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The Most Effective Workout for Weightloss

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Exercise and diet are the key to effective weight loss, but did you know that the type of exercise you do matters? Studies show that HIIT workouts are up to 15 percent more effective than other exercise types and can benefit your health in other ways as well.

You’ve heard that exercise is one of the keys to effective weight loss, but did you know that some forms of exercise can be more effective than others?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, high-intensity interval training, sometimes called HIIT workouts, are more effective than other forms of exercise because it can burn up to 15 percent more calories than other forms of exercise.

Slow forms of exercise, like running on a treadmill, are less effective because they do not offer the same calorie-burning benefits of HIIT exercises. Learn more about how to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts using the guide below:

What is a HIIT Workout?

In general, a HIIT workout uses maximum energy for a short amount of time. HIIT workouts first became popular in the 1970s with Nautilus inventor Arthur Jones, who described the exercise routine as “train harder, but train less often.” HIIT workouts use a three-part philosophy to explain the concept of the exercise plan:

The first philosophy, which has been proven by the American College of Sports Medicine and other studies as a more effective method of exercise, is to overload the body. This involves placing a greater demand on the muscles than they are used to. Placing higher and higher resistance on the muscles will make the exercise more effective. This involves doing exercises with as much effort as possible until the exercising person can no longer do the exercises properly.

According to studies, pushing the muscles like this on a regular basis can be damaging, but only if the frequency and volume of exercise become too high. This is why many experts recommend training with HIIT workouts only under the supervision of qualified professionals who can identify safe limits on the exercises.

The second philosophy of HIIT workouts is that shorter workouts are best. Rather than running a marathon at a slow speed, a HIIT workout would use a sprint instead where the runner is traveling at the fastest speed possible for a short distance. Most HIIT workouts are less than 30 minutes, and some are even 10 minutes or less. Research on HIIT workouts has shown that there is little difference between effectiveness in training if a person does one set or multiple sets for a workout. Many HIIT exercises will vary the number of exercises on different days to maximize workout effectiveness.

The third philosophy on HIIT workouts is that training is required less often. Exercising frequently using the HIIT method can actually have an adverse effect on the body, which can cause a variety of health problems. According to research, most people should employ HIIT workout techniques 3 or fewer times a week on non-consecutive days.

According to HIIT expert Drew Baye, some advanced trainers will benefit by exercising even less often. He recommends trainers monitor their progress carefully to avoid over-training at any stage.

The Basics of a HIIT Workout

In general, an effective HIIT workout follows the guidelines outlined below:


  • Trainees should start exercising 2-3 times a week on non-consecutive days.
  • Trainees should perform between 2 and 12 exercises working all major muscle groups.
  • Trainees should perform one set per exercise.
  • Trainees can vary how many repetitions based on goals and skill level.
  • Increase resistance by five percent each time you can complete the highest number of repetitions using correct form.
  • Vary between a full, partial, and isometric range of motion.
  • Move as fast as possible while still maintaining control and the ability to reverse direction smoothly.


Health Benefits from HIIT Workouts

According to a September 2014 article published in The Leader, HIIT workouts have many health benefits with clear scientific backing.

 HIIT Workouts Increase Calorie Loss

According to The American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts can burn up to 15 percent more calories than traditional workouts. This is because they promote calorie burn after the exercise is completed- possibly due to the increased need for faster muscle repair after a large amount of stress is placed on the muscles.

A 2011 study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine found that 2 weeks of high-intensity interval training improved aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of traditional exercise.

HIIT Workouts Burn More Fat

According to a study from 2008, HIIT exercise increased the ability of the muscles to oxidize fat. A study from the Ontario’s University of Guelph found that women who exercised using HIIT workouts raised a woman’s fat-burning ability. 7 hours of HIIT training was equal to 12 hours of traditional exercise.

HIIT Workouts Create Greater Endurance

It doesn’t seem like exercising for less time would make you better at exercising longer, but it turns out, this is exactly the case. HIIT workouts benefit both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. Pushing your body to the top of endurance is one of the fastest ways to improve greater endurance. In one study from 2005, when cyclists did interval training for two weeks, they were able to nearly double their endurance capacity. The cyclists who exercised for endurance saw no increases in endurance during that time.

HIIT Workouts Benefit Heart Health

According to a 2014 study from the University of Copenhagen, when heart transplant patients use HIIT workouts, they were able to maintain healthier blood pressure levels than patients who exercised for endurance. The study researchers concluded that HIIT workouts may be a better way to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

HIIT Exercise Programs
  • Crossfit
  • Tabata
  • Arthur Jones
  • Dorian Yates

Are HITT Workouts Enough?

Since research shows that engaging in HIIT workouts can improve calorie-burn rate, can you improve your health by exercise alone? While exercising will definitely improve your health, you will not get optimal results from exercise alone. This is simply because exercise can only reverse a small amount of poor diet and lifestyle choices.

For example, if you eat 5,000 calories a day, even improving your caloric burn rate by 15 percent will not be enough to help you see significant weight loss. Because of this, and due to the increased nutrient needs of an exercising person, it is also necessary to watch what you eat.

What to Eat for Optimal Health

You probably already know that eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on sugar and processed foods is one of the best things you can do for your diet. When you exercise, you are building muscle and bone at a faster rate, which makes the dietary choices you make even more important. Healthy food fuels healthy weight loss.

Basic Diet Principles: Avoid excess sugar Avoid processed foods Eat a lot of fresh vegetables Eat a moderate amount of high-quality protein Eat a lot of high-quality fats (saturated and monounsaturated fats from sources such as raw dairy, eggs, grass-fed meat, nut oils, raw nuts, butter, avocados) Eat the highest quality of food you can afford.

Supplement to Further Weight Loss Goals

When you have eaten an unhealthy diet for years and lived an unhealthy lifestyle- with habits such as high-stress environments, lack of sleep, and smoking; the balance in your body is off. Your hormones are likely out-of-balance, your metabolism is sluggish, and your entire body is under inflamed stress. Exercising and eating healthy may not be enough at first to reset your body and push it toward healthy weight loss.

You may find it helpful to supplement with some of the following herbs and nutrients recommended by Mary Koithan, PhD, RN-C, CNS-BC and professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing. Her findings were published by the National Institutes of Health in 2010.

Herbs that Support Weight Loss

Promotes healthy digestion: Ginger, cayenne, fennel, lemon balm, peppermint, aniseed.

Promotes fat breakdown: Gentian, chamomile, dandelion root.

Improves the metabolism: Green tea, guarana, gum guggul.

Improves the immune system: Ginseng, holy basic, licorice, codonoposis.

Reduces stress: Valerian, poppy, passionflower, lemon balm, skullcap, hops.

Reduces inflammation: Horse chestnut, ginger.

Promotes healthy elimination: Aloe, cascara, yellow dock, rhubarb.

In addition to eating a healthy diet and exercising with HIIT exercises, these supplements can help restore the right balance of hormones and nutrients in the body, release stress, and kick start healthy weight loss that will last.

HIIT Workouts and Optimal Health

Whether you want to lose weight to improve your health, improve your appearance, or simply to feel better, HIIT workouts can help you reach those goals faster. Combine your new workout plan with a healthy diet and supplements to kick start your weight loss strategy and get rid of stubborn, unhealthy pounds once and for all. Within just a few weeks, you should start to see results that will make you smile and feel great inside and out.





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