A Reader’s Experience with HIIT

Taz love HIIT
Taz love HIIT

Obviously, I love HIIT.

And as it turns out, I am not alone.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Matt explaining how his fitness had gone through the roof after becoming a HIIT guy.

Here’s Matt’s story… in his own words:

My experience with HIIT

When I first heard of HIIT I thought it was just simply interval training, a time tested way to raise your endurance.  However I started looking into this more and its very different then just interval training, you alternate periods of very high/extreme effort with periods of low effort.  My first real HIIT session was 2-30s, 2-20s, and 1-10s intervals after a 5min warm-up.  Only 5 minutes of actual HIIT, but it left me shaky and a little light headed, but shortly after that I also had a great sense of well being.  I have since grown to really enjoy my HIIT sessions.

Results?  I started easy on HIIT and although my diet has not been as great as I have wanted I still have managed to lose 8lbs in the past 8 weeks. That may not sound like much, but I had been on a plateau prior to this for a month or so, and it should also be noted that I have lost 2.5in on my chest, 2in off my stomach, and 1in off my waist as well.  Lately I think I may be re-compositioning because in the last 2 weeks alone I have lost a ½in on both my chest and my waist with no net weight change.

bruce_lee 2The most noticeable results for me come from my martial arts sessions, particularly sparring where it can be very explosive start/stop type of a workout, I simply don’t get winded anymore and even when I start to breathe hard it’s only a matter of seconds before I can recover.  HIIT has totally supercharged my cardiovascular system, in the past my wind always went long before my muscles, now it is tending to be the other way around which lets me train harder.

The scariest part initially was seeing the HR ranges I was staying in; however everything I have read states that perceived effort (how you feel) is more important than reading the numbers.  Our max HR are all different just like how our bodies will respond to HIIT is different, as long as you are not light headed, gasping for air, your arms are not tingling, or your chest not hurting your probably fine.  But at the same regard I would not jump full bore into HIIT without some moderate prior cardio work of some sort just to gauge your current status.

Otherwise I highly recommend HIIT to anyone healthy enough to perform it that wants improve their cardiovascular system or drop some fat.

Thanks Doug for helping me along with my questions on HIIT!



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  1. I still don’t quite understand the terminology.

    “My first real HIIT session was 2-30s, 2-20s, and 1-10s intervals after a 5min warm-up.”

    So how exactly does that work? Do one interval, rest for a bit, do another interval, rest for a bit, etc.?

  2. So the way I did that was I did 5 minutes of warm-up, then I did 30 seconds very high effort with 30 seconds of slow pace then repeat twice and so forth, basing everything around 1 minute of time for each interval, but you can base it on whatever you want to a certain extent as long as it is really “very high” or nearly “full on” effort. First starting out I have seen a lot of folks do something like 20 seconds high effort with up to 2 minutes slow paced. Doug brought up a point that at some point your not really going as hard as possible because the body can only maintain the highest level of performance for a fixed period of time before you are just minimizing the slow down. I can say that after switching from all 30s/30s intervals to 20s/40s intervals I have noticed another improvement from HIIT, but some or all of that could also just be because I changed the program as well.

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