These HIIT Workouts for Women Burn Fat Faster, Research Shows (Yahoo)

Posted: Nov 01, 2022 in In the News

This article orginally appeared on Yahoo.


Let’s be honest: Weight loss is hard. This is true for everyone, but it’s especially true for women, who typically have more body fat and less muscle mass than men. As a result, we burn fewer calories while at rest. There’s also the matter of aging and fluctuating hormones during menopause, both of which can wreak havoc on fitness goals. Taken together, these make changing our body composition challenging.

There is, however, a trick to burn fat faster. Studies show that HIIT workouts supercharges fat loss and improves everything from sleep quality to heart health. Better still, it’s an expedited version of traditional cardio workouts, so it saves time. Read on for the scoop on these effective at-home workouts.

What is HIIT training?

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a cardio workout that toggles between intense exercise (think: burpees, mountain climbers, etc.) and a timed cool-down period. There are many types of HIIT workouts: Tabata, for example, follows a “20 seconds on, 10 seconds off” format. The idea behind HIIT is that you push your cardiovascular and metabolic systems to their max in short bursts. When done correctly and in accordance with your fitness level, this triggers the “afterburn effect,” wherein you continue to burn calories even after your anaerobic workout is done.

What is the afterburn effect?

In scientific terms, the afterburn process is known as "excess post-exercise oxygen consumption" (EPOC). Translation: the amount of oxygen required to return the body to its resting metabolic rate.

Your body uses oxygen to produce fuel (also known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short), and your muscles use this fuel to fire up during exercise. However, muscles also use stored energy sources that don’t require extra oxygen. High-intensity interval workouts rely on the latter more than steady-state exercises and require more oxygen post-workout, as well. Both of these kickstart the afterburn effect, and are why the American Council on Exercise lists HIIT as the most effective exercise for this coveted afterburn effect.

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