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High Intensity Interval Training For Maximum Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interval training is the hot topic in the fitness world at the moment and for good reason as it is an efficient, time saving way to exercise whilst still gaining some if not all of the health benefits of a traditional aerobic endurance exercise programme.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the training method of choice for the time-poor in search of fast results, without having to do the long hard slog in the gym.

 

Interval Training/HIIT for rapid results

Simply put, HIIT consists of training in short bursts of all-out exercise interspersed with longer periods of either passive or active recovery. The training modality can be on a bike, treadmill, outside or whatever method is preferable. A typical progressive sprint interval training regimen is in the table below.

TYPICAL PROGRESSIVE HIIT PROGRAMME

Training Session

Sprint Number

Sprint Duration

Resistance (% bodyweight)

Recovery between Sprints

1

4

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

2

4

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

3

5

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

4

5

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

2

6

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

3

6

30 sec

7.5%

240 sec

This high-intensity training whilst not ideal for calorie expenditure or improving V02 scores does have a massive impact on the periphery and metabolic systems which have huge potential for those looking to improve their sensitivity to insulin, particularly important for those suffering from Diabetes.

 

Why is HIIT so effective?

The large amount of muscle mass being recruited during all-out exercise training particularly in this short-term fashion means that a larger proportion of muslce glycogen is used resulting in a very rapid depletion of glycogen leading to a super-compensation during the recovery phase with skeletal muscle glycogen content increased by approximately 33%.

 

Benefits to Athletes

For athletes the areas that would be of most interest in High Intensity Interval Training are;

  • Reduction in Blood Lactate Accumulation
  • Improved Oxidative Metabolism
  • Increased Glycogen Utilisation  


Health Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training

What are the health benefits of training at such intense levels for a short period?

        • Training at higher intensities as opposed to long slow duration results in greater improvement in insulin sensitivity.
        • It is time-effective, easy to manage and more likely to result in exercise adherence.
        • Disease management. HIIT may be a better strategy for reducing the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes
        • It is an effective means of controlling blood glucose levels and in only two weeks of training has been shown to improve insulin action and glucose homeostasis in healthy sedentary men.
        • Greater fat oxidation and lower carbohydrate oxidation in obese clients in a fasted state. 


Practical solutions using the HIIT approach

Whilst there is still plenty of science to be discovered on all the benefits of HIIT it is clear that this type of exercise training has huge benefits and implications not only for althletes of all levels but also and perhaps more importantly the wider population for whom exercise is a somewhat daunting prospect. Whilst the protcol referenced here is based on 30 second intervals it has been shown that benefits can also be gained with even shorter periods of intense interval training which makes it even more manageable for the exercise-wary. The key, as always is to find a form of exercise training that is enjoyable to ensure exercise becomes an enjoyable pursuit rather than a chore. 

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3 Responses to High Intensity Interval Training For Maximum Results

  1. Morpheus says:

    Thank you Andrew. Let me know how you get on!

  2. Andrew says:

    An informative and helpful article; an excellent way to maximize my workouts when time is limited, such as my lunchtimes during work. Thanks!

  3. Peta Schindler says:

    Thank you for the training advice, I’ll put it into practice and let you know how I get on.

    Thanks!

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