Understanding High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Fat loss is one of the major reasons that individuals take up exercise. However, traditional training methods have relied on “steady state” aerobic type exercise to no avail. Current research indicates that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be more advantageous in achieving health benefits. University of NSW Associate Professor Stephen Boutcher has highlighted the fat loss benefits of High Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) in a highly regarded research article called “High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss“ published in 2011.

The excitement over High Intensity Intermittent Training stems from the economical and time saving promise of the exercise protocol. Given how time poor we all are these days, very few people have the time or energy to incorporate several gruelling hours on the treadmill without seeing worthwhile results. HIIE provides a more efficient option whereby each minute of exercise is maximally contributing to fat loss.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?

In general, High Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) is synonymous with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and involves short bouts of near-maximal exertion, followed by equal or slightly longer bouts of low intensity or rest.

For example, in A/Professor Boutcher’s research, they explored the use of “life sprints” which involved 8 seconds of maximal sprint on a stationary bike followed by 12 seconds of slow cycling. The two intensities were alternated continuously for 20 minutes.

At Activate Clinic, we use High Intensity Interval Training to maximise the benefits of exercise relative to invested time. We combine a variety of exercises using primarily a resistance (weights) based program where we alternate a work set with a brief rest.

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