HIIT Training, or High Intensity Interval Training, is simply bursts of hard exercise above 75% of max effort, interspersed with rest periods. They can be done via any form of cardio, or full body movements with great effect, and the advantage for those time poor is it doesn’t take long sessions to be very effective. In fact research has shown it is far more beneficial then steady state cardio for health, fitness and body composition, from disease management to elite athletic performance. Examples range from long intervals like 4 min hard, 1 min rest on the bike x 5, medium volume work such as 300m rower sprint, 1 min rest x 4-6 sets, all out max efforts of 15-30sec bursts with 2-3 minute rest periods, or a mix of any of the above, the more specifically structured to the individual the better. Full Body Strength movements are another great way to utilise HIIT, such as in our Primal Strength Small group classes.
So why is HIIT better than steady state/continuous type training?
- Greater stimulation of Fast twitch muscle fibres – Greater strength/power and lean physique changes.
- Greater improvements in VO2 Peak and PGC-1α streaming- This means it makes you fitter, quicker.
- Greater decrease in blood pressure – Reduces your risk of stroke, heart disease and many other issues.
- Greater decrease in triglycerides and fasting glucose- Improved cholesterol levels, healthier heart, greater reduction in diabetes risk.
- Greater increase in adiponectin, insulin sensitivity and β cell function – You will burn more fats as fuel, creating a more efficient, healthier and leaner athlete.
- Greater Increase in cardiac function – Who doesn’t want a healthier heart long term?
- Greater availability of nitric oxide and greater rate of calcium uptake – Your muscles have improved glucose uptake, can relax quicker, then fire again quicker and more
- Enjoyment of exercise – Studies show that despite the harder work efforts, exercise enjoyment is greater in HIIT.
- Quality of Life – It’s pretty obvious from all the above that this is a given.
There are so many variations of HIIT training creating so much variety in what you can do, so with a little forward planning for a HIIT session, the positive changes can come thick and fast.
To find out more on how to structure your training for ultimate time efficiency while you improve your health, fitness and performance, or to try one of our unique Small Group classes come in and see as at Absolute, 199 William st.
Written by Absolute’s Performance Coach David Smith