HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training. Don’t Believe Everything You Read!

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I am fairly positive that most of my readers have read about High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT. Just about every expert & many bloggers write about how it is the end all for fat loss, weight loss, shorter workouts etc. Yes, HIIT is a great tool but it has to be defined & developed to each person – not just one thing for everyone! ALSO, BEFORE I EVEN GET INTO MY POST TOMORROW, ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE HEALTH ISSUES!

Now I am NOT saying it does not do all that! What I am saying is the HIIT to you is not HIIT to me. We all have different levels of fitness! Any article on HIIT should qualify the speed, hill elevation or anything else with —> Rate of Perceived Exertion, RPE as well as how to modify if the speed or elevation is too much. This is a scale of 1-10 on how you are feeling while you are exercising. “On a 1-10 scale of perceived exertion, high intensity can be considered anything over an effort level of 7. When using max heart rate (MHR) as a guide, high intensity can be considered exercising above 80% of MHR.” My 7 – 9 RPE is different from others RPE so it always has to be YOUR RPE!!!!

I do HIIT and intervals in my cardio training. They are my own specific form of HIIT. I actually have HIIT different from my intervals per the way I work out for me. Even saying this, when I was younger & especially in my older years, I still do more cardio time than many of the experts say you have to do with HIIT. WHY? My joints can’t sustain all the HIIT in a session for what I want FOR ME in terms of staying lean.

Most experts have HIIT training in the 20-30 minute time frame. That is a good time frame for many that need to get it done! I just want to stay leaner & for me, I do more – again FOR ME!

I do a mixture of HIIT, intervals & steady state. In fact, there are experts out there that say this is best for weight loss, weight management and fat loss. YES, there are experts that can say anything. I am just saying this works for me personally.

The biggest thing I want to emphasize here is THAT YOUR HIIT WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PEOPLE’S  HIIT!

For some, just high knee lifts may put them at a RPE of 7!

FOR ALL TRAINERS & FITNESS PROFESSIONAL OUT THERE – PLEASE EMPHASIZE THIS WHEN YOU WRITE ABOUT HIIT!

Do you do HIIT and/or interval training? If you are a fitness professional, do you explain the RPE to them? If you are just a regular ole workout person, has your fitness professional explained the above to you?

13 Comments


      1. Thx Marcia!! You are an amazing athlete!

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  1. Yes! And I love it because I can customize it for different fitness levels. I do a variety of cardio and I encourage them to, as long as they getting their strength first!

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    1. YES Pamela! I know you do that. I just see so much misinformation out there! And for older folks, they need to know more about what to do & not so… younger too but older joints have gone thru more. 🙂

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  2. I agree with you that the claims for HIIT are misleading.

    So a few things:

    I do much more steady state cardio than HIIT.
    My HIIT is more in my martial arts fighting than anywhere else.
    Look at fighters between rounds, and you will see how what real HIIT does to us.
    My endurance for activities is very good.
    To get the claimed benefits of HIIT I believe you have to reach very high levels of intensity. I believe that means not just high for the individual, but a level that is high for the trained person. If you can’t reach that athletic high level, than I believe a varied steady state is better and safer for us.

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    1. I hear ya DR. J! I guess you would say my steady state is more a varied one as you have put in your comment. 🙂

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  3. yes, and i totally think it depends on your health and where you are. For me, now, I would say my 7-9 is way different than it was a year ago.

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    1. YES Lindsay! And for me years ago I was much better! 🙂

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  4. My husband and I used to do HIIT a couple times a week, and I felt I got good results. However, I stopped doing it as I have a permanently injured ankle, and even though I have tried different things, I find I always end up putting too much pressure on the ankle and it becomes inflamed after a while.

    Excellent points about having to customize HIIT workouts to your specific fitness level. I guess the bottom line is that there are no “magic weapons.” It takes a mixture of activities that are right for you and consistency – things you do so well!

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    1. You said it perfectly Andrea! And yes, we are so much more likely to injure ourselves as we age. No magic weapons for sure!

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  5. I do use intervals in my workouts, but I have bad hips so I’m not sure if its better to go shorter & harder, or longer & slower. Another problem is that when you read through HIIT workouts, the timing is always different so I’m not sure which is best. Oh well, variety is a good thing, right?

    Reply

    1. Kris, the point of my post exactly! Many of these programs are not for everybody & we need to address that! 🙂

      Reply

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