I recently read one of Mike Boyle’s articles on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Here are some key points that I took away from the article:
1) Tabata – Tabata follows the protocol of 20 seconds of intense work and 10 seconds rest done in seven or eight bouts. They compared Tabata work to 90 minutes steady state workout, and the results showed the 20/10 protocol improved the VO2 max and the anaerobic capabilities more than the steady state workout! For the tabata workout, we are talking a 4 minute workout!!! Four minutes compared to 90 minutes. The typical person takes 4 minutes to go to the bathroom- never less have an effective workout!
2) High Intensity versus Low Intensity– More intensity equals greater expenditure per minute. So if you believe that walking on the treadmill for 40 minutes at a “target heart rate zone” is being more productive than a mile run at 6.0 mph, then you need to reassess your workout plan. I am going to use the treadmill as my example. A 136-pound female would burn about 50 calories/mile walking at 4.0mph. Running a mile at 6.0 mph the same 136-pound female would burn around 108 calories. Walking would take 15 minutes when the run would take 10 minutes! Same mileage, why not get more bang for your buck- work harder!
3) Aerobic Intervals– The biggest benefit of interval training is that you can get a tremendous aerobic workout without the boredom of long steady state bouts of exercises. If you keep the heart rate elevated at 60 percent threshold during the intervals, then the workout can be considered aerobic and anaerobic. All of the aerobic work is a by-product of our anaerobic work. You can use this method by using a heart rate monitor. For your intervals, do not go by time, but by the amount of time it takes you to get your heart rate to the desired target. When it reaches the 60% threshold heart rate, recover until your heart rate is back to RHR (resting heart rate). Repeat 6 to 8 intervals
Threshold HR = (Max HR- Resting HR) x % + RHR
4) A Beginner to Interval Training– What’s a good starting point if you are new to interval training?
|Level||Rest: Work Ratio||Time on: time off|
|Beginner||3:01||15 sec: 45 sec|
|2:01||15 sec: 30 sec|
|Intermediate||3:01||30 sec: 90 sec|
|2:01||30 sec: 60 sec|
|Advanced||2:01||60 sec: 120 sec|
|1:01||60 sec: 60 sec|
*The stationary bike is the best to begin on because you can work really hard on it and not injure yourself. Performance enhancement expert Alwyn Cosgrove states the bike allows “maximum metabolic disturbance with minimal muscular disruption.”
I love using the jump rope for interval training. It’s easy, convienient, and gets your heart rate up! It’s also an easy tool to use to see your progressions and work your way up to longer time and less recovery! Start at :30 seconds on- :30 seconds off and then progress from there!
5) Put it into practice.
Inspired by this article, I did my own interval workout on the rowing ergonometer.
The workout included 8 intervals:
60 sec on: 45 sec off
60 sec on: 60 sec off
60 sec on: 75 sec off (1:15)
60 sec on: 90 sec off (1:30)
60 sec on: 105 sec off (1:45
60 sec on: 120 sec off (2:00)
60 sec on: 135 sec off (2:15)
60 sec on: 150 sec off (2:30)
Each interval I held a negative split from the previous interval. I found myself working harder because I knew that the next recovery period was longer than the last one. The recovery time was effective because I focused on lowering my heart rate as low as I could get it before starting up again. The 60 seconds of work were efficient and successful because there was a subliminal incentive with the extra rest periods– you would feel guilty taking all that rest and not putting forth all efforts!
Good Luck and remember “Play hard, work harder, train wicked hard!”