HIIT Workout Research

HIIT

I think you’ll agree with me that using HIIT to transform your body and your health in superquick time would be like winning the lottery.

It turns out its not all hype. You can shred your fat up to 9 times faster using HIIT. It also transforms your body and increases many important health indicators, like insulin for diabetes.

The key is knowing what the science says…

In this post I will show you exactly what the research has shown, and the workouts they used. I’ll also add hiit workout mp3’s, like the one on the right, so you can get the most from your HIIT training.

Don’t forget to save this page if you like the workouts.

Research

Tremblay Research

How to Lose 9 X More Fat With HIIT

Boutcher Research

HIIT for Women

HIIT vs Cardio

How to Lose 9 X More Fat with HIIT

Tremblay is the landmark study for HIIT and Interval training…and the first one we will be looking at.

Volunteers for the study were split into two groups.

The first group did steady state cardio. Their workout comprised 45 minutes pedaling at a consistent rate, done 5 times per week, for 20 weeks.

The other group did two different HIIT intermittent intervals over 15 weeks.

  •  Short intervals: Sprints of 30 seconds followed by a rest
  • Long intervals: Sprints of 60 to 90 seconds followed by a rest.

The HIIT resulted in 9 times more fat loss for the same energy expenditure as the cardio.

” Results showed that the decrease in subcutaneous fat relative to the energy cost of training was ninefold greater in the HIIT program than in the ET program”
Tremblay, Simoneau, Bouchard

Tremblay HIIT Fat loss per Body Part

Thoughts on the Tremblay HIIT Workout research

Fat Loss

The takeaway from this study is this: HIIT created significantly more fat loss in a fraction of the time and energy of endurance training. One important thing to note is that there was no change in diet. Adding a change in diet would substantially ramp up the results of the fat loss.

Fitness

Both the endurance training and the HIIT created an increase of fitness. The HIIT created this in a fraction of time and energy cost.

Body Weight

Interestingly, the HIIT group only lost 0.1 kg of body weight, despite losing substantial amounts of body fat. This promotes the idea of HIIT for body re composition instead of just fat loss.

1 mm
Cardio Fat Loss
1 MJ
Cardio Energy Cost
1 mm
HIIT Fat Loss
1 MJ
HIIT Energy Cost

HIIT Workouts – Tremblay Research

HIIT Bike and Sprint Workouts

Short Interval

Sprint HIIT Workout

Although the Tremblay research was done using stationary bikes, sprinting could possbily be more effective.

Warmup: This HIIT is intense, so don’t risk pulling a muscle.
At a very basic level you could jog for around 5 minutes but my warmup routine is as follows.

Spend approximately 5 to 10 minutes doing dynamic flexibility stretching.
Jog for around three minutes. Do three three quarter paced sprints, each time increasing the intensity as you prepare your muscles to sprint.

The Sprint: Imagine how fast you could run a 100m sprint. This would represent 100% of your maximum work output.

In the research they set the first HIIT sprint workout to an intensity of 60% of your maximum work output. Every three weeks they increased this by 5%.

The Rest: Resting in HIIT does not involve stopping your exercise. It involves slowing down and letting your heart rate recover. In the Tremblay research, the volunteers brought their heart rates back to 120 beats per minute.

The Workout: Repeat the sprint and then the rest up to ten times. (If you are unfit you can start with as little as three or four sets and slowly build up)

Short Interval

Bike HIIT Workout

Although sprints may be slightly more beneficial, using a spin bike has wonderful advantages. Essentially, its a lot more difficult to be injured, secondly, you have complete control in the workout

Warmup:  Spend approximately five minutes warming up. Peddle at a pace where you work up a sweat but you aren’t out of breath. Do a couple of three quarter sprints to get yourself ready.

The Sprint: What makes the spin bike useful in HIIT is that we can change the resistance. As we will see in further research this resistance plays a large role in the effectiveness of your workout.
In gauging what 100% effort looks like, your resistance should be high enough that you can only last for ten seconds sprinting at that resistance.
Then figure out what 60% of that intensity looks like, and start with that. Every couple of weeks increase the intensity by 5%.

The Rest: For the rest section you want to take all of the resistance off or at least make it minor. Then gently peddle at about 20 revolutions per minute. Your aim is to get your heart rate back to about 120 bpm.

The HIIT Workout: Alternate between sprinting and resting until you have completed 10 sets. If you are unfit or struggling you have a few options. You can lower the number of sets, even doing four sets will be beneficial. You can also shorten the duration of the sprint to 15 seconds or lastly, you can drop the resistance of the bike.

Featured

30 Second HIIT Timer

This IntervalMP3 is a full interval timer workout for the two workouts above.  The music is split into 30 second sprints with 90 second rests. Just click on the play button to start.

