How to improve health and fitness in just 6 minutes a day.

This article was written by Martin Khoo, who is the director and owner of the Bespoke-Fitness, personal training studio in Glasgow, West Regent Street.

High Intensity Training (HIIT) - A Powerful Way to Boost Your Fitness in Just 6-Minutes

Time constraints often deter individuals from pursuing their fitness goals. However, there exists a simple yet effective exercise regimen that can significantly enhance your health and fitness in a mere 6 minutes, a couple of times a week, or even every day, known as High Intensity Training (HIIT).

How HIIT Works

To improve any aspect of fitness, we must push our bodies beyond their comfort zones, forcing them to adapt. In strength training, this adaptation manifests as stronger muscles; in stretching, it's increased flexibility. In HIIT, the adaptation is multifaceted and remarkable.

Benefits of HIIT

Here's a glimpse into the numerous benefits HIIT bestows:

Increased Lactate Threshold: Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in your muscles during exercise? That's the accumulation of lactate acid, a byproduct of intense exertion. Regular HIIT training enhances the body's ability to handle lactate acid, enabling you to push your muscles harder and longer.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity: HIIT primarily targets fast-twitch muscle fibers, which enhance the body's ability to utilize glucose from the bloodstream. This improved sensitivity to insulin leads to more efficient glucose uptake from the blood, minimizing the risk of storing excess glucose as fat.

Reduced Free Radical Damage and Inflammation: Free radicals, cellular-level troublemakers, cause damage and inflammation. HIIT helps neutralize free radicals and improve mitochondrial function, the powerhouses of our cells, leading to overall reduced inflammation.

Increased Muscle Strength and Quality: HIIT's high-intensity nature stimulates fast-twitch muscle fibers, those with the greatest growth potential. But the benefits extend beyond muscle size. HIIT enhances mitochondrial density, boosting the production of energy within muscle cells, leading to stronger, more resilient muscles.

Increased Bone Density: Exercise is a form of stress, and the body responds to the right amount of stress by adapting. Studies have shown that HIIT's intense nature stimulates the remodeling of bone cells, promoting stronger, more resilient bones.

Increased Post-Workout Fat Burn: Muscles are primary fat-burning engines. By enhancing muscle function, HIIT increases the body's ability to burn fat, even after the workout is over.

Improved Cardiovascular Health: HIIT's hallmark is its ability to improve cardiovascular health. Studies have demonstrated improvements in heart rate, VO2 max, and blood pressure following HIIT training.

HIIT Methods

Performing HIIT is incredibly simple. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Total Exercise Time: 6-minutes
  • Low-Intensity Effort: 1-minute at around 60% of your maximum effort
  • High-Intensity Effort: 30-seconds at 85-90% of your maximum effort
  • Repeat: Complete the low-intensity and high-intensity intervals for a total of 4 sets
  • This routine can be performed on any cardio machine you prefer, such as a stationary bike, treadmill, rower, or elliptical trainer. If you prefer outdoor activities, a brisk run in the sunshine is an excellent option.


    Once youve performed the above HIT training programme a number of times and it starts to feel easier and you may want progress the difficulty. Progression involves extending the high intensity portion of the workout for longer. The benifits of longer interval training sessions are that you will further improve your bodies ability to utilise oxygen, which is known as your Vo2max. Vo2max has been shown, along with strength, to be one of he most significant indicators of fitness and longetivity.

    Examples of HIT For Improving Vo2Max

  • 1 min hard (85%), 1 min easy (active recovery), 4 sets.
  • 2 min hard (85%), 2 min easy (active recovery), 4 sets.
  • 3 min hard (85%), 3 min easy (active recovery), 4 sets.
  • 4 min hard (85%), 4 min easy (active recovery), 4 sets.
  • Conclusion

    HIIT's incredible benefits packed into just 6 minutes of effort make it an absolute no-brainer for anyone seeking rapid and time-efficient improvements in health and fitness. When combined with time-restricted eating, HIIT becomes an even more powerful fat-burning tool. Remember, always warm up before starting any intense exercise, gradually increase the intensity over time, and listen to your body. If you have any health concerns, consult with your doctor before attempting HIIT. Embrace the power of HIIT and embark on a journey towards enhanced fitness and well-being.

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