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HIIT questions

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  • HIIT questions


    A bit confused about whether im doing HIIT or not on treadmill, and whether the Interval Training programme is actualy HIIT or not:

    My treadmill has interval programme which seems to work to a ratio of 1:2 - ie 1 min high intensity and 2 min low intensity. I'm doing a 20 minute work out on the machines highest setting (level 10), which equates to about 12 mins of interval training with 4 mins warm up and down.

    My questions are:

    - Does this lend itself to fat loss? Im 213lb @ 27% body fat and goals are to get body fat down to about 15% and maintain lean muscle as much as possible. Im doing strength training, but not trying to bulk up, just maintain lean mass while losing fat.
    - Im confused about intensity - does this mean high percentage of max heart rate, or sprinting as fast as you possibly can (perceived intensity)? The latter is difficult on treadmill safely. My max heart rate is estimated at around 185 (220 - 35) and during the intense phase my HR gets up to 170bpm+ (over 90%), HOWEVER, I cant go all out sprinting as fast as i can as the machine doesnt go that fast, at least not with the programme im using
    - A question about calorie defecit, exercise and body going into survival mode. If my daily requirements were say 2500 calories and I ate 2200 cals a day, BUT used 500 cals exercising, creating a 800 cal deficit, would my body go into survival mode and slow my metabolism down like it would if i only ate 1700 cals without exercising?



  • #2
    There are a variety of HIIT programs. You can vary your intervals for different metabolic effect. Yours is one way... the Tabata protocol of 20s/10s for 8 rounds and a total of 4 minutes of exercise is another (this one has research backing for weight loss and increasing muscle mass).

    As to intensity the answer is... BOTH. When your at max heart rate you won't be able to run any faster. So its same difference. You should be reaching 90+% to call it high intensity.

    HIIT helps create a hormone profile associated with burning fat and preserving muscle. Don't worry about survival mode.


    • #3
      You don't need to use the program on your treadmill if you don't want to (especially if you feel that it's not going fast enough). Some treadmills won't go above 10 mph, not sure about yours. The ones at my gym go above 10 mph, but I've never gone beyond 10.5 so I don't know how fast they go. When I do HIIT on the treadmill, I adjust the speed manually. It's pretty annoying, but those treadmills can't be programmed. I do 40 seconds on, 60-120 seconds off, depending on whether I walk or jog during the rest intervals. I adjust the length of the rest intervals as needed but maintain the same speed during the sprint intervals.

      You can play around with different sprint/rest interval lengths and different speeds. No need to be a slave to the program.

      I find it impossible to do Tabatas on a treadmill unless you can jump off and jump back on while it's running because it takes a few seconds for the treadmill to speed up and slow down--doesn't really work if you only have a 10-second rest interval. I've seen other people jump on and off the treadmill while it's running at a high speed. I can't do that safely. I have trouble jumping back on even when the treadmill is only running at 6mph.

      But you can do Tabatas on a track or a trail or something.

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      • #4
        I was always told to go as fast as, you can for 30 sec than rest 60 sec. (a 1 to 2 ratio)keep doing it 20 min. If you can do it longer than you were not doing it hard enough.


        • #5
          FWIW, I've been doing them quite successfully for a couple of years, and cut my two-mile time from about 16 minutes to about 14 minutes. I rarely make it past 5 or 6 sprints, and most of those don't exceed 20 seconds or so. There's a point in my sprints where I feel a break in my stride, where I can't run at full speed anymore. That point starts at about 20 seconds and goes down after subsequent sprints. If I do six sprints, my last one might hit 10 seconds. My rest time is as long as I feel I need.

          I highly recommend getting off the treadmill for sprints. Not only do they not go fast enough for most people, but the movement of the tread under you means you don't actually have to use your legs to push off, which is one of the main reasons to sprint. Those pushing-off muscles are your glutes and hamstrings, and you really want to work them hard.


          • #6
            I have heard that your rest time should be enough to bring your heart rate right down - not to resting but getting there. So the longer your sprint the longer your rest. 30 sec sprint requires almost a minute and a half for me. Sprint is full out as fast as you can go. I do it on a spin bike.


            • #7
              Run outside, tredmills are terrible, you don't use as much muscle as you would actually pushing yourself away from the ground as you would letting your feet move back on a tread.


              • #8
                Would the following be a good sprint interval training program to do once a week on a dirt trail?-

                Walk to warm up for 5 minutes.
                Sprint all out for 30 seconds. Walk to recover for 1-1.5 min.
                Repeat 5-8 times.
                Walk 5 min. to cool down.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wolfman View Post
                  Run outside, tredmills are terrible, you don't use as much muscle as you would actually pushing yourself away from the ground as you would letting your feet move back on a tread.
                  Sprinting outside is superior if you can find a nice trail or track to sprint on. However, if you live in a city where all the sidewalks are in varying states of disrepair and you don't own a car so can't drive somewhere to look for a nice trail, then you're stuck with the treadmill. I've sprinted on the sidewalk before and twisted my ankle.

                  That said, at Crossfit, we sprint outside. I almost never go all out because I'm afraid of injuring myself on the shitty sidewalk. However, if the sprint is scheduled after a WOD and I'm already tired, then I could go all out because at that point my all out isn't all that fast.
                  Last edited by diene; 04-22-2013, 02:00 PM.

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