So, what is HIIT? Simply put, High-Intensity Interval Training involves short, intense bursts of exertion interspersed with periods of rest or low-intensity work. Even simpler, sprint work.
HIIT is fairly new to the scientific community when weight loss is being considered. It is, however, one of the modes of exercise we recommend in our weight loss book, “S.P.E.E.D. – The Only Weight Loss Book Worth Reading.” One protocol in a recent study caught my eye. I tried it. I had some of my clients try it. We like it.
The protocol includes a 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool-down on either side of the work period. The sprint protocol provided (for use on a bike) is an 8 second sprint with a 12 seconds of pedaling slowly, repeated up to 60 times. At the maximum of 60 repeats, including warm-up and cool-down, you’ve got a 30 minute exercise session. Adjust resistance accordingly and err on the easy side when starting out.
Remember, HIIT has not been proven to increase weight loss in conjunction with a weight loss diet. But, it has been shown to alter body composition in a few studies without dietary changes. So, if you like HIIT-style training, this protocol might be worth checking out. Also, always remember that HIIT training is probably not for beginners and is better for trainees with a better-than-average level of fitness.
Always remember: weight loss will not happen without attention to diet.
Trapp EG, Chisholm DJ, Freund J, Boutcher SH. The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. Int J Obese. 2008;32(4):1-8