This entire article applies to "Met-Con" (Metabolic Conditioning), but we can explain that in another article, for now let's focus on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It is by far one of the most over used terms in the fitness industry these days and with every second trainer claiming they are HIIT qualified, it really is a huge marketing tool that trainers & gyms alike are quick to jump on the band wagon to reap the benefits of the millions of dollars being spent on promoting this thing called HIIT.
But let me tell you HIIT is real and it works, however it's not new and it's been around for centuries it's called Boxing and it's the oldest form of combat sports in the world. Boxers created HIIT. Heck we run HIIT sessions ourselves at TTF and we are damn good at them, but guys don't be too impressed with this overused term - everything is HIIT.
let's pay tribute to one of the toughest sports in the world for a brief paragraph - Boxing. Analyze what HIIT is, for those of you out there who have had the humbling experience of being in a 5x5m boxing ring with FULL CONTACT punches or kicks flying at you you'll know its "HIGH INTENSITY" After these guys & gals go through such extreme punishment, FAST, HARD & INTENSE, in what is other wise known as a "round" in competition they take a short break by taking a stool in there corner and get some sound instructions from there coaches and recharge for around 60 seconds (30 secs in practice). We refer to that part as our "INTERVAL" . The last part "TRAINING" Doesn't need to be in there. It Is really thrown in there so non boxing fitness trainers & gyms alike can basically do there weights like a boxer would train. So the word Training generalizes it so fitness professionals can justify. Which is all cool guys n gals, as I said we run HIIT @ TTF as well, it's just sad that many fitness professionals can tend oversell the term to talk clients into buying more sessions than they actually need. (Do 3 strength, 2 cardio & you better add 2 HIIT sessions in as well - LOL)
Now we know HIIT is quite simple, lets see why we are all already doing it: Fitness has always been either, short intense set of heavy weights to improve size, or long high repetition rounds targeting more of a cardiovascular workout ensuring heart rates stay in the target zones of 140-160 bpm, then, its followed by static rest or sometimes active recovery but you typically still have your intervals between either style. Whatever you prefer short & heavy or long & light you can super set both styles to maximize now and then for muscle shock to continue your gym gains but in essence It's always been HIIT, now they just call it HIIT because it sells. Because marketing has gone out of control. When I hear PT's saying "oh man just gave my client the baddest HIIT session", can you see now why it's a laugh?
True: Fitness is not as intense as getting punched in the face with some punches carrying force of over 1000lbs. Ladies and gentlemen HIIT has been performed for centuries by boxers and fitness trainers. YOU KNOW WHATS CRAZY, trainers haven't really done anything different anyway they've always been doing HIIT. So why fuss now, guys chill your already doing a good job - please don't re-invent the wheel and bamboozle people with a play on words? And rest assured in essence the entire fitness industry is doing HIIT. So don't worry if your not in a HIIT class - every class is HIIT to some degree and there all doing great things with this concept taken from the sweet science. I just find it funny now how people go so far as to claim a HIIT gym, I mean what else would you do? STOP GYM?? lol.
If you do own a HIIT gym or HIIT class, this article is not intended as disrespect at all, again we run HIIT sessions also @ TTF, I'm merely pointing out the simplicity of what we all do as industry professionals. lets not confuse the poor unsuspecting customer with trying to sell the latest and greatest style to "HIIT" the market, (see we can put a spin on words). Every person on the planet who has ever stepped foot into any gym any were has done HIIT training. Just because you can do something more explosive than another person does not mean they don't know how to do HIIT and they suck. Everyone's at there own level & explosive "fast twitch" or HIIT gets performed at an individual cellular level, there's no blanket cover letter for this.
LAST WORD: Customers don't be fooled by trends and fads and let people talk you into following the latest buzz. The gym is hard work and your laundry should double if your doing it properly. If you really want to "HIIT" a gym, find your local boxing or kickboxing club and "HIIT" a punching bag the same it's been getting done for centuries making some of the worlds greatest athletes fit as hell. Ali, Mike Tyson, JCVD, Bruce Lee Just to name a few.
STAY AWESOME - Paul Rose - TTF