Talk:High-intensity interval training

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Inconsistency in times[edit]

At the start, it says HIIT sessions are usually 15-30 minutes long, but later on it says they should be 15-20 minutes. Is it a matter of preference, efficiency, or what? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

HIIT is the concept that you perform a short burst of high intensity exercise that follows a shorter period of rest. There is no set interval of times, but, anecdoctally, the suggested max times are usually under 45 minutes. At this point, you should be exhausted to the point where you cannot do any more repetitions. Again, the idea is that you are pushing yourself to the max each and every time which would explain the short duration. Adding to the 'complexity', it differs for people depending on their level of fitness. A well trained athlete may be able to go for an hour at this pace while a beginner may only last five minutes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silversurfer651 (talkcontribs) 17:55, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

In the opening paragraph, why 9-20 minutes and not 10-20 minutes? Should this be referenced.MrNiceGuy1113 (talk)

Because broscience isn't an exact science. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 27 June 2013 (UTC)


This appears to be duplicating the article on Interval training, and should probably be merged into that page. David Cohen 00:02, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

It isn't the same. There's a qualitative difference when the intensity crosses the threshold that makes it anaerobic (sprinting) not aerobic (running) exercise. Julian Morrison 04:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure they're different? The Interval training article talks about "brief bouts at near-maximum exertion interspersed with periods of lower-intensity activity," which sounds the same as "high-intensity" interval training to me. If you want to make it clear there is more than one kind of interval training, then it's probably best to do it within the main interval training page, so people looking for information about interval training will find the high-intensity variant in the same article. Just my $0.02. --David Cohen 01:44, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
The HIIT Article is actually slightly off. It should read "short bouts of maximal exertion" not "NEAR-maximal" where as interval is correct when it says near-maximal. The difference is quite significant actually. For most athletes, anaerobic activity begins somewhere in the high 80s% to low 90s% maximal heart rate, and as such, near maximal won't induce the exact same results as total maximal. Think of it like the difference between running a 50 yard dash, and a 200 yard run. They are both relatively short races, but one requires you to hold back just a tiny bit of reserves. If you tried to sprint full speed for 200 yards, odds are your legs would run out of energy well shy of the 200 yard finish. That point where you feel your legs start to fail you, that's the anaerobic threshold, you are trying to reach that EVERY time you do a HIIT cycle. If done correctly, the amount of time you can sustain maximal intensity should shorten with every cycle in a HIIT routine, by the end you should barely be able to hit maximal rates, when that point is reached, you've trained to your maximum level for the session and should now begin cool down. [Interval/HIIT 1]

The last few comments starting at "Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes...." are dying for a citation. These statements appear to be factual, but should not be regarded if they're only speculation. Under wikipedia ethic, they probably should be removed. (talk) 19:41, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

The example procedure says that it is more efficient if it is done outside rather than on a treadmill but then provides no justification for such a claim.. Anyone care to explain why it is more efficient? Alexgmcm (talk) 10:32, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Just an educated guess, but I'd imagine it's because the goal is to "sprint" as fast as you can to the point of exhaustion, then slow down a bit, and you can't easily do that on a treadmill. Treadmills are for going a relatively constant speed. If you got exhausted after sprinting on a treadmill, you'd fly off before you could slow it down. Strumphs (talk) 13:54, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
As well as the constant changes in speed that would be required on a treadmill for HIIT, the maximum speed setting for the best consumer grade and most commercial treadmills is in the range 16 kph – 22.5 kph (10 mph to 14 mph). Assume for the sake of arithmetical simplicity that the treadmill’s max speed is 20 kph (12.4 mph). 20 kph is equivalent to a three-minute-kilometre (the same as 100 metres run in 18 seconds) which is the speed maintained over the full 42.2 km marathon distance by the world's best marathoners. 20 kph is a very fast pace to keep up for a 42.2 km marathon but it’s hardly a sprint, at least not for a young, fit adult male or female human who in their prime should be capable of running 100 metres in under 18 seconds. For standard treadmills, one somewhat unsatisfactory solution is to increase the gradient, if necessary up to the maximum allowed. Increasing the gradient reduces one's maximal, sustainable 20-second-run speed significantly, especially if one is overweight. This solution is slightly unsatisfactory because while one is running at one's fastest for the set gradient, one is not then running at one's top speed. Running as fast as possible up a gradient puts different strains and stresses on the body to running as fast as possible on the flat. As also does running down gradients as fast as possible. (talk) 22:42, 19 October 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.Tabata I, Nishimura K, Kouzaki M, Hirai Y, Ogita F, Miyachi M, Yamamoto K.

