High-intensity interval training

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint interval training is an exercise strategy that is intended to improve performance with short training sessions. HIIT is a form of cardio which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 15-30 minutes. Most HIIT sessions have a 2:1 ratio in terms of time. For example, for running, a HIIT session may be something as 60 seconds jog, 30 seconds sprint.


[edit] Procedure

An example of a HIIT session may be as follows: Use this scale of 1-10 (1 being a casual walk and 10 being sprinting as hard you can) to help clarify the intensity level of the run. For this exercise, it is most efficient if it is done on a track or at least outdoors instead of on a treadmill. Begin with a five minute warm up jog at about a 4-5 followed by a couple of minutes of stretching. Then start with a jog at about a 5-6 intensity level for 60 seconds and then sprint at an 8-9 intensity level for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle 6-8 times depending on how fit you are (Beginners should limit themselves to 6 cycles and more advanced HIIT users should strive for 8 cycles). Your HIIT session will look something like this: Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds), Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds), Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds), Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds), Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds), Jog (level: 5-6, 60 seconds) then Sprint (level: 8-9, 30 seconds). After you complete your cycle, you should also have a cool down run to help your heart rate return to normal.

A HIIT session involves a warmup period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cool down period. The period of alternating effort and recovery intervals typically lasts a total of 15 minutes. HIIT is an excellent way to maximize your workout if you are limited on time as well. Many fitness experts such as Jeff Halevy, a major proponent of HIIT, have made this methodology a cornerstone of their routines for these reasons.[1]

Interval training is also a term used by some to validate and explain frequent breaks during ones workout.

[edit] Benefits

Studies by Tabata[2], Tremblay[3] and others have shown this method to be more effective at burning fat and maintaining, or building, muscle mass than high-volume, lower intensity aerobic work-outs. A study by Gibala et al[4] demonstrated 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar biochemical muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance performance benefits. According to a study by King [5] , HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.[6][7][8][9] Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes of training. HIIT is somewhat counterintuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively. There may be a number of factors that contribute to this, including an increase in RMR, and possibly other physiological effects.

Recently it has been shown that two weeks of HIIT can substantially improve insulin action in young healthy men. HIIT may therefore represent a viable method for prevention of type-2 diabetes.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Van Dusen, Allison (October 20, 2008). "Ten ways to get more from your workout". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/20/exercise-workout-shorter-forbeslife-cx_avd_1020health.html?. Retrieved on December 14, 2008. 
  2. ^ Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, et al (1996). "Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max". Med Sci Sports Exerc 28 (10): 1327–30. PMID 8897392. 
  3. ^ Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C (1994). "Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism". Metab. Clin. Exp. 43 (7): 814–8. PMID 8028502. 
  4. ^ Gibala, Martin J; Jonathan P. Little, Martin van Essen, Geoffrey P. Wilkin, Kirsten A. Burgomaster, Adeel Safdar, Sandeep Raha and Mark A. Tarnopolsky (September 15 2006). "Short-term sprint interval versus traditional endurance training: similar initial adaptations in human skeletal muscle and exercise performance". J Physiol 575 (3): 901-911. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2006.112094. http://jp.physoc.org/cgi/content/short/575/3/901. Retrieved on 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ East Tennessee State University Thesis
  6. ^ Smith TP, Coombes JS, Geraghty DP (2003). "Optimising high-intensity treadmill training using the running speed at maximal O(2) uptake and the time for which this can be maintained". Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 89 (3-4): 337–43. doi:10.1007/s00421-003-0806-6. PMID 12736843. 
  7. ^ Rozenek R, Funato K, Kubo J, Hoshikawa M, Matsuo A (2007). "Physiological responses to interval training sessions at velocities associated with VO2max". J Strength Cond Res 21 (1): 188–92. doi:10.1519/R-19325.1. PMID 17313282. 
  8. ^ Helgerud J, Høydal K, Wang E, et al (2007). "Aerobic high-intensity intervals improve VO2max more than moderate training". Med Sci Sports Exerc 39 (4): 665–71. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e3180304570. PMID 17414804. 
  9. ^ Esfarjani F, Laursen PB (2007). "Manipulating high-intensity interval training: effects on VO2max, the lactate threshold and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained males". J Sci Med Sport 10 (1): 27–35. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2006.05.014. PMID 16876479. 

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