Weight Training and Joint Health: What You Need to Know

Weight Training and Joint Health: What You Need to Know

Weight training and joint health. Find out everything you need to know about lifting weights to improve the health of your joints!

When I first stepped foot into a gym, I spent a lot of time watching other people (not like that, you creep).

I was genuinely interested in what they were doing. What exercises they chose to do, why they were doing them, and what the results of those exercises were.

With this, I spent a lot of time trying to learn from some of the older guys in the gym.

Guys who simply screamed ‘old man strength’.

And I quickly noticed that these people could easily fall into one of two categories.

  1. Jacked old guys who moved well, lifted a whole lot of weight, and were pain free, or;
  2. Jacked old guys who could lift a ton of weight, but spent their time hobbling around the gym in obvious pain, and wore braces on every single one of their joints.

So what gives?

Is weight training good for your joints? Is weight training bad for your joints?

Does it come down to genetics, diet, or lifestyle factors?

Or maybe it comes down to how you train… (hint: it probably comes down to how you train).

 

Weight Training and Joint Health

exercises to burn more calories

Contrary to popular belief, there is a large body of evidence showing that lifting weights can be pretty damn good for your joints.

See, weight training increases the strength of the muscles that surround your joints. This improves your ability to stabilize those joints during movement, which ultimately reduces joint wear and tear.

It is for this reason that weight training is actually pretty good for people with osteoarthritis.

However, there is a caveat here.

If you train like an idiot, then your joints will hate you.

 

Training like an idiot…

So, what do I mean by this?

Well, i guess I would characterize it by two things:

  1. Lifting weights with poor form and an inadequate range of motion
  2. Training heavy all the time

To put it simply, weight training with poor form is a great way to place undesirable loads on your joints. It is this load that has the potential to cause an acute joint injury. Similarly, lifting with a small range of motion means that you will only become stable in that short range of motion, which can create joint instability everywhere else — which may also act as a precursor for a joint injury.

Pretty simply, make sure your prioritize technique.

On the other hand, we have heavy weight training (as in lifting really heavy loads for 1-5 repetitions).

Now, just to be clear, I think heavy weight training is the cats pajamas.

It is integral to building strength, increasing power, enchaining stability, and generally making you a more robust human being.

And seriously, who doesn’t want to be a more robust human being?

But the kicker here is that it places much more load on your joints than weight training performed using higher rep ranges, and lower loads.

So if you lift heavy week in week out, you wont allow your joints time to recover between workouts, which can take an obvious toll on your joint health.

As a result, you want to make sure that you match your periods of heavy lifting with periods of higher rep stuff using lighter loads. This gives your joints some time to recover, and ensures that you continue to build strength and stability in the long run.

 

But Won’t Weight Training Ruin My Flexibility?

A common knock on weight training is that it will make you stiff and immobile — leaving you completely unable to get your arms over your head.

But, much like the above, I would argue that this only happens if you lift weights using inadequate range of motion,

In fact, if you weight train using a full range of motion, you can actually cause some pretty large improvements in flexibility. Impressively, some these improvements are even comparable to those caused by stretching.

Additionally, you want to make sure that you are performing a variety of movements that train all of the muscles surrounding your joints. This will ensure that you do not develop any muscular imbalances that can lead to unstable joint positions.

So, in short, no — if you train appropriately, it will not ruin your flexibility at all.

 

 

Best 4 Tips on Weight Training for Joint Health

With all this in mind, there a couple of things you can do to make sure that your weight training improves the health of your joints, rather than hinders it:

  1. Train using a full range of motion for every exercise
  2. If you enjoy heavy strength training, make sure that you also employ periods training with lighter loads and higher rep ranges
  3. Use a variety of exercises to ensure you do not develop any muscular imbalances
  4. Stretch any stiff muscles if you do have some limitations in flexibility before you start your weight training session

Simple and effective.

 

Take Home Message

When performed properly, weight training actually has the ability to improve your joint health — which is pretty incredible if you think about it.

But not that I said “when performed properly”…

So make sure you use the tips outlined in this article, and drop us a comment t if you have any questions!

About the Author

How Long Do I NEED to Work Out For? The Perfect Short Workout.

How Long Do I NEED to Work Out For? The Perfect Short Workout.

Have you ever wondered how long you need to work out for to get results? Well, the good news for you is that its not all that long. Enter the perfect short workout

Hi, my name is Hunter, and I am a recovering meathead.

