HIIT, what is it?  HIIT is the acronym for High Intensity Interval Training.  And so we are clear, this post is not about what kind of exercises to use for HIIT.  This post is intended to simply educate a bit about why you may want to learn how to better utilize it, and some things to keep in mind when you do.

To start,

The efficient side:   Research has shown that short, multiple spurts of high intensity output (between 4 – 10 minutes) can improve dynamic flexibility and stamina.  We can also improve our resting metabolism, strengthen our muscles a bit, and rediscover a productive way to move with efficiency, and ward off possible injury.  In short, the efficiency of HIIT is minimal time with maximal health returns.

The effective side:  For the population that aims to defy aging, I believe a fitness program designed to improve the function of our body’s systems is a productive investment.    Improving our nervous system, endocrine system, and muscular system is where real value takes place.  In short, we should all aim to move with speed as a training factor, and aim at progressively adding a few more reps then before.

A few things to consider: 

1.   What does “high intensity” mean for me?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard are you working right now?  Aim to keep 1 and 10 at completely opposite extremes and be honest with yourself when answering.  A simple way to measure your own perceived rate of exertion (PRE).

With HIIT, aim at a PRE at 8 or above.  Take minimal breaks and clean movement technique

2.   How long?

Typically this means how long should one workout be.  I would suggest anywhere between 4 to 15 minutes.  The truth of the matter is, if you can go past 25 to 30 minutes, you may not be working at the intense level you think you are.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rules and why I tend to focus more on my quality of movement.  When my movements becomes sloppy, my risk of injury increases, time to stop and take a breath to recover.

I suggest adding 3 to 4 bouts of HIIT 3 – 4 times a week and see how you feel.   Vary between 4 minutes and up to 15 minutes.  Choose exercises that allow you to move at high speed and move with virtuosity being the deciding factor to break/stop.

Bullet summary:


Coach Sanity