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TPT
12-08-2009, 06:43 PM
for those interested in hiit.


Strength and Conditioning Journal:
December 2009 - Volume 31 - Issue 6 - pp 44-46
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181c2a844
Columns: One on One

High-Intensity Interval Training: Applications for General Fitness Training

Schoenfeld, Brad CSCS; Dawes, Jay MS, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D

Abstract


HIGH-INTENSITY AEROBIC INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) IS A POPULAR STRATEGY FOR IMPROVING CARDIORESPIRATORY FITNESS AND HEALTH, AS WELL AS REDUCING BODY FAT LEVELS. THIS ARTICLE WILL EXPLORE THE BENEFITS OF HIIT AND DISCUSS ITS APPLICATION FOR FITNESS TRAINING.

Column Editor
High-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) is a popular strategy for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and health, as well as reducing body fat levels. A standard HIIT protocol involves alternating bouts of both high- and low-intensity exercise to increase the amount of high-intensity work performed during an acute bout of training. High-intensity intervals are typically performed above the lactate threshold, close to V̇o2max, and then carried out to a point just before the onset of volitional fatigue. This high-intensity bout is then followed by a low-intensity recovery period that allows the body to buffer and clear lactic acid from the blood, thereby allowing the individual enough time to recover and perform another high-intensity interval.

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BENEFITS OF HIGH-INTENSITY AEROBIC INTERVAL TRAINING

Many traditional exercise training programs focus on the use of steady-state aerobic activity for the purpose of substrate utilization. This makes sense because the longer the duration of an activity, the greater the amount of relative percentage of calories used that come from fat storage. However, HIIT confers several advantages over steady-state aerobic training. Research indicates that cardiovascular adaptations to exercise are intensity dependent, and improvements in cardiovascular function via HIIT may be superior when compared with more traditional training protocols (6,12 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P32)). HIIT has shown greater improvements in V̇o2max, endothelial function, blood pressure, cardiac contractility, insulin signaling, and contraction coupling when compared with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (5,6,10 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P31)). This has important implications not only for possibly preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease but also in potentially reversing the risk of certain comorbidities for those suffering from cardiac and metabolic disorders.

HIIT also has been shown to be superior when compared with steady-state training for those attempting to lose weight. While moderate-intensity steady-state aerobic exercise (the so-called fat-burning zone) results in an increased percentage of fat burned during a workout, total caloric expenditure and lipolysis (i.e., fat breakdown) are substantially greater in an HIIT protocol. The resulting effects on fat loss are significant. This was apparent in a study by Tremblay et al. (11 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P37)), who compared 2 groups of subjects: an endurance-trained group versus an HIIT-trained group. Despite a significantly lower energy cost of the HIIT workout at the end of the study (120.4 versus 57.9 MJ), participants in the HIIT group experienced a 9-fold greater reduction in skinfold thickness. Several factors appear to contribute to this lipolytic advantage. For one, HIIT increases the body's potential to use lipids as an energy substrate to a greater extent than steady-state aerobic exercise, with an increased upregulation of enzymes responsible for beta-oxidation (11 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P37)). There also is an increased growth hormone response attributed to HIIT, likely mediated through the significant lactate accumulation associated with this type of training (4 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P30)). In addition, HIIT heightens the extent of excess postexercise oxygen consumption (also known as the afterburn), which has been shown to be positively correlated with exercise intensity (1 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P27)).

Finally, HIIT is a very time-efficient form of training. As few as 6 sessions of HIIT over a 2-week period for a total of about 15 minutes of very intense exercise (equating to approximately 600 kJ or 143 cal) have been shown to increase skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and alter metabolic control during aerobic-based exercise (3 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P29)). And 7 HIIT sessions performed over 2 weeks significantly heightened whole body and skeletal muscle capacity for fatty acid oxidation during exercise in moderately active women (9 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P35)). For those who have limited time to work out, this makes HIIT an intriguing option.

