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  • Writer's pictureSteve Feller

HIIT or High-Intensity Internal Training

You may ask, what is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a plan of organizing cardio movements which calls for repeated reps of short exercises, high-intensity exercise mixed with periods of lower intensity for active recovery. It is all about pushing your heart rate up without long periods of strain on the muscles. It could be a plan with weights, a bicycle, running or almost anything that can quickly run your heart rate up like a sprint.

A HIIT plan would call for a warm-up of 5-10 minutes where the intensity gradually increases. Once the body is warmed up, it is then time to begin the work intervals. The ratio for HIIT is 1 minute of work to every 2 to 3 minutes of active recovery. A hard pedaling on a bike for one minute then a light pedaling for 2 minutes, then repeat multiple times. Staying active during the recovery period allows the muscles to remove the metabolic waste and produce more energy for the next rep of high intensity exercise.

Is this good for people over fifty? HIIT is favored for its ability to torch calories and build muscle in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts are especially helpful for adults 50 and older. As we age, our muscle mass tends to decline, HIIT training could help build that muscle back. Any type of cardio will help with our memory, just like any other muscle in the body, the increased blood flow and oxygen is beneficial to the brain. Cardio is the best for lung and heart health, again pushing the oxygen and pumping the blood increases the ability to get more oxygen and blood to the muscles. The benefit I love is the lower glucose levels. Building our muscle mass helps with the break down of sugar and push on the metabolic systems helps to lose weight and control our blood sugar.

HIIT can work you very hard, so you must start out slow depending on your current rate of health, if you have poor health you may want to consult your doctor. Start of slow, small amount of reps and low resistance until you build to more reps and more resistance. If you immediately go and over do, you will get frustrated. I currently do my HIIT in an incline stationary bike and some in my yoga. The bike is much easier on my knees. I know there are people that do HIIT with weights, but I am too concerned about injuring a muscle. The bike gets me sweating and gets my heart rate up very quickly.

If you go online you can find thousands of different plans, find what interests you and tweak it to your level. As I mentioned I use a stationary bike, my workout is 30 minutes, you go through 3 levels of resistance and 90 seconds of easy pedaling then 30 seconds of hard, alternating through the resistance. It doesn’t impact my legs like riding hard for 30 minutes, the impact is not to bad, but the heart rate and sweat gets going. I only do this three times a week, alternating with my weight training and yoga. Just a simple way to push yourself and get the cardio you need. Good luck on finding a plan that works for you.

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