and decreases risk for Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
- It significantly improves your cardiovascular fitness. The International Journal of Obesity Study also found that HIIT participants improved their VO2 max (aerobic power) by up to 23% 
- It balances your hormones! Research shows that high intensity exercise boosts Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This is a powerful anti-aging hormone that helps us maintain lean muscle mass (think revved up metabolism!) AND bone density, which reduces risk of osteoporosis. 
- It’s easy to fit into a busy lifestyle since it doesn’t take a lot of time.
- They’re portable. You can get an effective HIIT workout using minimal or no equipment whatsoever. This makes it great for staying in shape while you’re on the road.
How often should you do HIIT workouts to achieve these results?
HIIT workouts do have a lot of benefits, and it has been documented that they only need to be done 3 times a week.
But, because they require such a high level of effort, they can put more strain on your joints. Thus, increasing your risk of injury if done too frequently.
HIIT Workouts You Can Do Anywhere
We’ve put together 2 Tabata style HIIT workouts you can do anywhere.
These are especially helpful when your schedule is packed and you find yourself short on time.
If you like these workouts, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as we will be adding more workouts each month.
Bodyweight Tabata For Beginners
Advanced Bodyweight Tabata
The Workout “Recipe”:
How to perform
These 8 minute workouts can be completed anywhere. Perform 20 seconds of each exercise followed by 10 seconds of active recovery (or rest).
Once you’ve completed all 8 exercises, rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeat again to complete your 8 minute workout.
If time allows, you may complete more rounds of these exercises if you’re able to maintain your intensity level and proper form.
It’s important to note that you should NOT extend the duration of your workout by reducing your intensity level.