HIIT training and you.

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Fitness, HIIT

I was talking to my brother the other day about his fitness training.  He’s been focused on better health for some time and has a rather complicated fitness regime.  All told he works out about 10-12 hours/week but he hasn’t been losing any weight or seen any real changes.  When I heard him tell me this I wanted to jump through the phone, eat his gym membership and burn his jogging shoes.

My brother’s a little old school and has a healthy skepticism about ‘new fads’ like HIIT training.  So dear brother – this is for you.

HIIT training demystified.

To begin with, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) refers to continuous bouts of both low and high intensity exercise done for a set period of time. The entire training session usually lasts no more than 20-25 minutes.  So, even if you did this everyday (which I wouldn’t necessarily suggest) at most you’d be training 3.5 hours/week.

HIIT training can refer to almost any type of activity as long as the exertion rate is alternating between peaks and active recovery.  A classic example is a running sprint drill where the runner goes full-on for 30 seconds and then jogs for the next 1-2 minutes.

The main benefit of this type of training for athletes is increased performance.  Because they are constantly pushing the threshold of their ability their ability increases.  Those who are always working at the same pace, will stay at the same pace.  Those who push to their limits will extend their limits.  Simple.

A secondary benefit of HIIT is a change in the resting metabolic rate (RMR).  This is due to EPOC (excess post-oxygen consumption) which refers to: “a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s ‘oxygen debt’…  In recovery, oxygen (EPOC) is used in the processes that restore the body to a resting state and adapt it to the exercise just performed.  These include: hormone balancing, replenishment of fuel stores, cellular repair, innervation and anabolism.

EPOC is accompanied by an elevated consumption of fuel. In response to exercise, fat stores are broken down and free fatty acids (FFA) are released into the blood. In recovery, the direct oxidation of free fatty acids as fuel and the energy consuming re-conversion of FFA’s back into fat stores (a futile cycle) both take place.”

At Hit to Fit, we’ve made up our own HIIT circuit and it’s a little different (dare I say – awesomer?) than what you might see elsewhere.   After the 6 minute warm-up, we ask our HIIT-ready participants to take one 30-second interval in each two minute station and go all out.

We not only vary the intensity but also the activities so body is increasing performance AND is developing the athletic skills of speed, quickness, agility, strength, power, balance, flexibility and coordination at the same time.

So, in our half-hour, you are getting a proper warm-up, cool down and a performance enhancing, athletic conditioning workout with the benefit of fat loss.   Do this Monday/Wednesday/Friday and that’s 1.5 hours of gym time per week.

Convinced yet?


  1. […] View full post on high intensity interval – Google Blog Search […]

  2. Holly Danks says:

    Simple, yes. Now make my rubber-legged body think so.

  3. franciscomanley says:

    this is a great training tip. the intensity gurantees pure athleticism.

    Francisco L. Manley
    Defense attorney

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