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High Intensity Interval Training – Part 1 Home Subscribe Email Print

A multi part series

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training term I’m sure many of you have heard of before. If you haven’t, it is basically a short bout of exercise divided into sections of near maximal or maximal effort followed by a recovery period of varying length – but generally never any longer then twice the length of the near maximal or maximal period. These HIIT sessions can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. 

So why would you consider including this type of training into your exercise regime?

Well there are many reasons why HIIT is used. The most common use is as a training exercise for athletes – used to increase their speed, and their aerobic and anaerobic capacity. However, there is more to it than just an elite athlete’s tool. There is more research being performed into the application of HIIT to the average person and what the benefits of HIIT are.

What can I gain from HIIT?

An immediate benefit is the time. With today’s society constantly struggling to fit more hours into each day, being able to fit in a 10 to 30 minute workout that is going to do you a lot of good is a big positive. As for the bucket load of other benefits to come out of HIIT, well then, that depends on your individual goal. This is Part 1 of a multi part series on the benefits of HIIT. Keep reading to learn one of these benefits.

PART 1 – Construction of your bodies Powerhouses  

Research at the McMaster University in Canada has shown that brief intense interval exercise or HIIT increases mitochondria synthesis with in human skeletal muscle. And this is good, in fact, great because the mitochondria are the little “powerhouses” of the human body. Theses little guys burn Free Fatty Acids (FFA) to produce energy – the more mitochondria the more FFA’s burnt, the more calories and fats used overall! As well as these “Powerhouses” getting constructed left, right and centre – HIIT increases your glucose oxidation capacity – basically you become better at using more glucose (Carbohydrates in their simplest form). Again more overall calories adding to that calorie deficit required for weight loss. However, not only someone looking for body fat reduction can benefit from this increase in energy production! Performance wise – more “Powerhouses” equals more energy production means better performance on top of the increased ability of your muscles to utilize carbohydrates (their preferred fuel source!)

So that’s a WIN

Adding to that, the short time that you are exposed to this high level of intensity means that your immune system is not effected. Your body doesn’t under-go any form of immune response normally attributed to a longer even less intense session. Meaning your immune system can concentrate on fighting off all those “bugs” getting around rather than you suffering just because you want get fitter ?!?!?


If this intrigues you – come and see one of our gym staff about introducing HIIT into your program.

And keep your eyes peeled for the next installment

PART 2 – Insulin: The Lock & Key

Compiled by Rob Bonser

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