I was excited to find your site when searching for HIIT and general workout info. I like your straightforward, no nonsense approach to exercise and diet/nutrition. It’s refreshing to have information that is for the “common man/woman”. 🙂
Now, with that said . . I tried the HIIT at my gym on the treadmill. I completely understand your direction about the speed (intensity) for both intervals BUT, (and I feel like an idiot asking this) what if even 8 just seems superfast? I’m not an inexperienced runner indoors or out but, for some reason 8 – 9 seemed extremely fast and made me nervous. Are treadmills different? Should I add incline? Or, is this something that I will simply adapt too over time?
Thanks for your input!
Have a great day!
Absolutely. Intervals are tough on your muscles and your heart and so you need a good warm up beforehand. I recommend an 8-10 minute warm-up or performance at your active-recovery intensity before you hit the work intervals. It is always good to listen to your body. If you still don't feel warmend up and ready to begin intervals after the initial 10 minutes, then keep warming up for another five to seven minutes. A proper warm up is essential to injury prevention . As previously mentioned, consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about interval training being too tough on your heart.
Interval training protocols differ in terms of length for both high and low-intensity intervals, the ratio of high to low-intensity, and the level of intensity during workouts. Three leading protocols are the Tabata Method, Little Method, and Turbulence Training. The Tabata Method was developed in 1996 by Dr. Izumi Tabata of Japan. It involves high-intensity spurts at 170% of one’s VO2 max. The workouts total four minutes and involve 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight cycles. The recommended frequency of Tabata workouts is between two and four times per week. Tabata is best for those who are already fit and are looking for a workout that requires very little time. The Tabata Method can also be performed with strength training movements. To implement the Tabata Method, try the following. Start with a three-minute warm-up, then sprint for 20 seconds. Rest (walk) for 10 seconds, then repeat the sprint/walk cycle for a total of eight cycles. The Little Method was developed by Drs. Johnathan Little and Martin Gibala in 2009. It involves high-intensity workouts at 95% of one’s VO2 max. The protocol calls for 60 seconds of high intensity followed by 75 seconds of low intensity. Repeat for a total of 12 cycles (totaling 27 minutes) up to three times per week. To implement the Little Method, start with a three-minute warm-up. Cycle for 60 seconds quickly and with max resistance. Follow that with 75 seconds of slow cycling at low resistance, and repeat the fast/slow cycle for a total of 27 minutes. This is best for those at an intermediate fitness level who have 30 minutes to spare. Turbulence training was developed by exercise physiology researcher Craig Ballantyne. It involves eight-rep weight training sets alternated with one to two-minute cardio sets. The protocol alternates high-weight/low-rep strength training with high-intensity cardio. The maximum 45-minute workouts combine strength training with cardio, and the recommended frequency is three times per week. To implement Turbulence Training, start with a five-minute warm-up. Perform an eight-rep set of a weightlifting movement (like dumbbell presses) followed by one minute of mountain climbers. Repeat through a full-body routine for 45 minutes. Turbulence Training is generally best for those who have longer to train and are looking to incorporate strength training into their routines. High-intensity interval training isn’t for everyone. It’s an incredibly effective method for improving fitness in a short time, but it’s also extremely taxing on the body. It’s best to start gradually and incorporate it into your training over time.