Why HIIT Excels – Intervals Vs Endurance (Part 3)
HIIT (shorter, highly strenuous bursts of activity separated by periods of low intensity or rest) has an advantage in several areas over traditional endurance exercise. The most touted is probably the time efficiency: imagine being able to perform your entire aerobic exercise routine in as little as 20 to 30 minutes, inclusive of warm up and cool down. No more pounding away for an hour or more on the road or treadmill.
While some may enjoy the longer stuff, with many of us leading busy lives, fitting in a full aerobic workout three to four times a week can be difficult. As well, shortening the time commitment can possibly (in theory) make the workout more enjoyable. Less time working out means that the perception of pain is shorter, it lowers the chance of getting “bored” and giving up, and by breaking the work into intervals it can provide mini “goals” and make it more enjoyable and stimulating.
Where HIIT also excels is improving VO2max and as a result overall performance. While CEE (continuous bout of exercise without a break interval and can be performed at low, moderate, or high intensities) does this too, HIIT will improve VO2max to a greater extent. An 8 week HIIT program can improve VO2max by as much as 15% compared to a 9% increase as observed in CEE. The improved VO2max means we are able to work at a higher intensity for a longer period of time because we are better able to move and utilize oxygen.
You Might Like: