High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective workout regimen that consists of repeated intense exercise punctuated by periods of rest. These exercises can be anything from running on a treadmill to pushups. What’s important is the intensity that you put into it.
The advantage of HIIT workouts is how time-efficient they are. Generally, HIIT workouts take under 30 minutes, but can have similar benefits of workouts twice the length.
The high-intensity tag may seem intimidating to many seniors. High-intensity means something different to everyone, though. How hard you work is more important than how fast or far you run. Be honest with yourself and go at your own pace.
Peter Coe Workout
The Peter Coe workout was the first HIIT workout to get noticed. Coe was an English athletics coach who developed the training method for his son, Sebastian. Sebastian Coe was a three-time Gold medalist and former record-holder for the 600m, 800m, and one mile runs.
Before you get too excited, this workout was created for top atheletes only.
Before you get too excited, this workout, combining strength, endurance, and speed training in high-intensity bursts, was for top athletes only. Coe’s workout was influential in popularizing HIIT workouts.
You can learn more about the training in Coe’s books, Winning Running: Successful 800m & 1500m Racing and Training and Training Distance Runner.
Tabata remain the most popular HIIT workout. Dr. Izumi Tabata developed it in 1996 for Japan’s Olympic speed skating team. The workouts run in 20-second cycles of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of active rest, or light movement such as jogging in place.
Beginners can find Tabata approachable, but, if you’re currently sedentary, we don’t recommend starting with it.
Tabata training requires eight 20/10 sets of an exercise. Workouts can last anywhere from 4 minutes to 30 minutes. Beginners can find Tabata approachable, but, if you’re currently sedentary, we don’t recommend starting with this. As with any of these workouts, know your limits, and seek the advice of your health professional.
Other HIIT Workouts
Since the introduction of HIIT workouts, other regimens have exploded in popularity. Each has set itself apart by length, intensity, or style.
One of the workouts getting the most press is the Gibala workout. Developed by Martin Gibala Ph.D., this workout gets results through minute-long cycles. Instead of the 20/10-second splits of Tabata, Gibala runs in 60-second exercise/rest cycles.
The Zuniga workout, by Jorge (you guessed it) Zuniga, is even quicker than this. Instead of 60-second cycles, the Zuniga runs on 30-second cycles. Both workouts demand 10 reps of high-intensity exercise, coming in at 20 minutes and 10 minutes respectively.
As always, please consult a medical professional before engaging in a new workout regimen!
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HIIT workouts aren’t for everyone, but there is value in interval workouts for those already in good shape who don’t have a ton of time to exercise. As always, please consult a medical professional before engaging in any new workout regimens.
AARP — Exercise Trend: HIIT Me With Your Best Shot!
DAREBEE — 30 days of HIIT
PopSugar — Burn More Calories and Lose Weight Faster With These Tabata Workouts
Senior Exercise Central — Should Seniors Do High Intensity Interval Training?