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PERFORMANCE ISSUES

The general prescription for interval training is to employ 3- to 5-minute work bouts with a work to rest (W:R) ratio of 1:1 (7 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P33)). These recommendations, however, are based on athletic populations. For the general population, a variety of W:R ratios can be employed in an HIIT routine. A 1:2 W:R ratio, for instance, has been shown to produce favorable responses that enhance both aerobic and anaerobic energy system development (8 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P34)). For those who are less fit, a 1:4 W:R ratio would probably be more appropriate, allowing acclimation into a more intense HIIT routine. W:R ratios can be varied throughout the course of a workout based on individual fitness levels (see sample routine in the Table (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)).

http://images.journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Original.00126548-200912000-00006.TT1.jpeg

Table Thirty-minute ...
Image Tools (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

Because of the intense nature of the routine, those engaging in HIIT need to be cognizant of the potential for overtraining. A study by Billat et al. (2 (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/High_Intensity_Interval_Training__Applications_for .6.aspx#P28)) noted that, despite an increase in plasma noradrenaline, performance variables were not altered by 4 weeks of intensive training at V̇o2max. Longer periods of sustained interval training have not been studied, however, and might increase the risk of an overtrained state.
While HIIT has been shown to significantly improve cardiovascular function and stimulate greater weight loss compared with traditional steady-state aerobic training protocols, caution should be exercised when using it as a prescription for the general fitness population, particularly in those with cardiovascular disorders. It is important that a solid base of cardiorespiratory fitness be established prior to integrating HIIT into a client's strength and conditioning program.

In sum, HIIT can be a time-efficient means to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and reduce body fat levels over and above what is possible through steady-state aerobic training. However, given the high-intensity nature of the protocol, HIIT may be associated with an increased potential for overtraining, especially when combined with regimented resistance training. It is therefore essential to consider the previous training experience and abilities of the trainee and integrate HIIT within the context of his/her current fitness program as a whole.

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REFERENCES

1. Bahr R and Sejersted OM. Effect of intensity of exercise on excess postexercise O2 consumption. Metabolism 40: 836-841, 1991.
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2. Billat VL, Flechet B, and Petit B. Interval training at V̇O2max: Effects on aerobic performance and overtraining markers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 31: 156-163, 1999.
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3. Gibala MJ and McGee SL. Metabolic adaptations to short-term high-intensity interval training: A little pain for a lot of gain? Exerc Sport Sci Rev 36: 58-63, 2008.
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5. Haram PM, Kemi OJ, Lee SJ, Bendheim MØ, Al-Share QY, Waldum HL, Gilligan LJ, Koch LG, Britton SL, Najjar SM, and Wisløff U. Aerobic interval training vs. continuous moderate exercise in the metabolic syndrome of rats artificially selected for low aerobic capacity. Cardiovasc Res 81: 723-732, 2008.
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6. Kemi OJ, Haram PM, Loennechen JP, Osnes JB, Skomedal T, Wisløff U, and Ellingsen Ø. Moderate vs. high exercise intensity: Differential effects on aerobic fitness, cardiomyocyte contractility, and endothelial function. Cardiovasc Res 67: 161-172, 2005.
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7. Reuter BH and Hagerman PS. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (3rd ed). Baechle T and Earle R, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008. pp. 499.
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8. Rozenek R, Funato K, Kubo J, Hoshikawa M, and Matsuo A. Physiological responses to interval training sessions at velocities associated with V̇O2max. J Strength Cond Res 21(1): 188-192, 2007.
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9. Talanian JL, Galloway SD, Heigenhauser GJ, Bonen A, and Spriet LL. Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. J Appl Physiol 102: 1439-1447, 2007.
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10. Tjønna AE, Lee SJ, Rognmo Ø, Stølen TO, Bye A, Haram PM, Loennechen JP, Al-Share QY, Skogvoll E, Slørdahl SA, Kemi OJ, Najjar SM, and Wisløff U. Aerobic interval training versus continuous moderate exercise as a treatment for the metabolic syndrome: A pilot study. Circulation 118: 346-354, 2008.
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natron
12-08-2009, 06:51 PM
Good read PT.

I wish more people would realize this

TPT
12-08-2009, 06:56 PM
Good read PT.

I wish more people would realize this


natron, i know that you may recommend hiit.

whats your take on it?

natron
12-08-2009, 07:15 PM
natron, i know that you may recommend hiit.

whats your take on it?

My take on HIIT or similar varients are..

More effective at stimulating fat loss
More efficient at increasing daily caloric expenditure
More effective at stimulating nutrient partitioning pathways
Increases blood volume/blood flow and increases oxygen uptake
Increases physical capacity
Stimulates muscle fiber growth in various muscle fibers


and for me personally, allows me to finish cardio much quicker, and keeps me lean year round. I also only do cardio 2-3 times per week, so it also a convenience thing for me.

Frosty
12-10-2009, 02:34 AM
My take on HIIT or similar varients are..

More effective at stimulating fat loss
More efficient at increasing daily caloric expenditure
More effective at stimulating nutrient partitioning pathways
Increases blood volume/blood flow and increases oxygen uptake
Increases physical capacity
Stimulates muscle fiber growth in various muscle fibers


and for me personally, allows me to finish cardio much quicker, and keeps me lean year round. I also only do cardio 2-3 times per week, so it also a convenience thing for me.

