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High Intensity Interval Training, sometimes also called:  FIIT – Full Intensity Interval Training, HIIE – High Intensity Intermittent Exercise or SIT – Sprint Interval Training can be simply described as an enhanced form of Interval training, which is an exercise form that alternates periods of short intense anaerobic exercises with a less intense recovery period. Some research has shown that short intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition. These style of workouts vary greatly and in general there is no specific formula to HIIT.

The great part is that this style of workout tends to be shorter in duration and considered an excellent way to maximize one’s workout when time is an issue or concern. There are also several varying styles or regimens of HIIT. One that has recently increased in popularity is the Tabata Regimen. Tabata is named after the professor (Isumi Tabata)who conducted an initial study utilizing Olympic speed skaters in 1996. This regimen uses 20 seconds of ultra intense exercises (basically  putting your body into the anaerobic training zone) followed by 10 seconds of rest and then repeated for 4 minutes or 8 cycles. This is generally followed by a 30 second rest period and then another cycle is done, so that overall there would be 6 – 8 cycles in total.

From my perspective for the Prime Male participant these varying versions of HIIT are valid if they are done safely – hence my acronym: SHIIT – Safe High Intensity Interval Training. The Prime Man should work up to these types of strenuous exercises sessions and should do these sessions with a seasoned qualified trainer. This is especially important if the Prime Male is just returning to exercising regularly. SHIIT sessions should also be alternated with a day of an easy recovery style workout utilizing some form of flexible functional fitness. Of course being the Pilates proponent that I am – my recommendation would be a group Pilates Mat class or equipment class. To me – form and function in exercise is of the utmost importance. The one thing that I have found about the majority of the HIIT training sessions I have attended is that they lack the functional flexibility section that the Prime Man really needs. The Prime Man also needs to know that the majority of these classes are populated with a younger demographic, the classes that I attend have participants that are easily 20 years my junior. Therefore – don’t  get intimidated or try to prove that you can do everything that the ‘kids’ do….

SHIIT  sessions can jump start your return to fitness or increase your level of fitness if you already do some form of exercise regularly. They are enjoyable and can really give you the encouragement to push your fitness level up.

Remember above all – your greatest asset is your good health!

Safe training and feel free to contact me with any questions.

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