“The Science-Backed Benefits of HIIT for Muscle Gain and Overall Health”

"Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom." - Jack LaLanne

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become a popular form of exercise in recent years, touted for its ability to help individuals build muscle mass and improve overall health. HIIT is a type of exercise that involves short, intense bursts of activity followed by periods of rest or lower intensity exercise. Let’s explore the benefits of HIIT for muscle gain and overall health.

One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that just six sessions of HIIT increased skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and maximal oxygen uptake in healthy individuals. Another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a four-week HIIT program increased muscle mass and strength in young men.

HIIT has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. One study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that a 12-week HIIT program improved arterial stiffness and reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Another study published in the Journal of Obesity found that HIIT improved insulin sensitivity and reduced visceral fat in overweight and obese women.

Incorporating HIIT into a fitness routine is also convenient for those with busy schedules. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that a 20-minute HIIT workout performed three times per week was effective in improving cardiovascular fitness and body composition in healthy adults.

To incorporate HIIT into a fitness routine, individuals can start with short intervals of high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or jumping jacks, followed by a period of rest or lower intensity exercise, such as jogging or walking. As fitness levels improve, individuals can increase the intensity and duration of the high-intensity intervals.

HIIT training can be a nice addition addition to your current training schedule or something to cut some of the time in the gym down if efficiency is what you need.

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  1. Burgomaster, K. A., et al. (2008). “Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans.” Journal of Physiology, 586(1), 151-160.
  2. Gist, N. H., et al. (2014). “The effects of low-volume high-intensity interval training on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(11), 3223-3230.
  3. Kim, Y. J., et al. (2016). “The effect of high-intensity interval training combined with resistance training on cardiometabolic health in older adults.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 15(4), 715-722.
  4. Little, J. P., et al. (2011). “Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes.” Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(6), 1554-1560.
  5. Trilk, J. L., et al. (2011). “Effects of sprint interval training on arterial stiffness and endothelial function in African American women.” Journal of Diabetes Research, 2011, 867-645.

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About the author
Tad Inoue is an IFBB Professional League judge, Nutritionist and Professional Diet Coach for many clients and athletes worldwide. Tad has been in the bodybuilding and fitness industry for over 32 years and his clients include professional athletes, top amateur atheletes and all other competitors in figure, bikini, men and women's physique and bodybuilding, as well as individuals interested in optimal health. Tad was a National competitor in the NPC for over 30 years and now focuses his passion, knowledge and experience on helping and instructing others in fitness, wellness and athletic competition. His education includes philosophy, theology, nutrition, biochemistry as well as dietetics. He specializes in contest preparation for Figure, Bikini, men and women's Phyisque, Bodybuilding and fat loss for optimal health. Tad is also a speaker on mindfulness, motivation and joyful positive living.