If you follow the media about hot workout trends, then you’ve certainly heard of high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts alternate between periods of short, intense activity with periods of recovery. HIIT workouts are an effective way for men to gain muscle, reduce bodyfat, boost their cardio health, and transform their physique. HIIT’s combo of intense exertion coupled with recovery torches fat and promotes muscle development, quickly.
How can you make the most out of the muscle-building power of HIIT? Read on for how HIIT works to build muscle in men’s bodies. Plus, we share ways you can get superhero-worthy muscles of your own, with less time spent at the gym.
This article is about how men can build muscle with HIIT workouts. What is unique about how HIIT works on the male body to increase lean muscle mass?
Of course you know that most exercise builds stronger muscle. That said, not all exercise is created equal when the goal is dramatic muscle development. The mechanism behind how HIIT catalyzes male muscle growth is a little more complex. HIIT workouts result in unique physiological responses which directly enhance the male body’s ability to maintain existing muscle mass while developing more muscle tissue.
One fascinating fact about HIIT is that it seems to boost those key male hormones linked to muscle growth and strength. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published recent work showing that HIIT can actually increase men’s testosterone levels and GLUT4 concentration. Additional research has linked intense circuit workouts to the stimulation of age-defying muscle-building Human
Growth Hormone (HGH) and IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor).
It seems as if HIIT workouts not only stimulate male muscle building hormones, but HIIT can also stimulate the bodies’ cellular signals to grow new muscle tissues. Research links HIIT to an increase in male mitochondrial biogenesis, is the formation of new energy producing mitochondria in cells, which signals the body that it’s time to increase its muscle tissue.
In addition to boosting muscle-stimulating hormones and hypertrophy cell function in men, HIIT workouts also develop a stronger heart and cardio output. A stronger cardiovascular system is primed to deliver more oxygen-rich blood to workout-stressed muscles, resulting in faster recovery and stronger development. Muscles that recover faster ultimately become stronger over time.
One of the most exciting things about HIIT is that it turns your body into a calorie annihilator. HIIT workouts rev up your metabolism like few other workouts can, keeping your body torching calories long after your workout sessions are through.
Why? Basically, the intense cardio periods during a HIIT workout deprive the body of oxygen and force the body to work anaerobically. When the muscles are starved of oxygen, they compensate by working harder after the workout to return to normal. This period of alternating between an aerobic and anaerobic state supercharges your body’s metabolism and fat-burning capability.
After a HIIT workout, your metabolism will be ramped up long after leaving the gym. For some, this metabolism boost may even last a full day after your workout. Fitness pros refer to this increase as EPOC—excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Why does this help your muscle-building mission? The increase in resting metabolism not only burns fat, it also boosts hypertrophy or muscle growth.
In simple terms, HIIT works to build muscle because the workout requires the body to use more of its muscle tissue to perform. A compelling study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that a specific HIIT workout requires the body to use up to 80% of its muscle fibers. (In comparison, jogging uses only 20-40% of the muscle fibers!) The more muscle fibers used during exercise, the better the boost in corresponding muscle growth as result of that exercise.
“The more tissue affected by training, the more you improve its overall ability to take up glucose from the blood,” explains researcher Dr. Niels Vollaard. Ultimately, more muscle fibers used during exercise and more glucose used during rest equals more muscle growth and greater strength.
So you’re convinced that HIIT is the way to go if you’re a man who wants to gain muscle by doing interval workouts. Now, the question is which HIIT workout is best of them all? There are a ton of different HIIT options to choose from, but you’re in luck, because medical researchers have provided the answer to your question.
If you’re a man who wants to build muscle quickly with HIIT workouts, then look no further than interval cycling. McMaster University researchers found that men who pedaled on a stationary bike for 10 one-minute sprints boosted muscle better than other HIIT workouts.
If you’re interested in trying a HIIT workout using a stationery bike, check out SweatBox in Washington, D.C. Their focused high-energy “Full Throttle” workout combines an XT Trainer, dumbbells, and intense stationary bike cardio intervals to strip fat and build lean muscle. To experience what a SweatBox HIIT class is like, check out our video for a look inside the SweatBox studio.
HIIT workouts are widely becoming the gold standard in the fitness community for those in the know who want to burn fat while building lean muscle. The many compelling benefits of a HIIT workout program for men are unique. HIIT workouts can stimulate production of men’s muscle-building and age-defying natural hormones.
HIIT workouts are also linked to the support and development of cell proteins that build muscle fibers. It’s evident that HIIT training for men has huge benefits for men’s health, namely increased muscle development, overall superior health, and a revved up metabolism.
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