> HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training – Rant

I have been doing what I believe is High Intensity Interval Training.  I use one of three cardio machines.  My goal is to get my Heart Rate up to 90-95% of my Maximum Heart Rate.  My MHR is 220-64 =156.  90% is 140 and 95% is 148.  65% is 101.  I strive to get my heart rate above 140 and then bring it down to approximately 120.   I spend 20 minutes doing intervals.  When I use the Cardio machines where I am pushing myself, I find it more difficult to get my heart rate to the limits that I am aiming for.  I will adjust the machines to make it harder or steeper – but I do not get the results.  When I use a Treadmill, I do the following intervals – all at in incline of 6 which is a pretty good incline.

  1. 3 minute warm up at 3.5 mph
  2. 2 min at 6 mph
  3. 2 min at 3.5 mph
  4. 2 min at 8 mph
  5. 2 min at 3.5 mph
  6. 2 min at 10 mph
  7. 2 min at 3.5
  8. 2 min at > 10 mph
  9. 3 min cool down at 3.5

At times, I will push myself harder by eliminating the 6 mph and using 8 mph as the intermediate warm up before going on to 10 and above.  I will also increase the incline to give more stress at a lower speed.

I have been doing this for 18 months now.  When I started, my speeds and difficulty levels on the various machines where not very high.  Also, my time frame for the high intensity would peak at 30 seconds.  Now it is 2 minutes up and 2 minutes down, except when I push to new levels – then I might last 30-60 seconds, until I conquer that level.

There have been numerous discussions on the forums.  There are those who say that what I do is interval training or even circuit training – but it is not high intensity – since at the top speed I am able to maintain it for close to 2 minutes.  Their attitude is that in order to be high intensity – you have to exhaust yourself within 20-30 seconds.  I believe this elitists are wrong.  The measure of intensity should be Heart Rate.

The TNT book on page 152 states:  “To perform the intervals, run or cycle at the fastest pace you can maintain for the duration of the print time. {30 to 60 seconds is noted} Then slow down to a pace that is about 30% of your full effort for the recovery time. … If you stick with it long enough, you’ll ultimately be sprinting and resting the same amount of time.”

So the question comes down to – what is the measure of intensity?  There is no agreement as to the definition.  I have posted seven links to articles about this – you make the decision for yourself.

  1. Wikipedia: High-intensity Interval Training
  2. Ticker Training
  3. Plan Your Cardio Workout
  4. Break Your Speed Limits
  5. Go Shorter Then Longer
  6. Treadmill HIIT Workouts
  7. HIIT Training, Are You Really Doing It?

Edit: 10-17-09:  Changed my HIIT workout – just a bit.  Found that I was relying on holding on to the front of the machine at the higher inclines and higher speeds.  So – backed down to no incline and lower speeds – NO  HOLDING ON.  Have built myself back up to short bursts at 8-9 mph.  The difference is – not holding on is more difficult and you get your heart rate up higher than before at lower speeds.  Happy with my progress.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Simonne
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 08:35:19

    HI, im so impressed with you> Wow!!! Question….. do you do your 20 min cardio everyday then your weight training afterwards. I am a 43yr old woman and need to lose 16 pounds. HELP!!!! MOTIVATE ME!!!!! Im so scared to eat FAT……


    • TNT Man
      Feb 03, 2012 @ 09:09:14

      Thank you for dropping by.

      I alternate Resistance Training Days with Cardio Days. On Cardio Days, I do 20 minutes on a treadmill and than 20 minutes of Circuit training.

      I suggest that you get the TNT Diet book and see if this type of program is good for you. It is a Low Carb – Normal Protein – High Fat diet.

      It worked for me – it may work for you.

      Good Luck
      TNT Man


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