For the longest time, I trained in the gym 5-6 times per week for a minimum of 60 minutes per session. I guzzled protein shakes, wore singlets, and made sure to consume 200 grams of protein per day, every single day.

And I was pretty cool

Or maybe I mean moronic?

Yeah, definitely moronic…

See, I honestly thought that to maximize the results of your training, you needed to exercise hard all the time. That your sessions had to be long and grueling. That if you didn’t leave the gym in a pool of sweat and muscle spasms, it was a wasted workout.

Read: moron.

Why am I telling you all of this.

Well, I guess the first thing is to demonstrate that people can change.

I mean, kind of, anyway.

You see, I no longer train quite so long in the gym (or so often, for that matter). I eat a little less protein, and heaps more veggies. My protein shake intake is markedly less.

Oh, and save my singlets for festival season only now.

But the main reason I am telling you this is to outline something that I have learnt over the last few years.

Your training sessions do not have to last an hour to be effective.

I honestly used to think that if I couldn’t get into the gym for at least an hour, then there was no point going at all. I believed that for a workout to elicit any sort of training effect, it needed to break you down so that you could be built back up again.

Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

How long do you need to work out for?

I have since come to realize that doing something is always better than doing nothing.

I now know that you can make some serious change in as little as 20 minutes (or even less) if you do it right.

When implemented effectively, a short workout can give you the opportunity to improve technique, stress your aerobic system, and even increase your strength.

The trick is to prioritizing what you do in that 20 minutes to meet your individual goals and your individual needs.

 

The Perfect Short workout.

With all this in mind, I have put together a couple of really quick workouts that will take you 20 minutes to complete. Each of these are tailored to a specific training goal, and are easily adaptable. This means that you can make them suit your individual capabilities and preferences.

Seriously, what more could you want?

 

The Perfect Short Workout for Strength

This one is great.

To start, you are going to choose three exercises from the table below (one lower body exercise, one upper body pressing exercise, and one upper body rowing exercise).

Lower Body ExercisesUpper Body PressingUpper Body Rowing
  • Trap bar deadlift
  • Front squat
  • Back squat
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Goblet Squat
  • Kettlebell deadlift
  • Bench press
  • Push up
  • Overhead press
  • Seated shoulder press
  • Incline press
  • Push press
  • Chin ups
  • Inverted row
  • TRX row
  • Seated cable row
  • Bent over row
  • Pull ups

You are then going to perform those exercises using a moderately heavy weight for five repetitions each, in circuit style fashion for a grand total of 20 minutes. Within this, make sure you take 20-30 seconds rest between each exercise.

For example, I might choose to do a barbell deadlift, weighted push ups, and pull ups.

My session would then look something like this.

  • Deadlift x 5 repetitions
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Weighed push up x 5 repetitions
  • 30 seconds rest
  • Pull Up x 5 repetitions
  • 30 seconds rest

I would then try and perform as many rounds as I possible could in 20 minutes.

Simple.

 

The Perfect Short Workout for Technique

If there is an exercise that you have been working on for a while (and really want to get better at), then this is for you.

Simply choose that specific exercise, and perform 10 repetitions using a light weight. The take 30-40 seconds to do some gentle core work.

Then repeat this entire process for a total of 20 minutes.

Say hypothetically I wanted to improve my front squat, my workout might look like this:

  • Front squat (light weight) x 10 repetitions
  • Very gentle fitball roll outs x 30 seconds

I would then repeat this for 20 minutes, trying to get in as many rounds as i could in that time.

 

The Perfect Short Workout for Aerobic Fitness

I have written about the merits of high intensity interval training (or HIIT for you cool kids) in the past, so I wont go into too much detail here.

What I do want to discuss is the fact that it allows you to get in a super effective aerobic workout in a very short amount of time.

In fact, a performing a simple 20 minute interval workout twice per week has been shown to cause comparable improvements in health and fitness to a couple of hours of low intensity cardio.

In short, it works.

Now, one of my favorite protocols is super simple and super effective — although I must admit, its can be a bit of challenge (in a good way, of course…).

Pick your favorite form of torture piece of equipment and simply go at around 80% of your max speed for a whole 60 seconds.  After that 60 seconds is up, go at a nice leisurely pace for another 60 seconds.

Repeat 10 times, for a grand total of 20 minutes.

As a bonus, you could do this on a rower, a bike, a treadmill, or even with some battle ropes

See? Simple.

