Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Fit 4 Life | HIITING it right

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 9:54 PMMarvin Gordon
The Gleaner's Fit 4 Life fitness coach Marvin Gordon performs a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is all the rage nowadays and not without reason; numerous studies have proven the benefits – ranging from faster weight loss to the short amount of time required to complete a routine – time and again.

How HIIT is done

HIIT focuses on repeated bouts of high intensity recovery times. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends “intense work periods may range from five seconds to eight minutes long, and are performed at 80 per cent to 95 per cent of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. The recovery periods may last equally as long as the work periods and are usually performed at 40 per cent to 50 per cent of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate.”

Start small  

Before incorporating HIIT into your workout schedule, ensure you have a basic level of fitness to handle the routine. Start with traditional steady state and then slowly switch to HIIT, beginning with one day per week. Persons with a family history of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes (or pre-diabetes), abnormal cholesterol levels or obesity, or who smoke should seek medical clearance first.

Don’t overdo HIIT  

Wondering why we only have three days of HIIT on The Gleaner’s Fit 4 Life Beginner Workout Schedule? HIIT is very taxing on the body and you will require adequate recovery time before attempting another session. HIITing every day will lead to injury or burnout, or both.

HIIT training has been shown to improve: 

• Aerobic and anaerobic fitness 

• Blood pressure 

• Cardiovascular health 

• Insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy) 

• Cholesterol profiles 

• Abdominal fat and body weight, while maintaining muscle mass.

[Also check out this demonstration video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvuKe10ToHw]

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com