April 18, 2015 // Category: Fitness Advisor

High intensity interval training has been showing up on fitness trends lists for a few years. But HIIT has been around much longer than many think.

Interval training dates back to the 1920s. Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, who won nine Olympic gold medals between 1920 and 1928, experimented with many unusual training approaches, one of which was structured periods of high intensity work and then rest. This method is thought by many to be the beginnings of what was later termed interval training.

Coach Woldemar Gerschler and physiologist Herbert Reindell developed a scientific approach to interval training in the 1930s. Their research involved 3,000 participants who followed a 21-day training program. Using various short distances for the high-intensity work periods, they saw the recovery period or ‘interval’ as the most significant part of the training method, because it provided the stimulus for physiological adaptations to take place.    

Coach Franz Stampfl led the development of interval training into the 1950s. And coach Peter Coe used interval training as part of an overall program with his son Sebastian Coe. The method paid off in the form of Olympic gold medals in 1980 and 1984 in the 1,500-meter run.

The Four-Minute Workout

In 1996, Dr. Izumi Tabata used interval training to develop an effective workout lasting just four minutes. Dr Tabata’s work and other studies have moved the fitness industry and its thinking, from one of volume and the use of continuous training to the use of high intensity, low volume training. HIIT in different forms has clearly been shown to produce improvements. 

HIIT found early success with Olympic athletes, but it’s not just elite athletes that benefit. Here are a couple of simple HIIT approaches that most exercisers can try.

Burgomaster Protocol

  • Appropriate warm up
  • Interval protocol: 30 seconds at maximum intensity, followed by 4 minutes of active recovery [Ratio 1:8]
  • Repeated for 4-7 intervals
  • Cool down

Little Protocol

  • Appropriate warm up
  • Interval protocol: 60 seconds at maximum intensity, followed by 75 seconds of recovery [Ratio 1:1.25]
  • Repeated for 8-12 intervals
  • Cool down


Enjoy your exercise!

Life Fitness

February 28, 2015 // Category: Fitness Advisor

3.3.15HighImpactvsLowImpact.jpgHeavy weights versus light weights. To stretch, or not to stretch. Group fitness versus sweating solo. These fitness “debates” are all about personal preference. But when it comes to high-impact versus low-impact exercise, there might actually be a correct answer. 

Life Fitness

February 05, 2015 // Category: Fitness Community

HIITisHot.jpgHIIT is one of the hottest workouts that exercisers are participating in today’s fitness market.

So what makes HIIT so popular? 

Life Fitness

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