 

 

The Perfect Short Workout for Mobility

Last but not least, we are going to go over a nice short workout that prioritizes mobility.

Like the strength circuit, you are simply going to choose three exercises from the table below (two lower body mobility exercises, and one upper body mobility exercise).

Lower Body Exercise 1Lower Body Exercise 2Upper Body Exercise
  • TRX squat
  • Deep goblet squat
  • Lateral TRX lunge
  • Cossack squat
  • Bulgarian split squat (deep)
  • Split squat with front foot elevated
  • Reverse Lunge with front foot elevated
  • Side lying thoracic rotation
  • Yoga push up
  • Single arm cable row with rotation

You are then going to perform these movements with a very light weight (or even using your body weight) for 12 repetitions each back to back in a circuit style fashion for a grand total of… you guessed it… 20 minutes!

For example, I might choose to do a Cossack squat, a Deep Bulgarian Split Squat, and some Side lying thoracic rotations.

Then my session would then look something like this.

  • Deep Cossack squat x 12 repetitions
  • Deep Bulgarian split squat x 12 repetitions per side
  • Side lying thoracic rotations x 12 repetitions per side

I would then try and perform as many rounds as I possible could in that 20 minute bout.

The important thing to remember here is that every single rep needs to be of a high quality. It should be slow and controlled, and each subsequent set you should be aiming to achieve more range of motion than you did for the set that came before it.

As a result, at the end of the circuit you should be blowing a bit, and feel nice and mobile.

This is the perfect workout to burn some energy and improve your movement capabilities.

 

Take Home Message

Your workout doesn’t have to last hours on end to be effective. In fact, you can see some serious results from your training in as little as 20 minutes.

So next time you are short on time, give one of these guys a go and let me know what you think.

About The Author

The Big Rocks of Diet: Eating For Health

The Big Rocks of Diet: Eating For Health

Eating for health doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, all it takes is a couple of very simple steps, and then sticking to them 90% of the time.

Over the last few weeks I have seen a large number of ‘Instagram exercise professionals’ (read: people who have a lot of followers and take a lot of selfies…) posting about some amazing new supplement. Coming with the statement that they will ‘detox your body’ and ‘stoke your metabolic fire’, they are almost always posted with a half naked picture and a great big ‘please buy this from me‘ smile.

You know what I am talking about.

Those ridiculous detox juice cleanses, fit teas, and fat burners.

Like seriously, what the hell makes a tea ‘fit’ anyway.

Anyhow, I am getting off track a little here. Seeing these posts has got me thinking about all that is wrong with the health industry. I mean, these so called ‘fitness gurus’ are literally preying on the self-conscious. They are using the fact that they look good naked to sell some trashy supplement that does absolutely nothing, just to make a quick buck.

It is more than a little unethical.

The fact of the matter is that, even despite these things being sold across the world, they do not do a single thing.

And as much as we would like to think that there is a quick fix to health and fitness, there simply isn’t. It all comes down to exercising often, and eating well 90% of the time.

Boring? Yep.

Difficult? Often a little bit, yes.

But complex? No.

Or at least, it doesn’t have to be.

With this in mind, I wanted to outline what I believe to be the big rocks of diet. The simple strategies that I use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, to make sure my diet is pretty reasonable without a whole lot of effort.

Which is what I believe is most important when eating for health.

 

The Big Rocks of Diet: Eating For Health

Before I get into these tips , I wanted to add a bit of a disclaimer: I am not a dietitian. This is simple dietary advice that I have found works for me. It will not cure cancer. It will not stoke your metabolic fire, and it will not help you lose 10kgs in 3 weeks.

But it might get you healthier, which is pretty damn important (maybe even more important?).

 

1. Eat a Serve of Veggies With Every Meal

Well, it turns out grandma was right. Eat your veggies and grow up big and strong.

Its #science.

In all seriousness, vegetables are the bees knees. They are full to the brim with essential vitamins and minerals that help your body function effectively and keep you disease free. In short, they improve your health and keep your immune system strong.

As an added bonus, despite their extremely high vitamin and mineral content, vegetables contain very little energy. This means that you can eat a whole heap of them without running any real risk of weight gain, which (if you are a pig like me) is quite nice.

Who would of thought that eating for health starts with veggies…

 

2. Eat a Serve of Protein Every Meal

Another simple tip that can have a huge impact.

Over the last few decades, the western diet has evolved into something that is extremely carbohydrate dense (think breads, pastas, rice, and breakfast cereals).

