Since becoming a Personal Trainer in 2014, I have observed over the years the growing popularity of High Intensity Interval Training (HIT) as part of a varied training regime. On the outset, it appeared to be a training style that not only promoted increases in lean muscle mass and aerobic capacity through short bursts of explosive movements, but was also an efficient and convenient workout method for those with time restrictions or limited space/resources to perform physical activity. Due to these characteristics, I have gradually implemented this training style into my own regime and introduced it into my clients’ exercise prescription to complement their fat loss efforts.
Further investigation into the benefits of HIT has partially confirmed my knowledge and understanding of the exercise approach. According to a systematic review titled Effects of Low-Volume High-Intensity Interval Training (HIT) on Fitness in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Controlled and Non-Controlled Trials, the evidence concluded that low-volume HIT “produces moderate improvements in the aerobic power of active non-athletic and sedentary subjects” (Weston, Taylor, Batterham, Hopkins, 2014, pp. 1005).
Whilst this systematic review established the aerobic benefits of HIT in specific individuals, there was not a dedicated discussion regarding my predominant interest of the relationship between HIT and changes in body composition. The authors do mention that “the effectiveness of HIT to improve health-related outcomes has recently generated new interest” (Weston, Taylor, Batterham, Hopkins, 2014, pp. 1006), therefore indicating that further research needs to be conducted to determine these specific outcomes.
Nonetheless, my personal experiences of performing HIT has returned positive results in terms of increasing my aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. For my clients seeking to improve their cardiovascular health, prescribing HIT will certainly be beneficial in achieving that result.
Weston, M., Taylor K.L., Batterham, A.M., & Hopkins W.G. (2014). Effects of Low-Volume High Intensity Interval Training (HIT) on Fitness in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Controlled and Non-Controlled Trials. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.