six years ago, I wrote an article titled “How Good is HIIT for Fat Loss, Really?”
You can read it for free, here:
That article burst the HIIT fat loss bubble by examining all the available research, and pointing out that the fat loss effects of HIIT were … pretty weak.
The reason, as my article explained, was that HIIT simply does not create a sufficient calorie burn. Yes, as you sprint your little heart out on the stationary bike you might feel lots of discomfort and your lungs might huff and puff like a locomotive. If it's a hot day, you might sweat like a pig in a Finnish sauna. You might even loudly groan and drop an F-bomb or two, which is gym code for “Hey, look at me! Look how hard I’m training! I’m hardcore!”
But for all the heavy breathing, grimacing and cursing, the reality is that your average HIIT session only burns a couple hundred calories.
HIIT sessions are simply too short to produce a significant calorie burn.
As for the much-vaunted muy grande post-workout metabolism boost that HIIT supposedly delivers - it simply isn’t that big.
It’s at this point that a whole bunch of people – many of whom sport double chins and body fat percentages in the 20s and 30s – will angrily insist that calorie expenditure has nothing to do with fat loss.
Nope, what really makes you fat, apparently, is insulin, omega-6 fatty acids, gut bacteria and little fairies who sneak into your room at night and inject your culo with lard.
I don’t want to be rude to the mentally ill here, but … f*ck off. Seriously.
“But wait,” I here a voice say, in between wheezing breaths. “Your article was written in 2012. That was six whole years ago!”
Ah, yes, 2012. It seems like only … six years ago.
Has there been any new HIIT research in that last six years?
Does that research show that since AD 2012, Homo televisionensis has undergone dramatic evolutionary changes that now make his/her metabolism and adipocytes much more sensitive to the effects of HIIT?
Now, if this was way back in the olden days – you know, 2012 – I’d launch into a detailed breakdown of the new research. I’d pick apart every study and explain it in a way that everyone except a low-carber could understand (hey, there are limits to just how simply I can break stuff down).
For good measure, I would’ve even thrown in a picture of Sara Varone and some cannoli.
God, I love cannoli.
Especially the Snickers cannoli they sell at the Adelaide Central Market.
Turns out Adelaide isn’t a total write-off after all!
You know, the chocolate and vanilla twirls are also pretty damn … wait, this was an article about HIIT.
So … six years ago, I would’ve dissected the research. But history has shown what a monumental waste of time that strategy was.
Yep: Write detailed articles for free, get incessantly trolled.
Luckily for those of you interested in HIIT, someone else has picked up the HIIT torch and run with it. Recently, one of the lads at Cellucor kindly wrote to me and asked my opinion of their new HIIT article, titled “Is HIIT Worth It?”
To find out, you can access the article right here:
The article picks up where I left off in 2012, so any of you folks that still get aroused, intellectually or otherwise, by the HIIT thing should check it out.
As for my opinion? It’s a great article. Well done, Cellucor article creators! Just watch out for hate mail from flabby believers of the “metabolic advantage” religion. Boy, do they hate being told the truth. Even when it’s the one thing they so desperately need to hear!
By the way, to pre-empt any scurrilous allegations about some kind of commercial conspiracy, I didn’t receive Jack Schitt for linking to the Cellucor article. I actually don’t know much about Cellucor, except that they’ve posted a great HIIT article. My only criticisms, and they are negligible, is that there is no evidence that HIIT will “increase longevity” or that “HIIT makes you happier”. Read the article carefully (or even better, the actual studies) and you’ll see that the research in question showed HIIT improved markers associated with longevity (association does not equate to causation), and that research subjects generally enjoyed HIIT training more than steady state cardio. This of course, says nothing about their happiness outside the gym. Something tells me there are more than a few people who do HIIT that are downright grumpy bastards outside the gym.
As a further aside, this here writer enjoys riding his bike in the great outdoors much more than both HIIT and steady state cardio (which, in the studies, equates to sitting on a stationary bike and riding in a zombie like state for 45-60 minutes). Call me strange, but I prefer my bike to actually go somewhere when I pedal.
Alright, that’s my good deed for the day. Time to take Señor “El Perro Guapo” Ramone for a walk. Yes, he’s doing fine - thank you for asking. He turned 10 this year, but he is still as handsome as ever.
He even has his own website now, it’s a work in progress, but you can check it out here:
And the story of how the rambunctious Ramone charmed his way into my life can be found here:
After you’ve read it, please consider making a donation to the Animal Welfare League - a truly selfless organization that does an excellent job of looking after abandoned animals.
For more information on Anthony's books, click here.
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