With the increased consumption of these foods, we have less room for protein dense foods. Which is a shame, because protein essentially acts as the building blocks for our entire body. We use them to repair damaged tissue, recover from exercise, build enzymes, and to even produce new bone and connective tissue.

Protein is important.

Additionally, protein is also very satiating. This means that it makes you feel fuller, for longer.

As a result, if you eat a serve of protein at regular intervals throughout the day, you are going to be less likely to snack on junk food.

 

 

3. Try and Avoid ‘Over Consuming’ Processed Carbohydrates

I have already touched on the fact that we tend to eat a diet that is fairly dense in breads, pastas, rice, and breakfast cereals

While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with these foods, I should also note that they don’t really offer us a whole lot of nutritional value. To put it simply, they contain very few vitamins and minerals, and a whole lot of energy.

This means that they provide you with very little bang-for-your-buck.

To add to this, opposite to protein, carbohydrates are not particularly filling. With this in mind, they provide you with a heap of energy, but don’t make you feel any fuller – which is a recipe for overeating.

 

4. Drink More Water

Did you know that body is approximately 70% water?

Well, I read it on the bottom of a bottle cap, so it must be true.

In all seriousness, your body functions better when it is hydrated. You feel better, you have more energy, and you will be less susceptible to disease and illness.

Water is good for you.

However, most of us don’t drink anywhere near enough. We go through our daily lives in a perpetual state of dehydration, in some cases even mistaking our thirst signals for hunger signals and overeating as a result.

Fortunately, there is a very simply remedy for this – drink more water.

Genius…

Start your day with a 500ml glass of water before taking a single bite to eat. Then try and carry a 1 litre drink bottle with you throughout the day, and drink all of it before you get home. Finally, have another 500ml glass of water with dinner.

This is a very easy way to ensure you are getting in at least 2 litres of water per day (which you will thank me for later)

 

5. Don’t Let Your Diet Rule Your Life

The last thing I wanted to touch on is more of a mindset thing.

How many times have yo told yourself you are going to eat well, and then tried to stick to that plan with a near religious intent? You then went out to dinner, went off track, and completely beat yourself about it?

If you are anything like me, too many times.

In my mind, you should aim to stick to eating well around 90 percent of the time.

What about the other 10 percent?

Enjoy yourself.

Go out for dinner with your friends and family. Have some desert. Have a couple of glasses of wine. A pie at the footy? Go for it.

And most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it.

As important as eating well is, it shouldn’t impact your happiness. Sometimes its about finding balance, doing as well as you possible can for 90 percent of the time,and then getting back on track straight after you have a big night out with friends.

Simple.

 

Take Home Message

Eating for health doesn’t have to be complex. All it takes is implementing a few simple steps into your daily life, and sticking to them 90 percent of the time.

Easy!

About The Author

 

12 Surprising Benefits of Strength Training

12 Surprising Benefits of Strength Training

You know that lifting weights has some benefits, but do you actually know what they are? Find out the 12 most surprising benefits of strength training!

When people talk about the health effects of exercise, most of the time they mean aerobic activity.

You know, running, jogging, cycling, and swimming. All that boring stuff that has you doing some sort of repetitive motion over and over again.

I kid, I kid.

I meant, its not that boring.

In all seriousness, there is obviously nothing wrong with this. Aerobic exercise has long been considered the gold standard for improving health and function. In fact, simply incorporating some aerobic activity into your weekly schedule has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, help prevent obesity, and can even stave off a premature death.

Which is pretty damn positive.

But typically less discussed are the many benefits of strength training.

Like the bastard stepchild you leave outside on a cold Christmas morning, strength training is often ignored by the masses. Something left to meatheads who stroll around festivals wearing nothing but a bumbag and a pair of bright yellow short shorts (not that there is anything wrong with this sort of thing, of course).

Which is a shame, because beyond this, strength training offers a myriad of benefits for literally everyone on the planet.

Hence the reason I am shedding some light on the topic.

 

12 Surprising Benefits of Strength Training

In my personal opinion, strength training is one of the best things you can do for your body.

In terms of getting the most bang-for-your-buck from a health and performance perspective, it is incomparable.

With this in mind, I have gone ahead and outlined the 12 most surprising benefits of strength training for your reading pleasure.

So enjoy!

