Updated: Sep 18
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) gets thrown around a lot as a buzzword, but it’s one of the best workout methods one can incorporate into their training program. HIIT requires exercisers to push themselves to their maximum potential for a short amount of time followed by a rest period (usually a 1:4 ratio). Users use the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) system to gauge how hard they are working out, usually with a scale of 1-10, with 1 being sedentary and 10 being maximum exertion. Most HIIT workouts last up to 30 minutes for even experienced exercisers, and fitness beginners commonly start with 5-10 minute workouts.
HIIT workouts offer a plethora of benefits, including better oxygen intake and a high amount of calories burned in a short amount of time. A 2016 study found that “If an individual is seeking to burn slightly more calories, maintain a higher oxygen uptake, and perceive less exertion during exercise, HIIT is the recommended routine.” HIIT has also been shown to increase calories burned after a workout is completed as well, with one study finding participants burnt 6-15% more calories for two hours after completing a HIIT workout. Some of the best machines to obtain these benefits are stationary bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, and rowers. Keep reading to find out the benefits of incorporating HIIT when using these machines.
Indoor cycles provide an excellent workout that truly can’t be beat. It’s low impact (perfect for those with joint issues or recovering from injuries) while also providing a great cardio workout that blasts away fat. Cycling also provides an excellent strength training workout that involves not only the lower body but also the core and upper body as well (say hello to better posture too!). Finally, cycling helps one’s brain stay healthier due to the need to concentrate on the action of peddling in addition to the flood of endorphins that come with every workout option.
HIIT’s interval system can push training to the next level and work smarter rather than harder. One of the main things novice cyclists will notice when they begin using a stationary bike is how quickly their body adjusts to the workout; however, HIIT keeps their bodies guessing about what pace they’ll be at while their stamina builds up, meaning a person can cycle for years without hitting an exercise plateau. And all those benefits talked about earlier (and even some more here)? They come to users quickly and with more intensity.
One of the best things about treadmill training is that it doesn’t strictly need to be running, and the same can be said for HIIT treadmill workouts as well. Exercisers of all fitness levels can incorporate power walking and running into their HIIT plan to exercise better and smarter than ever before by power walking during their rest periods and running during the high exertion periods. This means less wear and tear on a person’s joints while still torching away the fat that comes with both methods of exercise. Just make sure to pump the arms during the entire workout to make it a full-body workout and burn 5-10% more calories than keeping arms stagnant.
One of the great things about running or power walking is their ability to burn calories quickly; however, HIIT workouts on the treadmill pulverize body fat and users complete a harder workout in a shorter amount of time. Finally, HIIT treadmill workouts, when compared to regular running, allow people to become better runners in a shorter amount of time due to the increased time of sprinting which builds muscle and makes steady pace running easier.
Ellipticals offer a plethora of health benefits, including increased stamina and cardio capacity. They also burn a large number of calories, with a 185-pound person burning roughly 400 calories after only 30 minutes of working out at a steady pace. Finally, because users move in one fluid motion without putting a lot of weight on their joints, it’s an excellent tool for those who need a low-impact exercise. It’s no wonder they’re one of the most popular machines at the gym!
HIIT gives users all of the benefits they expect from an elliptical with the bonus of completing everything in a shorter amount of time. It also helps get rid of abdominal visceral fat (the type of fat that can lead to diabetes), with one study of obese women finding that participants lost more than 10% of their body fat after completing a 12-week program. Furthermore, the study found that people who completed HIIT lost just as much weight in 30 minutes versus those who worked out for 60 minutes at a steady pace.
Rowing machines are one of the most overlooked workout machines, but they offer some amazing benefits for their users. Not only are they an excellent tool for cardio, but they also provide strength training while being low-impact. Finally, a rower will see improved posture as well as an increase in overall health, with things like better blood circulation, stronger bones, and increased flexibility (read more about the benefits here).
If one completes a Google search on rowing and HIIT, they’ll routinely find articles proclaiming rowing machines the best HIIT workout tool. One of the prime reasons for this is the machine’s ability to provide a full-body workout which means more fat burned than most cardio machines and an increase in muscle mass. It also is an easy-to-use machine for people of all fitness levels and ages being its low-impact but still provides amazing results.
Treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowing machines all provide excellent HIIT workouts for those looking to lose weight and get fit as quickly as possible without spending hours on a machine. Want to vary your workouts and start performing HIIT as soon as possible? Fitscope offers a variety of exercise videos for the aforementioned machines as well as yoga and strength training workouts to allow people to vary their workouts. Click here to learn more and receive a free one-week trial.