HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio routines are on trend for good reason: they work. 

Science has consistently shown that HIIT workouts are a more efficient way to burn calories than traditional cardio exercises. 

Here’s the nitty-gritty on why you should skip the hour-long stint on the treadmill in lieu of shorter, HIIT sessions.

Why HIIT Exercises Work

There are two main reasons why HIIT offers better results than traditional cardio:


  1. Fat Burn. HIIT workouts burn more fat than traditional cardio (up to 50% more!) because the exercises are designed to train your body to work in anaerobic mode. While aerobic cardio (think hour long run) is effective for burning fat, anaerobic cardio helps your body become more efficient at producing and using energy, resulting in increased metabolism, a higher caloric burn and less body fat. In plain English: your body’s fat-burning skills get an upgrade.

  2. Afterburn. HIIT cardio routines are created to push your body past its comfort zone, ensuring an afterburn (AKA the calories you burn after the workout is completed). Short, intense bursts of exercise help build muscle and increase your resting metabolism rate. The result? Your 30-minute HIIT workout ends up burning more calories throughout the day than if you took an easy 60-minute run on the treadmill.

The key to getting results from HIIT exercises is to go all out. Remember, the HIIT method consists of VERY short, VERY intense exercises followed by just enough recovery to allow your body to move on to the next rep. The more you push yourself the better results you’ll see.

So, skip the slow, 60-minute session on the elliptical and opt for a shorter, HIIT cardio workout. Ready to get started? Check out one of our favorite TABATA routines, here.