T Nation

Clarification on HIIT Please!

Hey everyone!
I’ve read through TC’s Running Man article and numerous other ones regarding HIIT, and wanted to clarify something. I tried to do 4 intervals of 30 sec all-out, 30 sec recovery, but got waaay to winded after the third sprint.

Should I be going 100% during those seconds, or about 90%? I only ask because I feel that if I were to truly sprint each one of these, how will I be able to make progress without lengthening the rest periods? Or, should I have started with a 20 second sprint and a minute recovery?

Thanks!

90% is good enough for now (just don’t start doggin it, make sure you’re really giving a true 90%). Actually, if your endurance sucks so bad you can’t run a mile, maybe work on that first, then go to HIIT.

Also, I’d suggest taking longer breaks until you get used to the workload. This stuff may cut into your leg days, so try to keep this and your leg workouts as far apart as possible. Start with a 3 or 1:4 work to rest ratio. 20 second sprints mean 80 seconds rest (walking, etc). I prefer to work with distances personally. Sprint 50-200 meters, rest, repeat.

Work the rest intervals down gradually (this is key) over the weeks until you’re at a 1:2 work to rest ratio, then start adding more sprints to the end of your workouts (up the volume). After a month of that, cut the volume down to your original sprints or just very slightly higher, but cut the rest intervals further.

Oh, and the Running Man article is by Christian Thibaudeau, not TC.

Thank you! I didn’t mean to say TC instead of CT, my bad. So, start low and increase the volume? Alrite, sounds good! Should I aim to warm-up with a mile or so, and than go right into the intervals? I don’t think that just five or ten minutes of intervals would suffice for cardio, even if it’s HIIT…

[quote]flyboy16 wrote:
Thank you! I didn’t mean to say TC instead of CT, my bad. So, start low and increase the volume? Alrite, sounds good! Should I aim to warm-up with a mile or so, and than go right into the intervals? I don’t think that just five or ten minutes of intervals would suffice for cardio, even if it’s HIIT…[/quote]

If it’s hard, it’s hard. Even if it’s only 5-10 minutes. One of my favorite cardio “finishers” (I inexpressibly hate doing cardio, unless absolutely necessary or for conditioning needs) is to grab a straight curl bar, put weight on there, and walk with it for laps around the gym. Zercher position, front squat position, back squat position.

After about 2-3 minutes, you want to die. That’s enough for about 2 laps. Then I rest or do abs. Then I do 2-3 more circuits with the weight and call it. Try it, I gaurantee 10 minutes is an eternity. That’s the beauty of HIIT. A hard 15 minutes will make you want to die, but will ultimately kick the crap out of your metabolism. Nevertheless, do a warmup of some kind.

I only mentioned the mile run as a suggestion if your overall endurance is uber-crap. If it’s not, don’t worry about it, or run a light mile as recovery on your off days.

What I mean is, you’ll feel like trash after a proper session, but you don’t want to gas too early into the session. Low-ish vol, then lower rest periods till it’s 1:2 work to rest. Then raise volume for 4 weeks, keeping rest intervals as constant as possible. Then the next week, drop the volume again to just above where it started and decrease the rest intervals again. Then wave the volume up for 4 weeks, etc.