High Intensity Interval Training: The Ultimate Fat Blaster

hiit benefits

If you want to blast fat away you need to stop performing the same old boring cardio routine. Running like a hamster on a treadmill will not help you reach your body composition goals.

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I have seen first hand the amazing fat burning effects of High intensity interval training, and its amazing fat burning effects.

Running Sprints 3 times a week is my favorite workout activity, and it is my go to fat burning exercise to stay in fitness model shape throughout the year.

I have taken on several friends in the last year as personal training clients that were especially interesting body transformation candidates.

All three were very frustrated with their weight loss progress because they were running and biking for long periods of time, several times per week with little or no results. They were victims of the “static cardio” rut – Where you go to the gym, get on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike and do the same boring routine every day.

Over the next three months, all three of them had startling fat loss results. The amazing thing about this is that they all were very different – but yet had the same amazing results.

One of my clients was an overweight, 29-year-old male (35-45 lbs. overweight) with very little exercise experience. Over the next 3 months he lost nearly 30 lbs of fat!

Another client was a 27-year-old woman who was not in terrible shape, but recently gave birth and had a desk job so she lived a pretty sedentary life style. She was able to blast 20 lbs. of fat away! She is in the best shape of her life and after 3 months of using HIIT, she looks and feels better than ever.

The last client was a 35-year-old male who once again had gained about 30 lbs of fat since he turned 30, and suffered from the desk job syndrome. Needless to say he had lost almost all of the fat in 3 months using HIIT.

So is HIIT truly a miracle fat loss workout? It sounds so simple to say that you are just a few sprints away from losing all of that stubborn fat. I will cover the research studies and the fat burning science associated with HIIT as well as my own personal experience with this amazing fat loss method.

With High Intensity Interval training, you're constantly presenting new and exciting challenges for your body. You must be mentally prepared to exert 100 percent maximum energy for short periods of time – but let me warn you, it can be addicting! Several of my clients say that they became obsessed and emphatic about the adrenaline rush they got from pushing their bodies to its 100 % maximum capacity.

This is the catalyst that opens up the fat burning potential of HIIT. You must train on your intense intervals at 100 percent maximum intensity to reap the incredible fat burning effects of HIIT. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most intense forms of exercise and will physically and mentally challenge you.

It is also a lot more fun than normal cardio sessions. With HIIT, you are able to change up your workout routine and you are never doing the same thing twice. The workouts are a lot more fun and exciting.

As with steady state cardio, it is hard to constantly push and motivate yourself to run for 30 minutes straight at a moderate pace on a treadmill. With HIIT – you can constantly create new and exciting routines – and this is precisely what I did with these 3 clients. All three of them said by the end of the 1 st month they became addicted to the “HIIT style” workout – and were more motivated than ever before. Let's further examine how your body reacts to HIIT and the amazing fat burning effects.

Fat Burning Science of HIIT

So how is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) different and how does it burn more fat than regular steady state cardio? Performing moderate cardio works (steady state) your slow twitch muscle fibers which are used during endurance activities.

Running sprints, one of the most common forms of High intensity interval activities, works your fast twitch muscle fibers. These types of muscle fibers are used for strength associated movements, such as weight training.

One reason that HIIT is so effective as a fat burner is the “after burn” effect. This is due to a period of heightened metabolic activity in the body. An increase in metabolic activity (metabolism) means more calories are burned following a typical HIIT session. Since HIIT workouts primarily targets fast twitch muscles, it takes a considerable amount of calories to help repair and maintain these muscle types.

The length of time of increased metabolism may vary from person to person. According to the Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism guide in 2008, this can last between 3 hours and 24 hours depending on the intensity of the workout, current metabolism, athletic condition, among other variables.

According to Michael Bracko, Ed.D, FACSM, “HIIT can boost metabolism and accelerate weight loss. During HIIT, a person consumes more oxygen than in slower, distance exercise, which can increase post exercise metabolism. Research has shown one session of HIIT can burn calories for 1.5 – 24 hours after exercise.”

While your body burns a similar amount of calories during your workout as traditional cardio, the “after burn” effect of HIIT far outweighs that of traditional cardio.

The Journal of Obesity has done several studies regarding HIIT and fat loss, with Stephen H Boutcher's being the most notable. According to Mr. Boutcher, “In users training with HIIT, it has been found that significantly elevated epinephrine and norepinephrine levels after a HIIT workout. Epinephrine has been shown to drive lipolysis and are largely responsible for fat release from both subcutaneous and intramuscular fat stores.” To put it simply – HIIT stimulates fat loss! This study also suggests that HIIT has the potential to lower abdominal fat stores, which is the main reason many of us are working out!

Another fat burning and muscle sparing benefit of HIIT is the growth hormone response. According to the Journal of Obesity study on High Intensity Intermitting Exercise and fat loss, “Nevill examined the growth hormone response to treadmill sprinting in female and male athletes and showed that there was a marked GH response to only 30 Seconds of maximal exercise. GH concentration was still ten times higher than baseline levels after 1 hour of recovery”

What does this mean? Higher growth hormone levels in the body correlate to an increase in lean muscle mass as well as fat burning. This creates the perfect environment for your body composition goals.


HIIT burns more fat than standard, steady state cardio and sets the stage for increased motivation and variety with your workout routine. I have seen first hand the incredible fat burning effects of High Intensity interval training and will continue to train with HIIT as long as I'm in the fitness industry.

HIIT is one of the most efficient and effective ways to burn fat. In fact, a typical workout can be as short as 10-15 minutes. I'm going to leave you with a great beginner's HIIT workout.

Check out the article next week, as I will get into a few more HIIT workouts for the intermediate and even advanced level athlete to really bring your fat burning efforts to another level.

Beginner's HIIT Workout

Sprint Intervals

- Interval One: 15 Seconds Sprint (90 Percent Max)

- Interval Two: 45 Seconds Light Jog (For beginners, try walking)

- Interval Three: 20 Seconds Sprint(95 percent max)

- Interval Four: 60 Seconds Light Jog

- Interval Five: 20 Seconds Sprint (100 Percent Max)

- Interval Six: 60 Seconds Light Jog

- Interval Seven: 25 Seconds Sprint(100 Percent Max)

- Interval Eight: 2 Minute Cool Down Jog

More fat burning HIIT workouts here.

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As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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