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Cheat Sheet: Everything you need to know about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


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Photo: Unsplash/Melody Jacob

You might have a love/hate relationship with High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT), and who could blame you? It’s not exactly easy to remember why you claimed to love something in the middle of your tenth burpee, after all. But there’s no denying that HIIT packs a seriously effective punch in a short amount of time, and there’s a whole lot to love about that.

Here are 9 stories that will help you understand the workout even better—from what the heck it is to why it works.

Why to avoid HIIT workouts two days in a row
Photo: Stocksy/Milles Studio

1. Tabata: What it really means 
The trendy fitness term crops up in workouts from barre to boot camp—where it can be used incorrectly. An expert sets us straight.

2. Why you might not want to do HIIT workouts two days in a row
As much as you may *totally* love back-to-back, killer workouts, taking time to recover is just as important as getting super sweaty.

3. Why High Intensity Interval Training is having a moment 
HIIT packs as much intense energy as possible into as little time as possible. And the method’s producing mad results.

3 common burpee mistakes that can lead to injury
Photo: Stocksy/Jesse Morrow

4. High Intensity Interval Training found to lower your appetite 
The workout you’ve grown to love (and sometimes hate) might cause you to eat less, says a study.

5. 3 common burpee mistakes that can lead to injury

An all-star HIIT move—the burpee—can lead to major sweat gains, but just make sure your form is on point. Square your shoulders over your hands while locking your elbows, watch out for drooping hips, and stretch out your hips beforehand.

6. Spot-burning fat: The fitness myth that won’t go away 
According to experts and research, spot-burning fat is impossible. Here’s what that means for your workouts.

The rise of high-intensity, low-impact workouts
Photo: Instagram/@litmethod

7. Are you still burning calories after your workout’s over? 
Why is your body still burning excess calories after you break a sweat? And what kinds of workouts deliver the greatest afterburn effect?

8. Why the fitness in-crowd is obsessed with HILIT (boot camp’s kinder, gentler cousin)

If you’re ready to remix your HIIT habit, HILIT (AKA, high-intensity, low-impact training) is your best bet.

Ready to get started with HIIT? Try this 20-minute workout to tone your total body and this one that’s totally, well, LIT

Originally published May 22, 2015; updated June 4, 2018.

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