Personal Trainer in Norwich

Weekly Fitness Update

Each week I'll upload some new fitness related information or question. So come back regularly for the latest update from a highly experienced personal trainer in Norwich (Eaton).

Week Commencing Monday 08 Oct 2018

HIIT: Don’t believe the hype.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Tabata Training, Fat Melting High Intensity Workouts. You’ve seen the classes advertised, the DVD’s promoted and the shopping channel claims? Too good to be true? Well as ever, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

No don’t get me wrong. I love to incorporate high intensity training into my programmes and encourage my clients to do the same. There are real benefits especially for anaerobic conditioning and improvements in one’s V02Max capacity. It even has a positive carry over into our aerobic training. But what truly gets me are the outlandish claims being made.

Time and again I see HIIT promoted as if it is the answer to all our exercise and weight loss prayers and therefore the only type of training we should be doing. Short bursts of eye-popping and lung-busting activity will melt away the extra kilos and help us to live forever. Really?

To get a positive benefit from an exercise programme, a person needs to do four sessions a week. So an average programme might include two resistance sessions (weight lifting), a circuit training class (HIIT) and a longer, slower, steady activity (a 45 min run for example). This will nicely cover all the bases and not take over our whole life. Athletes are different, so we needn’t worry about them.

The fashion for HIIT, Tabata being the most common example, actually came from research into how to make already elite athletes perform better. Note ‘elite athletes’, those with already outstanding levels of fitness. It was trying to wring out those last little bits of performance which make the difference between winning and coming 4th. And it was to be added to an athlete’s programme, not be to only type of training they did. And yet from this we are to believe that it is the holy grail of he average man in the street. It’s not even the holy grail for Olympians, so don’t believe the hype.

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