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Long Interval

Sprint HIIT Workout

This longer sprint is done at a slower speed than the short sprint, but is gruelling.

The Warmup: Your warmup should be the same as in the shorter sprint. Jog to warm up the muscles and build up some sweat. Using dynamic stretching to get your muscles warmed up for stretching.

The Sprint: Your sprint intensisty is less than the shorter sprints (so that youc an actually finish the workout). In the research the intensity was set at 70% of the athletes maximum intenty for a sixty second sprint. After a few sets of this you will be struggling to maintain that intensity.

The Recovery: As in the short sprint, this involves a light jog allowing your body to recover. Your breath should return to normal and your heart rate return down to the 120 bpm mark.

The HIIT Workout: Repeat this routine of 60 second sprints with 90 second recoveries for eight sets. If you find you aren’t recovering fast enough between the sets, skip a set and give yourself extra rest.

Long Interval

Bike HIIT Workout

The picture of the HIIT workout is of a mountain bike but you can do this just as easily on a  spin bike.

Warmup: Spend approximately five minutes warming up. Peddle at a pace where you work up a sweat but you aren’t out of breath. Your sprints are more of an endurance nature rather than flat out sprinting.

The Sprint: Your intensity needs to be at 70% of what your maximum power output over 60 seconds would be. I would aim at about 100 to 120 revolutions per minute of your peddaling and adjust your resistance to get to the right intensity.

The Rest: For the rest section you want to take all of the resistance off or at least make it minor. Then gently peddle at about 20 revolutions per minute. Your aim is to get your heart rate back to about 120 bpm.

The HIIT Workout: Alternate between sprinting and resting until you have completed 8 sets. If you are unfit or struggling to recover between the sets, try skipping one set to give yourself extrat time to recover

Featured

60 Second HIIT Timer

This IntervalMP3 is a full interval timer workout for the two workouts above.  The music is split into 60 second sprints with 90 second rests. Just click on the play button to start.

HIIT for lower insulin, lower body fat, lower leg fat and lower abdominal fat

HIIT for Women

The ladies chosen for the the study were non smoking and inactive but otherwise healthy, aged between 18 and 30 years.

The group was split into three. One HIIT group, One steady state group and a control group.

The steady state cardio consisted of:

  • 5 minute warmup
  • Steady state cardio(at 60% VO2peak).
    This initially was around 10 minutes, and increased to 40 minutes of exercise per session.
  • 5 minute warm down.

The HIIT group workout was as follows (3 X per week)

  • 5 minute warmup
  • HIIT
    – 8 second sprint
    – 12 second rest
    They began with as little as 5 minutes of this, increasing to a maximum time of 20 minutes.
  • 5 minute warm down

The control group made no changes

You can see the results of the study below.

” Because of the ability of this program to induce fat loss, it would be beneficial to find a less demanding version of this protocol that would reduce body fat but would be more acceptable to sedentary individuals. “
EG Trapp, DJ Chisholm, J Freund and SH Boutcher

HIIT Fat loss per Body Part

Results for HIIT Workout for Women

Fat Loss

Despite having much shorter intervals the women had substantial fat loss. Overall a lost of 11.2% fat loss for women. Something to be noted is that the group did not change their diet at all. The conclusion is that fat loss would be considerably more effective if this was the case.

Insulin

High insulin is the primary marker for type 2 diabetes, one of the greatest cause of suffering in our time. In this research, the HIIT routines for women resulted in a decrease in 30.9% for their insulin levels. HIIT is not just for fat loss but health as well.

comparison with steady state

Interestingly, the HIIT group losing fat was not the biggest suprise. If you look below, the steady state group actually gained weight during the program.

HIIT Workouts for Women – Boutcher Research

Quick Sprint HIIT Workouts

MINI Interval

Bike HIIT Workout

A lot of women started this workout doing sprints for only 5 minutes. After two weeks all of them had made it up to 20 minutes. Once they could complete 20 minutes, resistance was increased on the bike by 0.5kgs

Warmup: Spend approximately five minutes warming up. Peddle at a pace where you work up a sweat but you aren’t out of breath. Your sprints are more of an endurance nature rather than flat out sprinting.

The Sprint: The sprints are so short, so your intensity should be all the power you can muster over 8 seconds. As you get fitter you would want your resistance as high as you can cope with.

The Rest: You have a very short rest, so back off the pedaling completely and just try catch your breath.

 

Mini HIIT Sprint

8 Second HIIT Timer

This IntervalMP3 is a full interval timer workout for the two workouts above.  The music is split into 8 second sprints with 12 second rests. Just click on the play button to start.

More to come….