HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training

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Old 10-09-2010, 08:14 AM
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Default HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training

Hi all

I really enjoy getting involved in a nice training plan for myself, and it does appear to me that I put more effort into the plan than the execution (I'm a Man I'm weak!)

I've known about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for a long time now and used this programme when I first lost weight a couple of years back. At that time I was a member of a gym and it became easy to measure speeds and times on the treadmill.

My question is; Does anyone else used HIIT but not at a gym, ie road running, and if so do you repeat your sessions in the same venue or do you mix it up?

I understand that challenging your body will increase speed of results and improve results but I also know that if you challenge your body at the wrong times it can be detrimental.

Below is my 8 week programme but I want to include incline to my training.

Does anyone have any actual facts or evidence to suggest when would be best to 'up the ante' as it were?

The programme is used twice a week MAX.

Week Warm Up Work Int Recovery Repeat Cool Dwn Total Time
*1 *5 min. *1 min. *4 min. *2 times *5 min. *20 min.
*2 *5 min. *1 min. *4 min. *3 times *5 min. *25 min.
*3 *5 min. *1 min. *4 min. *4 times *5 min. *30 min.
*4 *5 min. *1.5 min. *4 min. *2 times *5 min. *21 min.
*5 *5 min. *1.5 min. *4 min. *3 times *5 min. *26.5 min.
*6 *5 min. *1.5 min. *4 min. *4 times *5 min. *32 min.
*7 *5 min. *2 min. *5 min. *3 times *5 min. *31 min.
*8 *5 min. *2 min. *5 min. *4 times *5 min. *38 min.


Thanks in Advance
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:06 PM
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Not sure I understand your question, but looking at your program, I think it could be optimized. I would shorten work intervals and recovery time and do more repetitions. Spending 38 min on a HIIT workout is not getting maximum value for your time investment.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:48 PM
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I think you could do more intervals each day. I noticed you've counted your warm-up and cool-down times as part of your workout times. Of course, you want to warm up your muscles before taxing them with hard sprints or high-intensity rep work. But this should not be counted as a "work set."

For example, on your first day, I would recommend you do 20 minutes of intervals, 1 min work + 3-4 min recovery, repeat 4-5 times. I don't think 2 bouts of sprinting twice a week is going to have a drastic impact on your ability to burn fat or develop higher cardiovascular conditioning.

On a final note, you ought to consider whether you need a cool-down period at all. If you're ending your interval training on a recovery period you may be able to treat that by itself as a cool-down. If your cool-down includes some stretching or mobility work, again, I wouldn't count this as total time towards the interval workout.
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Old 10-12-2010, 05:32 PM
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I would also recommend you shorten your work and recovery times to acheive more intervals. Adjust your intensity to fit your fitness level. The idea is to push your self so you are craving a rest at the end of your work interval. For a fit person this could be a 10 second sprint for someone just starting this could be a 30 second slow jog. Your rest interval should only be long enough to allow adequate recovery so you can perform the work interval again.

For a reference when I began I would do 30 seconds of slow jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking (1:3 ratio). As my fitness improved I first increased the intensity of the work before changing the work to rest ratio. So my jogging got progressively faster although I still needed 90 seconds of rest. Once I was comfortable with the speed/intensity of my effort I started to modify the ratio. Currently I run (I am not yet willing to call it a sprint) 20 seconds and walk for 40 seconds (1:2 ratio). A ratio of 1:2 is supposed to be optimal for HIIT residual calorie burn. I do this outside following the same path and my time for the workout (not including warmup or cool down) has remained consistently in the 18 to 20 minute range.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the replies all.

As my ankle has been injured since may this is my return HIIT plan but I can assure you I SPRINT for the whole interval time and jog the rest time time and only walk in warm up and cool down when I used this routine before to get back into it.

I'm not sure whether you have been posting your replies under the pretense that;
1. This is my first attempt at HIIT, it's not
2. I don't push each stage, I do - sprinting for interval then for rest period I jog
3. This is my only activity for the week - It's not, I do 3 kettlebell sets a week, and while my ankle is being built I walk 5 miles in the evening and play at least 1 round of golf a week carrying my clubs.

I start my HIIT hopefully next week (hopefully this week my ankle lasts) but was just asking what extra results I may get by introducing incline to my workout.

Once I'm back running again I will continue my kettlebells, continue my HIIT and golf but re-introduce 5K runs 1-2 times a week.

Thanks again
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:15 PM
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What these posters are getting at is that is not an effective interval workout and could be structured better.

Regardless of your level of fitness you should re work that program.

6 intervals is a good number to shoot for.

try something like this:

total time 20 mins

1/10 1 min
2/10 2 min
3/10 2 min

1. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

2. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

3. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

4. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

5. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

6. 9/10 30s
3/10 90s

3/10 1 min
3/10 1 min
3/10 1 min

The point is that your rest periods are too long, and you are not doing enough actual working sets.

To give you an idea I do these on a stationary bike. For the 30s working set I do 500 watts at 90 revs and its hard as hell, and rest I do about 75 watts.

2 intervals per session should not even be considered an HIIT workout. To me that is like lifting weights in a program that takes 3 sets and only doing 1 set per exercise and expecting results.

edit: I forgot to answer the other question about varying programs. I alternate every workout between 2 different programs. I also change the programs up every couple of months, the whole time you are progressively increasing resistance as you get more fit.

Last edited by midwestj; 10-12-2010 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:58 PM
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Or as a simpler adjustment to your original program: decrease all recovery times by 1 minute and add 1 more interval.

Or in general aim for 20 minutes workouts and use workouts of 30-60 s and recoveries of 60-120 s.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:18 AM
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Thanks guys that make sense.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:20 PM
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My average watt output on my power computer on my bicycle is about 150W. When I do the conversion from watts to kcal I get a number of about 100kcal/hour. When I look at various websites including this one the average calories burned in one hour with my intensity is 700kcal. Why are my numbers so off? Am I missing something?
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mnatenzon View Post
My average watt output on my power computer on my bicycle is about 150W. When I do the conversion from watts to kcal I get a number of about 100kcal/hour. When I look at various websites including this one the average calories burned in one hour with my intensity is 700kcal. Why are my numbers so off? Am I missing something?
I don't really quite get what you are asking. Do you mean at then end of your biking workout you have only burned 70 calories as most people would count them?

After my interval workouts I have typically burned off 170-200 calories. But that is just the beginning of it. HIIT is all the buzz now because of calorie afterburn. The workout stimulates your body at a cellular level to make your mitochondria more productive these are the metabolic factories of your cells.

Anyways I would not get so wrapped up in counting calories burned. Its much easier to control what you eat than to try and burn off all the calories. Record your workouts and what you did, how it went, the intensity, but the calories burned amount is not all that important. -500 calories could be like 1 meal, whereas it would probably be a good hour or two of really intense exercise.
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