High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

From this article, Short workouts: Will exercising for 15 minutes once a week get you fit? are some quotes and responses after the quotes.

“It sounds too good to be true”

If something is too be good to be true then it follows that it really is too good to be true. The truth is the workouts are very demanding, but they won’t take a lot of your week. Anyone with proper instruction can do it though: you build up to it slowly. Our oldest client was 95 years old.

“Over the past decade, many trainers have begun advocating for shorter, less-frequent workout regimens – claiming that they are much more efficient for weight loss and muscle building.”

The truth is these workouts have been around for decades. Forty years ago body builder Mike Mentzer did as little as four exercises a week.

“The key to the short workout’s success revolves around a concept known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a heightened form of interval training that involves alternating between periods of short, intense physical activity and fixed periods of low activity or rest."

“With more traditional workouts, there was a tendency to pace yourself – so holding back for the first 20 to 30 minutes. But when you design them shorter with very few breaks in between…you’re moving multiple body parts over the course of one movement, the heart rate is higher, and it just becomes more efficient.”

With longer volume-type workouts the goal is to do more – more reps or more sets. The only way to do that is to try to conserve your efforts. There is a bias away from intensity. With HIIT the goal is to make the reps so intense that you cannot do additional reps. Exercising with a bias toward intensity results in a much more productive session.

“Furthermore, some studies suggest that these periods of high intensity exercise produce a unique metabolic response in the body, causing it to continue to burn fat for up to 24 to 48 hours post-workout.”

This is called Excessive Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), and there is no other form of exercise that produces more EPOC than HIIT for strength.

The article goes on to talk about frequency of exercise. You will be able to do sprint training more often than strength training. If you are doing sprint interval training there is less restructuring of tissue taking place after the exercise, while HIIT strength training involves extensive restructuring of damaged tissue after a bout of exercise. It will take longer to totally recover. It will vary by individual as to the necessary recover time.

Our experience after conducting literally tens of thousands of exercise sessions over the years is that less is more. We start from the premise of seeing how little exercise is needed to produce significant results rather than from the premise of seeing how much exercise one can withstand. The former is a prescription for progress, and the later is a prescription for over-training.

At Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Fitness Trainers we can help you gradually build up to a high intensity strength training or an aerobic high intensity training program that is safe, effective, and efficient for your age and condition. You need not spend hours in the gym to feel better, look better, and perform better.