Does HIIT Exercise Work Or Is It A Marketing Ploy?


Frugal Fitness Workout Question:  Does High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) work or is it simply a marketing gimmick?

Frugal Fitness Answer:

I have a unique perspective on this because my degree is in exercise physiology and I spent 10 years as highly credentialed personal trainer / nutrition consultant… but I’ve transitioned to a career as a digital marketing manager full time over the last 5-6 years. 

Anyways, High Intensity Interval Training as an exercise technique works very well. It's a staple in military style workouts that also carry over into fitness boot camps, sport practice training, group exercise classes, and other common formats. And depending on the equipment you use (or lackthereof) it can be a very frugal workout option. It’s an efficient way to burn calories, boost metabolism, improve endurance, and build lean muscle. Great for people short on time and/or training for some sports. Not quite as ideal for bodybuilders, powerlifters, or strictly endurance athletes like marathon runners. It depends on your purpose for training whether you should utilize HIIT for a portion of your workouts, or possibly the majority of your workouts. 

But fitness marketing companies of course will exaggerate its benefits and claim it to have miraculous effects. It’s a great workout strategy for many people but it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone and it’s certainly not going to reverse years of inactivity and poor nutrition within a matter of weeks or even months. 

Also keep in mind that “high intensity intervals” are relative to the person performing the exercise. What an elite athlete considers low intensity training could easily be considered high intensity for a sedentary or middle-aged person.

Hopefully this is helpful when deciding whether to incorporate HIIT into your frugal workout sessions.

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