HIIT training, or high intensity interval training, is a popular model in today’s industry, but what is it and how to choose the best protocol?
What is HIIT?
– HIIT comes from the English high intensity interval training, or high intensity interval training
– Alternate intervals of exercise and recovery using one’s own body weight (running, power movements), functional training equipment (dumbbells, ropes, etc.), or cardio equipment
– Exercise intervals can range from five seconds to eight minutes and must be performed at 80-95% of HRmax
– The recovery intervals depend on the exercise intervals and should allow the heart rate to return to 40-50% of HRmax before starting with the next interval
Benefits of HIIT
The benefits of a HIIT routine have been proven, and in a society like ours, it has become very popular for delivering results in less time. There are studies that show that HIIT routines increase cardiovascular capacity (aerobic and anaerobic fitness), improve blood pressure and insulin sensitivity, in addition to eliminating abdominal fat and reducing cholesterol levels (Gunnarson and Bangsbo, Kravitz).
HIIT routines have also been used successfully among clinical patients to improve oxygen uptake and control blood glucose (Dalleck). Studies have also confirmed that HIIT is an effective and versatile way to train that can be adjusted to all levels and physical conditions, provided that the person does not have a medical problem.
The “correct” protocol
There are many HIIT protocols, so it can become a bit overwhelming even for fitness professionals to be able to define what routine to apply for a specific client or goal. The truth is that there are no bad or incorrect protocols, but there are some that work better for certain demographic.
There are five key studies that show the positive impact of HIIT on oxygen uptake, control of blood glucose, and acceleration of metabolism (Dalleck), the intervals studied ranged from 60 seconds to 4 minutes.
We understand the nature of interval training, so we’re going to show you protocols for different levels of fitness: