by Maria Cress, MS., John Porcari, Ph.D., FACSM and Carl Foster, Ph.D., FACSM INTERVAL TRAINING WHEN DID IT BECOME A HIIT? I magine running through the woods, accelerating up slopes and around bends and decelerating only when you feel the need to, basing your 1- to 2- hour training on terrain and self-judgment alone. This type of running revolutionized athletic interval training in the 1930s and today is known as Fartlek running or ‘‘speed play.’’ It was developed in Sweden by Gosta Holmer (12). Later, two Germans, Woldemar Gerschler and cardi- ologist Herbert Reindel, decided Fartlek running did not offer enough precision when developing a training regimen. In particular, it did not give the opportunity to measure progression. Consequently, they developed the first interval train- ing program based on heart rate (HR) responses (12). Their program stressed run- ning short bouts (100 Y 450 m) at high inten- sity until an HR of 180 BPM was reached. The participant was then given 90 seconds of rest for HR to decrease to 120 BPM. If the HR did not decrease to this level, the workout was terminated. From their work, predictive relationships were devel- oped between average workout speed and race pace. The wide adoption of interval training led to the steady improvement in world record performances from the 400 m to the marathon. In the 1990s, interval training for clinical populations was popu- larized by the work of Katharina Meyer from Germany. She demonstrated that, after coronary bypass surgery, patients benefited more from interval training than continuous exercise (8). During the last de- cade, interval training has shown benefit in almost every population. INTERVAL TRAINING TODAY To prevent chronic disease, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends accumulating 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise a week. Less than half of Americans meet the cur- rent activity guidelines (15). Lack of time is the leading perceived barrier to exercise (11). Accordingly, exercise programs have leaned toward workouts that are time effi- cient. Interval training has been suggested as an answer for time-crunched Americans trying to achieve cardiovascular health. Interval training involves alternating periods of hard work with periods of ei- ther relative or complete rest. The work load usually is expressed relative to power output or speed, and recovering to a target HR is emphasized. It is differ- ent from the more commonly prescribed moderate-intensity continuous exercise (MICE), which involves maintaining a constant intensity throughout the dura- tion of the exercise period. Because of the oscillation of intensity, interval train- ing offers a break from the redundant and often monotonous regularity of con- tinuous training. Interval training usually refers to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where work intervals often exceed 90% of HR reserve (HRR). How- ever, moderate-intensity interval training (MIIT) has been incorporated into fitness programs where high-risk individuals
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- Spring '16
- High-intensity interval training, interval training, ACSM