High-intensity Interval Training

High-intensity Interval Training

Presented by: Health First Chiropractic


High-intensity interval training (HIIT), or sprint interval training (SIT), is an exercise strategy of alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.  HIIT exercise sessions generally consist of a warm up period, then several repetitions of high-intensity exercise separated by medium intensity for recovery, then a cool down period. The high-intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity.

Though there is no universal HIIT session duration, these intense workouts typically last under 30 minutes, with times varying based on a participant's current fitness level. High-intensity interval training can be described as an exercise session composed entirely of HIIT techniques, or as an exercise session composed entirely of HIIT techniques, or as a component of an exercise plan. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise, but may be as little as three repetitions with just 20 seconds of intense exercise.

Cardiovascular Fitness:

HIIT is a scientifically verified scheme of training which appears to be most impressive at constructing cardiovascular capability. It can use running as the high intensity portion of an interval training program. HIT workouts provide improved athletic capacity, significantly lowers insulin resistance and leads to modestly decreased fasting blood glucose levels.1

Compared with other regimens, HIIT may not be as effective for treating hyperlipidemia (abnormally elevated levels of any or all lipids in the blood) and obesity, or improving muscle and bone mass.2

Some researchers also question whether the population could safely or practically tolerate the extreme nature of the exercise regimen.3 A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that HIIT training and traditional endurance training both lead to significantly improved cardiovascular fitness in healthy adults, aged 18 to 45.

Another analysis found that HIIT regimens of one month or longer effectively improve cardiovascular fitness in adolescents and lead to moderate improvements in body composition. A separate systematic review and meta-analysis of seven small randomized controlled trials found that HIIT; based on four intervals of four minutes at 85-95% of max heart rate with three-minute intervals at 60-70% of max heart rate, was more effective improving blood vessel function and markers of blood vessel health than moderate-intensity continuous running.4

There is no specific formula to HIIT. Depending on one's level of cardiovascular development, the moderate-level intensity can be as slow as walking. A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 30-40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15-20 seconds of jogging or walking.

Athletics and HIIT:

The method is much practiced by both long-distance runners who want to develop their stamina and resistance as well as by sprinters who need to improve their instant bursts of acceleration. The concentrated part of the program requires your muscles to be used initially at maximum speed and then allowed to completely rest inside the workout session. This allows for a powerful circulatory workout in the intense section of the exercise followed by a time of rest where breathing techniques are utilized to help in healing the stress on your muscles.5

Intensity can be changed by pace and distance covered in a specified time and the right rest time given between exercise activities. The entire HIIT session may last between four and thirty minutes and is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. Use of a clock or timer is recommended to keep accurate times, the number of rounds, and intensity.

Indoor HIIT:

Interval training with running can also be done indoors using a treadmill, by altering the treadmill speed during each period or with a stationary bicycle, by altering gear resistance. For example, a full-speed run of 200 meters, then a slow return or reduced activity for another 200 meters or for three minutes, then full sprint again. Sets of four should be ideal for a beginner and can increase as you get used to the workout pace.

Start slow and match your interval intensity to your fitness level. Ask your chiropractor for his or her assessment of your present condition and whether this method of training is right for you.

Disclaimer:  Information contained in the The Wellness Express newsletter is for educational and general purposes only and is designed to assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Any information contained herein is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or other healthcare professional.  References and Sources:  1. Laursen PB, Jenkins DG (2002). “The Scientific Basis for High-Intensity Interval Training”. Sports Medicine (Review). 32(1): 53-73. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200232010-00003. PMID 11772161.   2. Nybo, Lars: Sundstrup, Emil: Jakonsen, Markus D.; Mohr, Magni: Hornstrup, Therese; Simonsen, LeneL Bulow. Jens: Randers, Morten B.: Nielsen, Jens J (2010-10-01). “High-intensity training versus traditional exercise interventions for promoting health”. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 42(10): 1951-1958 doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318 1d99203. ISSN 1530-0315. PMID 20195181.  3. Gibala MJ (July 2007). “ High-intensity Interval Training: A Time-efficient Strategy for Health Prmotion?” Current Sports Med Rep. 6(4): 21 1-13. oi:10.1007/s11932-007-0033-8 PMID 17617995.  4. Ramos JS, Dalleck LC, Tjonna AE, Beetham KS, Coombes JS (May 2015). “The Impact of high-intensity interval training versus moderate-intensity continuous training on vascular function: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. Sports Med (Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis). 45(5): 679-92. doi; 10. 1007/s40279-015-0321-z PMID 25771785. 5. Thomas, James Q. Posted on 2009-05-28, www.abcarticledirectory.com- High-Intensity Interval Sports Training Writer:  Sandra Taylor  


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