Scientists have always struggled to understand exactly how short, few minutes, intense interval exercises can produce similar effects to much more time consuming endurance trainings.
High intensity interval training, also known by its acronym HIIT, has become very popular in recent years with beginners, professional athletes and patients with reduced muscle functions as it has clear health benefits. Now, researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet discovered cellular mechanisms behind the positive benefits of HIIT and why endurance training is undermined by antioxidants.
Here’s what they’re doing 3 times a week:
- You need a heart rate monitor (HRM) for…
- 5-10 minute warm up
- 4 minutes of exercise at a heart rate of suggested BPM (220-age)
- 3 minutes of easy work, attempting to get the heart rate down to ~135 BPM
- Repeat 3 times
Disclaimer: If you are at high risk for a cardiac event it might be best to see a physician before participating in vigorous exercise like HIIT. But for the majority, there should be no reason to avoid this type of exercise. I’ve covered why raising your heart rate is good for you in the past.
The idea of max heart rate is debated (see this article), and can be very personal. I’m told that if you can talk while maintaining a high heart rate, it’s OK for you.