The Exercise Prescription -Part 5 – HIIT vs Aerobics

Traditional Moderate Intensity Aerobic Exercise

Compared to High Intensity Interval Training

Traditionally, the American Heart Association has trained us to believe aerobic exercise is recommended for durations of 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week, but in some medical circles this is not enough.

Remember when we talked about HIIT training earlier? HIIT training has better improvement in cardiovascular health when done at a fraction of the time including the rest periods needed to perform HIIT training. Did you know various studies show that the 45 minutes it takes of aerobic training at a moderate level can be accomplished with 20 minutes of HIIT training and it will likely show improvements in your VO2 max, lipid metabolism, muscle glycogen content, lactate buffering in muscles and mitochondrial activity? HIIT reduced mortality 44% compared to those who are sedentary.

Develop a HIIT training program for the reasons outlined above in combination with your own. If you really enjoy running 25 miles a week the needs analysis in your case might be different. We would need to add resistance, agility, and flexibility training to round off the program.

HIIT training includes sprints, sprints stair climbing, sprint cycling, sprint elliptical, sprint rowing, sprint swimming, rapid repeated Olympic lifting. Hopefully the theme is apparent. Or it can be done with burpees or some other full body exercise.

HIIT Training Examples


Spring Stair Climbing

Sprint Cycling

Spring Elliptical

Spring Rowing

Spring Swimming

Rapid Olympic Lifting

One way to build endurance is to pick an activity to do 30 seconds and then take a 60 second break as a beginner and then progress 30 seconds work to 30 seconds rest, then to 45 seconds work and 30 seconds rest and so on as you build endurance. This will be a much more effective program.