Hmm, now you have me thinking perhaps I could gradually start doing this...most likely on my road bike just because I hate running. What does your 2-3 HIIT sessions look like per week?

I'm thinking I could add a little more calories and add in some HIIT slowly. I'm a believer in Dr. John Berardi's "G-Flux" theory.

natron
12-10-2009, 11:36 AM
Hmm, now you have me thinking perhaps I could gradually start doing this...most likely on my road bike just because I hate running. What does your 2-3 HIIT sessions look like per week?

I'm thinking I could add a little more calories and add in some HIIT slowly. I'm a believer in Dr. John Berardi's "G-Flux" theory.

I do sprints in the summer months, but in the winter I use a recumbant bike. Normally I do a 3-5 minute warmup, then 1 minute springing intervals, follwed by 1 minute light, I do this for 10-15 minutes, with a 5 minute cool down. I also increase the resistance during the sprinting intervals.

I find this way more effective than your average cardio, as it allows me to remain very lean, with far less work.

I also do something I call "dead cardio", which is just mind blowing. I switch every couple weeks just because I lose interest quickly. But "Dead cardio" is deadlifting 55% of your 1 rep max, for 20-25 reps, 1 minute break in between sets, for 5-6 sets. Try it, you'll be huffing and puffing for quite awhile, lol. When I switch to dead cardio I normally do it twice per week on off training days, or first thing in the morning with some whey isolate.

Again, I am leaner, I eat more and it's less work. Plus it just feels fucking awesome, for lack of a better scientific term.

and watch your strength climb, your legs get bigger and stronger, as well as your back.

Frosty
12-10-2009, 01:15 PM
Sounds cool. I've heard of similar work with squatting with a light weight, and it's insanely brutal. I think I almost killed myself once doing that. I think I'll go for the biking out on the bike paths here....it makes it a lot of fun because I love trying to go as fast as I can. It would be a bit easier on me compared to the dead cardio since I'm already deadlifting 3-4 times a week lol.

nameismark
12-11-2009, 09:52 AM
I do sprints in the summer months, but in the winter I use a recumbant bike. Normally I do a 3-5 minute warmup, then 1 minute springing intervals, follwed by 1 minute light, I do this for 10-15 minutes, with a 5 minute cool down. I also increase the resistance during the sprinting intervals.

I find this way more effective than your average cardio, as it allows me to remain very lean, with far less work.

I also do something I call "dead cardio", which is just mind blowing. I switch every couple weeks just because I lose interest quickly. But "Dead cardio" is deadlifting 55% of your 1 rep max, for 20-25 reps, 1 minute break in between sets, for 5-6 sets. Try it, you'll be huffing and puffing for quite awhile, lol. When I switch to dead cardio I normally do it twice per week on off training days, or first thing in the morning with some whey isolate.

Again, I am leaner, I eat more and it's less work. Plus it just feels fucking awesome, for lack of a better scientific term.

and watch your strength climb, your legs get bigger and stronger, as well as your back.

When you do hiit, do you do it on an empty stomach or post workout?

natron
12-11-2009, 11:23 AM
When you do hiit, do you do it on an empty stomach or post workout?

usually after my morning whey isolate. I would never do hiit after a workout, I'd consider that too taxing on the system.

nameismark
12-11-2009, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the reply, really need to start doing some sort of cardio as waist line is getting a little bit out of control and the least amount of time doing cardio sounds like the best choice to me haha.

Steve_Colescott
12-21-2009, 02:41 PM
Excellent thread. Low intensity steady-state cardio (staying in the "fat-burning zone") seems to be best suited for ketogenic dieters, since they would get crushed by HIIT but most people that are just reducing/limiting carbs (eating clean without going into ketosis) seem to respond better to HIIT (or occassional Tabata protocol cardio).

I cannot recall where I read the following analogy that I will paraphrase: Cardio for fatburning has little to do with how many calories are burned while on the treadmill or even the ratio of calories liberated from stored adipose versus glycogen. It has more to do with the metabolic increase for the many hours following the session (EPOC). Think of it in terms of weight training... how much muscle do you build while in the gym? It is what happens the other 22 hours and 40 minutes that matters.

As to over training concerns, someone with a fairly developed level of GPP should have no problem over training, provided they are not on zero carbs or doing cardio on a heavy (leg or back) training day. Just my views from talking to a lot of people on the subject.