 

1. Strength Training Improves Cardiovascular Health

Aerobic exercise rose to such great heights because of its impact on cardiovascular health. In this manner, it is often considered to be the most effective method of improving the health and function of the cardiovascular system, and staving off heart disease.

However, it certainly isn’t alone on top of this mountain.

There is a large body of evidence clearly demonstrating that regular strength training can improve the function of your arteries and veins, while also limiting your risk arterial plaque build up.

This means reductions in blood pressure, and a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

 

2. Strength Training Prevents Diabetes

Strength training is arguably the most effective methods of improving metabolic health on the planet.

It directly impacts the muscle tissues ability to absorb,  store, and use blood glucose, which does wonders for your blood sugar levels. Moreover, it also improves your sensitivity to the hormone insulin, which is super important.

As a result, research has consistently shown that strength training offers a very potent way to prevent the onset of diabetes.

 

3. Strength Training Enhances Mental Health

One of the more unique benefits of strength training revolves around its ability to improve your mental health. A single bout of strength training can improve your mood and get you feeling better immediately.

But even more impressive are the long term effects.

You see, consistent strength training has been shown to reduce the symptoms of clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety.

Like I said, impressive.

 

4. Strength Training Helps Persistent Pain

Here at iNform, we pride ourselves on our ability to get people out of pain, and turn them into strong, functional, and physically confident human beings.

And strength training is a large part of this.

Strength training has shown time and time again to be one of the most effective treatments for persistent and chronic pain that we have available to us.

So why not use it?

 

5. Strength Training Staves Off Osteoporosis

Strength training is unique because it also loads the skeleton. As a result, it places your bones under mechanical stress, which stimulates an increase in bone growth.

With this in mind, strength training causes significant increases in your bone mineral density, which can go a very long way to staving off osteoporosis.

 

6. Strength Training Boosts Cognitive Function

I have already gone ahead and said that strength training makes you happier, but did you know it can also make you smarter?

Well, kind of…

Regular strength training has been shown to cause marked improvements in global cognitive function and ability, while also causing some small improvements in memory capabilities.

Talk about brain gains, bruh.

 

7. Strength Training Increases Quality of Life

As you age, your physical capacity deteriorates. Your ability to manage normal tasks of daily living worsens.

In short, life gets harder.

But it doesn’t have to.

You see, the vast majority of these changes occur due to a loss of strength. Which can easily be mitigated by regular strength training.

There is a very good reason as to why strength training has consistently been shown to improve functional capacity and quality of life – because it works, and it works very well (duh…).

 

 

8. Strength Training Helps You Live Longer

Whether it is due to the associated health benefits, the improvements in functional capacity, or the improvements in mood, we cant be sure. But for whatever reason, older adults who strength train on the regular appear to be 46% less likely of dying than those who do not.

I don’t know about you, but I like those odds.

 

9. Strength Training Makes Your Balance Better

Having adequate muscle strength is integral to stabilizing your body’s joints, and therefore maintaining your balance. Conversely, if you lose strength (as we tend to with inactive aging, for example), balance decreases, and you risk of falling increases .

Its not good.

However, strength training has been shown to reverse this phenomenon by improving your balance in a very big way.

I should also note that individualized strength training actually appears to offer a more effective way of improving balance than traditional balance-style training on wobble boards and other crazy contraptions.

So ditch the wobble board and pick up a dumbbell. Your body will thank you for it.

 

10. Strength Training Gets You Sleeping Better

I love sleep.

I hate not being able to get to sleep.

Like, a lot.

Fortunately, I have a very simple remedy.

Starting a regular strength training routine has been shown to cause huge improvements in sleep quality, and can even get you sleeping longer. This has obvious implications for your health, and your ability to function on a daily basis.

In summary, getting stronger = sleeping better.

 

11. Strength Training Promotes Fat Loss

Strength training increases the amount of muscle mass that you have on your body. Now, muscle tissue is known as active tissue because it actually burns energy to function.

To put it simply, the more muscle you have on your body, the more energy your burn every single day – irrespective of your actual exercise levels.

As a result, strength training has shown time and time again to be a very good way of promoting fat loss.

 

12. Strength Training Improves Endurance Performance

Last but not least, strength training has even been shown to improve endurance performance.

Most people who run marathons, or love hopping on the bike for long rides, often have the misconception that lifting weights will make them heavier, and therefore make them slower. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Strength training actually makes your muscular system more efficient, while also increasing the amount of force you can put into every stroke of the pedal, or every strike of the ground. In turn, it has been shown to improve your efficiency as both a runner and a cyclist.

