High Intensity Interval Training (HITT). Over 50 – Yes You Can!

It’s been well understood for some time that interval cardio training is both more effective, and efficient, than steady state training. Essentially, you work out harder for a shorter period of time. More specifically, the harder the workout, the longer and greater is the EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Consumption). And consequently, you simply burn more calories - after the workout! Why do an hour (or more) cardio session when you can get more benefit from one that lasts only 30 to 40 minutes?

HITT involves alternating brief bouts of higher intensity exertion with either rest or lower intensity workloads throughout the workout session. Traditionally, it’s been used to train athletes, requiring high levels of both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. However, recent studies have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of HITT in clinical populations, including the 50+ generation! But with some modifications.

First of all, if you’re just starting out on a fitness program, you don’t begin with HITT. You need to build cardiovascular endurance by starting out with short sessions (maybe 20 minutes) of moderate exertion, and gradually increase the length and intensity of those sessions. When you’re ready, here’s how to get fit with HITT. Typically, a Hitt workout alternates a very high intensity bout with a low one, usually with a one to one ratio – say, 1 minute each. Here’s how we modfiy it for those of us 50+. For example, you can do a 1 minute high intensity bout, but follow it by a 11/2 or 2 minute low intensity period. We also want to not go too intense during those periods of high exertion.

Here’s my personal favorite HITT workout. I warm up for 10 minutes, then begin a 20 minute interval workout. I start with 1 1/2 minutes of low exertion, followed by 1 minute of high intensity effort, and repeat the pattern 8 times. After the 20 minute HITT workout, I finish with another 10 minutes to cool down. Total workout – 40 minutes!

If you want to learn more about HITT and how you can more effectively and efficiently achieve your cardiovascular and weight loss goals, call me today at 443-421-3315!


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