Live longer and better with HIIT

According to this study, 6 weeks of HIIT (high intensity interval training), will make you live longer.

Previous research indicates that your SIRT1 proteins help keep you healthy & live longer by fixing errors in your DNA – cancer, UV light, free radicals, etc. With that being the case, it’s a good thing to have lots of healthy, active SIRT1 running all over your body fixing any DNA errors.

Our current methods of increasing SIRT1 activity include calorie restriction and the supplement Resveratrol.

In this most recent study, researchers put some test subjects through a HIIT workout consisting of 40 min (10 x 4 min intervals @ 90% peak oxygen consumption) of bike sprints interspersed with 2 min rest periods.

They found that:

  1. 4 days after training, there was a 28 to 36% increase in mitochondrial enzyme activity in your muscle.
  2. Total muscle SIRT1 activity increased by 31%
  3. Activity per SIRT1 protein increased by 58%, despite
  4. the quantity of SIRT1 decreasing by 20%

And what does all of that mean?

The increased mitochondrial enzyme activity results in improved aerobic & anaerobic endurance and reverses muscle atrophy caused by inactivity or natural aging. That’s good.

Jack Lalanne at 71

The increased SIRT1 means that damaged DNA is repaired before it can accumulate and cause genetic problems.

Because, if we believe that the DNA damage theory of aging is correct, when we prevent the accumulation of damaged DNA, we prolong our good health and extend our life span.

Conclusion

  • HIIT increases SIRT1 activity
  • SIRT1 activity prevents genetic errors
  • Genetic errors are responsible for aging
  • Aging is responsible for death (duh)
  • Therefore, HIIT will help you live longer & better

Now, here are a bunch of HIIT articles. Pick a workout and get to work. And if you want to make your intervals more efficient (and help me earn $5 in the process), pick up a Gymboss interval timer.

13 comments

  1. So, I’ve been reading your blog and got convinced HIIT is the way to go. I downloaded your workout samples and started today. But I have a feeling I’m doing something wrong. I started with squats for 10 sec + 60 sec rest and repeated 9 times. Then, I followed the same times for push-ups. But I didnt think it was a BIG challenge and since I’m a person that does not really workout (except walk) I’m wondering if I misunderstood your sample workout. Any ideas???
    Thanks,
    Sara

  2. Hi Sara,

    The beauty of HIIT is that it is based on intensity and intensity is relative – Your 100% intensity is different than mine, but when we both give our respective best, we will see the results.

    If a 10:60 work/rest ratio is too easy, try 10:50. Still too easy? try 15:45, then 20:40, the 25:35, and so on

    As the rest period shrinks, your energy system has less time to recover & it gets incrementally harder.

    Also, make sure that during the work phase you are doing as many reps as possible (with good form)

    I hope this clarifies things for you

  3. Hey Doug,

    Back when I was much younger, I used to compete in bicycle racing. I once placed 3rd in the Canadian National cycling championships though I don’t think that I mentioned it before to you.

    Anyway, while training for bicycle racing, I used to a ton of training that would be considered HIIT like you described in this article without knowing at the time that I was doing HIIT. 🙂

  4. Back in the day, cardio athletes used to call this Fartlek training….for some reason, the name never caught on. Hmmmmmm

  5. Allright, I’m starting my 3rd week now and I like it so far. Although I struggled to walk for about 4 days after the first workout 🙂 (squats/pushups) I reduced the resting interval following your suggestion and that has worked much better. I know that just the fact that I’m out of inertia and consistently working out is already better that before but I’m wondering if I should keep doing what I’m doing. Since I do not have much time I’m doing your beginners HIIT (that you suggest at part 5 of “Why I can’t lose this fat” saga) and your sample HIIT aerobic workout. I picked these 2 because of the equipment availability and practicality. But, I saw you recommend High Intensity Resistance Training, High Intensity Anaerobic Interval Training, High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training and High Intensity Aerobic Training in that order. Why is that the order of priority?
    I do not need to lose any weight (I’m 1,68m and 57Kg) so I’m doing it because I want to reduce fat, increase muscle mass and get in shape… Would you suggest I change it you will I be fine. I just want to get the best for my time.
    Thanks again,
    Sara

  6. Hi Sara,

    Congrats on making it through the first 3 weeks. These are tough workouts. effective & tough

    The reason I ordered the training styles the way I did is based on their effectiveness for transforming your body in the shortest amount of time possible –

    But, all 4 are very effective. If you prefer bike sprints (HIAT) over HIRT workouts, then do HIAT.

    HIRT is better for increasing muscle mass.

    Have you looked at the facebook workouts. So far, I have written 27 weeks of workouts

  7. Yeah, I saw that and I’m wondering if I’m gonna be able to make it that long… 😉
    Thanks!

  8. Cool study. I am happy because I use HIIT 4 or 5 days a week. I also noticed that you talked about Resveratrol – this is a supplement that I have tried in the past because of its antioxidant properties. This post reminds me to incorporate a mix of Resveratrol and High Intensity Interval Training so I can live to be 100.

    – Tim D

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