This simply means that strength training makes you faster over long distances, not slower.

 

Take Home Message

Its a shame to think about all those people who have died in pursuit of the fountain of youth when it was under their nose the whole time. Yep, strength training.

With the ability to improve everything from heart health and cognitive function, all the way to endurance performance, it is hands down the most bang for your buck exercise modality on the planet.

So what are you waiting for?

Go pick up something heavy and put it down again – your body (and mind) will thank you for it.

About the Author

HIIT Your Way to Health

HIIT Your Way to Health

Everybody on the planet knows full well that exercise is damn good for them. But for some reason, they consistently fail to do enough of it.

Now don’t get me wrong – I certainly appreciate that life can get in the way. Things get busy, time becomes limited, and exercise is often (and unfortunately) the first thing to go.

But to be completely honest, this isn’t really good enough.

You owe it to yourself to keep active.

Exercising on the regular staves off disease, improves your cognition and brain health, and helps you manage your weight. It even ensures that you can function at a high level well into your golden years (whenever they may be).

In short, exercise is a must.

So the key question isn’t ‘should I exercise?’ but rather, ‘how can I get the benefits of exercise, with the smallest possible time commitment?’

Enter high intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short)

 

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a type of exercise that revolves around performing short periods of intense exercise, alternating with low intensity recovery periods.

Pretty simple really.

A HIIT session might have you on the rower for 30 seconds at a near maximal intensity, and then 60 seconds at a very low intensity. This protocol would then be repeated for a total of 10 or 20 minutes, giving you a solid workout in the process.

Just to be clear – these higher intensity periods are pretty tough. In fact, they have you working much harder than you would be if you chose to go for a long jog.

But that’s kind of the point.

Because you are working harder than you would under normal circumstances, a single HIIT session requires less time. So much so, that a typical HIIT session will only last about one third of the time of a traditional ‘low-intensity’ training session, and give you as much (if not more) benefit.

HIIT = lots of bang for your buck.

 

What are the benefits of HIIT?

As I have already alluded to above, HIIT offers you a myriad of benefits.

Firstly, it increases your energy expenditure during the session, and after the session is finished. This means it really helps with weight management.

It also helps lower blood pressure and blood sugar, and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. This is important, as it lowers your chance of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes – two of the most common chronic diseases in modern society.

HIIT also impacts mental health.

A single HIIT session improves mood, and reduces stress and anxiety. Moreover, regular HIIT prevents against the onset of depression and anxiety.

Last but not least, HIIT causes vast improvement in fitness, and in a very short amount of time. It is even more effective than more traditional forms of aerobic exercise . This means that if you want to get as fit as possible as quickly as possible, then this is a good place to start.

So, in summary, heaps of benefit with minimal time commitment.

How can I do HIIT?

You know that HIIT offers a very simple way of getting all the benefits of exercise, and in a very short amount of time. Now I want to touch on how you can implement it.

With this in mind, I have outlined a few of my favorite HIIT protocols  below. You can simply select one of these, pick your favorite mode of exercise (whether it be running, on the bike, or on the rower), and go for barney!

  • Protocol 1: 30 seconds at 75% maximal speed, followed by 30 seconds are 40% maximal speed, for a duration of 8 minutes. Rest for 4 minutes, and then repeat once more.
  • Protocol 2: 15 seconds at 90% maximal speed, followed by 15 seconds completely stationary, for a duration of 8 minutes. Rest for 4 minutes, and then repeat once more.
  • Protocol 3 60 seconds at 75% maximal speed, followed by 120 seconds are 50% maximal speed, for a duration of 24 minutes.
  • Protocol 4: 30 seconds at 85% maximal speed, followed by 60 seconds are 40% maximal speed, for a duration of 24 minutes.

I should also touch on the fact that HIIT is quite demanding. Because of this, it really only needs to be completed 1-2 times per week.

Obviously you are more than welcome to perform other types of exercise around this (in fact, I would encourage it). As such, it makes the perfect supplement to your weight training sessions, and any longer duration aerobic activity that you might choose to do.

 

Take Home Message

HIIT offers a really simple way you can get some effective exercise into your routine, in the shortest amount of time possible. With this comes a number of potent health and fitness benefits, that may even outweigh those seen with traditional endurance training.

So give some of the protocols listed in this article a go and get back to us – we would love to hear how you went!

About the Author