What is it? Is it for me?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has recently regained popularity in the fitness community. You may have heard of it or even started utilizing it in your personal fitness regimen. High-intensity interval training combines short bursts of intense exercise with longer periods of mild-intensity movement or rest. The high-intensity periods typically last 15 seconds to 4 minutes and approach 80% to 95% of the individual’s maximum heart rate. A cycle of 8-10 repetitions of high-intensity to mild-intensity movement constitute the typical HIIT protocol.

So what is so great about the HIIT method of training? Why do it? Other than allowing individuals to spend a longer duration at an elevated intensity, benefits of HITT also include:

  • improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness
  • improved insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and lipid profiles
  • reduced arterial stiffness and improved blood pressure
  • increased skeletal muscle fat oxidation
  • increased post-exercise metabolism
  • enhanced weight loss
  • reduced abdominal and subcutaneous fat

HIIT training can be used in many modes of exercise including walking, running, cycling, swimming and rowing, therefore, it can be tailored to fit any exercise preference. A warm-up and cool down should be performed preceding and following HIIT training, as with any other exercise program.

Though HIIT training requires exercisers to reach near maximal heart rates, recent research shows low cardiovascular event rates similar to the more commonly used moderate-intensity training methods when performed with appropriate guidance and supervision.

HIIT training can be a great way to add variety and challenge to your current workout while increasing the calories you burn following your exercise bout.

Interested? Ask Jan or Erin how you can add HIIT to your personal training sessions today!


Roy, Brad. “High-Intensity Interval Training: Efficient, Effective, and a Fun Way to Exercise.”

ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal. May/June 2013. Vol 17, No. 3. Print.

From:  Fitness Proaction Newsletter June 2013

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