6 Benefits Of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Photo of author
Published On

Your workouts are not only about what exercises you do but also about how you do them. Discover the benefits of high-intensity interval training.

Something to note before going into the positives is that high-intensity interval training can be challenging for your body too.

People who are new to exercise likely want to start with lighter speeds first.

1. High-intensity interval training benefits cardiovascular health

It only takes a few high-intensity interval training workouts to understand that these will work your heart, lungs, and blood vessels a lot.

If you do this to safe extents, this can be a benefit of HIIT since working your cardiovascular system hard enough to start a variety of internal processes that can make it stronger and healthier.

As you can expect, this is generally a good thing. Having a stronger cardiovascular system tends to reduce your risk of many related conditions (1, 2, 3).

One review of studies suggests that HIIT may be more effective for improving cardiorespiratory fitness than moderate-intensity training among children and adolescents (4).

Another review of studies reached a similar conclusion but in patients with lifestyle-induced chronic diseases (5).

2. High-intensity interval training can benefit weight loss

While basically any form of workout benefits weight loss to some extent, high-intensity interval training has a few properties that make it effective for this purpose.

Before going into these, it is first worth mentioning that you lose weight by making it so your body needs more energy than is coming in from food.

The first reason why HIIT is great for this is that the movements involved are simply a lot more intense than the same workouts at a slower pace.

This makes it so that high-intensity interval training burns more calories per minute. Keep in mind that you are likely able to train for only a shorter amount of time.

Besides that, exercising at high intensities can also cause afterburn which means you can burn more calories than usual for some amount of time even after you stop working out.

In short, high-intensity interval training can be great for weight loss. Make sure your habits in other areas are good enough for this purpose too.

3. High-intensity interval training is more time-efficient

While getting fitter does take time, there is no rule that says you have to spend this many minutes or hours to do so.

More specifically, the high intensities in interval training offer more progress per minute than slower workouts in many areas.

This can be a useful benefit since many people struggle to find enough time to exercise more.

It is worth mentioning that longer-duration workouts can still have their specific benefits. At the same time, many people will prefer HIIT in terms of benefits per minute.

4. HIIT can improve muscle endurance

Even the more vigorous movements involved in doing cardiovascular workouts in HIIT ways are typically not enough to build muscle.

That being said, growing your muscles is not the only way to get health benefits in this area.

More specifically, high-intensity interval training workouts can still improve muscle endurance or at least preserve it. Often to a larger extent than the same cardiovascular workout at a slow pace.

In turn, this can come in handy during daily activities like walking around and climbing stairs.

5. HIIT can improve your athletic performance

Many sports matches and competitions involve high-intensity movements in one way or another.

Simply doing high-intensity interval training can help you improve high-intensity performance (6). This can help you get better competitive results.

Do keep in mind that strength training exercises like squats can also be helpful for improving athletic performance (7).

If you are serious about improving athletic performance you likely want to improve both HIIT and weight lifting workouts for their synergetic effects.

6. You may find HIIT more interesting

What exercises and workouts are ideal for you does not only depend on how many calories they burn or to what extent they offer health benefits.

More specifically, how much you enjoy your workouts plays an important role too.

Partly because life is short and partly because having fun during your exercise sessions also makes it easier to stay consistent with your workout plan.

Not everyone will agree but many people find HIIT more interesting than just walking, using their elliptical machine, or running at exactly the same pace for extended amounts of time.

Photo of author


Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.