What is all this talk about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


High Intensity Interval Training (commonly known as HIIT) is not just the latest buzz word. This is a form of fitness training which is boasting of an ever increasing amount of research in favor of the format.

There are a few different styles associated with HIIT, including formats arising out of research done by Tabata,  Tremblay and Bahr. To simplify, these workouts require you to perform intensely, rest, then repeat for a total workout ranging from between 4 and 20 minutes long.  The research indicates positive b enefits with fat and calorie loss, as well as increased performance with both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Critics still argue that longer moderate exercise will get into fat loss better. I would add another criticsim of HIIT. If you only exercise with these formats, you may miss out on some heart health benefits.  Here is the American Hearth Association’s recommendation off their website:

“We suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). 30 minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember, however you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day.”

I suppose if you do enough HIIT training in your week, you can see these heart benefits, however, most of us won’t prioritize getting into exercise clothes and breaking a sweat 2 times a day each day.

My simplified take on all of this is as follows.  HIIT is a part of Functional Fitness, as I talk about with my 4 dimension of Functional Fitness. However, I recommend you fit it in when possible, but try to get in the longer workouts (meaning 30 to 50 minutes long).  The vast majority of Kemme Fitness workouts are in that 30 to 50 minute range. This is because it is hard enough to get in 4 workouts a week as it is, so I want the most out of them.  Time is valuable.  Within my workouts, I tend to use formats that mimick the research of HIIT. Hence, the circuits where you do a few exercises intensely, then rest. Think of it as a blending of HIIT with the American Heart Association. The result = Kemme Fitness.

This Post Has 2 Comments

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