Differences Between Sprint 8, Tabata And Tremblay[edit]

I think that Sprint 8 is a 30 sec sprint followed by a 90 sec rest. Tabata is 20 sec "sprint" followed by 10 sec rest. Does anyone know what the Trenblay system is? (talk) 14:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)BeeCier

"The Tremblay interval routine is somewhat complicated consisting of both short and long routines." Details at David spector (talk) 17:50, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Insulin Action[edit]

Is this the citation supporting the insulin action claim -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dthvt (talkcontribs) 04:06, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I can believe the insulin action claim (the cited research was done on healthy subjects), but the further claim that HIIT can prevent type-2 diabetes strikes me as pure fabrication (or the result of ignorance), not at all supported by this research. The only conclusion actually made in the cited article is that metabolic risk factors for type-2 diabetes are reduced. There is a big conceptual gap between the concepts of insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and the actual death of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
When we know what actually causes diabetes, perhaps we will be able to make cause-and-effect statements like the one in the article. Until then, however, we need the citation of a research study that actually shows prevention of type-2 diabetes. The sentence "HIIT may therefore represent a viable method for prevention of type-2 diabetes", if false, is highly misleading. It should be deleted. David spector (talk) 17:42, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Slight bias?[edit]

Might be nice to have some comments about relationship to more traditional forms of excercise. I spoke to an instructor who said many commercial gyms look down upon HIIT. I don't know if this is true or not, but if so might be interesting to hear about some criticisms of HIIT (if there are any). This seems like a very "positive" summary of HIIT. Are there downsides? Dangers? Is it "harder" for excercisers, or more unpleasant? Jdmwood (talk) 14:34, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

At least there should be a disclaimer stating that a physician should be consulted before starting any exercise program. If a sedentary person takes up HIIT and has a heart attack as a direct result, does the family sue Wikipedia, the authors of this article, or both? David spector (talk) 17:45, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I would think the contents of wikipedia has sort of a "caveat emptor" when reading any article. This resource is edited by anyone and everyone. Also, I would think in a very rare case would a sedentary person have a heart attack when doing HIIT - though it could happen.
As the exercise suggests, it is high intensity. This is definitely more taxing on the body. Depending on the person, they may like the discomfort associated with this type of exercise. Also, never trust an instructor that makes a blanket statement unless they are able to verify what they say and balance that with an opposing view. This only goes to show their lack of knowledge and comes off as "preach-y." The downside to this type of exercise is since it's high intensity, it's also more demanding on the body. This could lead to injury, but again this all depends on the state of the person. Do they have pre-existing conditions ie recovering from surgery, torn muscle, joint issues, etc.?
What's the level of fitness and their age? Someone who's 80 is going to react much differently to this form of exercise than someone who is 18. It's subjective.Silversurfer651 (talk) 18:18, 3 September 2010 (UTC)


Only benefits are listed; the absence of risks is suspicious. All exercise carries some risk with it. This article does not seem the least bit balanced.

I agree with the fact that there are no risks and this is a topic that should be fairly well researched. I did find one article on the web that could help but not sufficient enough. Maybe a starting point?MrNiceGuy1113 (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrNiceGuy1113 (talkcontribs) 21:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Criticism: long term effectiveness[edit]

It should be pointed out that most of the HIIT studies are short term, and I believe there are long term studies showing that many of the improvements begin to flatten out (as is the case with most fitness routines). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gregwebs (talkcontribs) 20:52, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

2:1 Ratio Discrepency[edit]

"Most HIIT sessions have a 2:1 ratio in terms of time. For example, for running, a HIIT session may be something as 60 seconds jog, 30 seconds sprint."

First of all, that second sentence contains questionable English. More importantly, I think it's backwards. As I understand it, it is 2:1::high-intensity:low-intensity. The following sentence, contained later in article, seems to agree.

"A popular regimen based on a 1996 study[2] uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at 170% of VO2MAX) followed by 10 seconds of rest..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the fast effort is generally longer in duration than the easy recovery jog. I would also query the reference in the article to 'the original protocol'. There is no source mentioning who is considered to be the author of the 'original protocol', so I would replace 'the original protocol' with 'a popular protocol'. Also, this type of training was used by the athletics coach Peter Coe when coaching his son Sebastian Coe in the 1970s: they would frequently do sessions of 200 metre runs with only 30 seconds recovery between each run. AlanD1956 (talk) 07:38, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect VO2 Max[edit]

This appears in the statement "...uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest." You cannot go anything over 100% of VO2max. Whoever, if anyone, keeps changing this back to 170% is highly misinformed. Even the referenced article says it is 70% of VO2max. This was supposed to be a minor change, but the change has been incorrectly reverted back to this 170% number. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Silversurfer651 (talkcontribs) 17:41, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

From the abstract of the article: "The exhaustive intermittent training consisted of seven to eight sets of 20-s exercise at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max with a 10-s rest between each bout." You should read it, really. And it means that intensity of the exercise was 170% of the intensity corresponding to VO2max. While you can't consume more oxygen than VO2max, you can still increase the intensity. (talk) 04:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I usually see the Vo2max as mls of oxygen per kilogram per minute and not percentage. But I get what you're sayingSilversurfer651 (talk) 21:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I deleted the VO2max statement ("(editors note: by definition, 170% VO2max is impossible. VO2max is the measure of the volume O2 is exchanged by the lungs per unit of time. Normally this is measured in Liters per minute. So in theory, if an athletes VO2max was 1L/min and that was the maximum amount of oxygen the lungs were capable of exchanging, then it could not proccess 1.7L/min, or 170% VO2max)") Three reasons: 1) it's original research: a claim that the published cited work is wrong. 2) the statement itself is incorrect: VO2max is not the maximum exercise intensity, only the maximum aerobic intensity. Beyond that, you're in anerobic metabolism. 3) It makes the paragraph internally contradictory and unreadable. If anyone wants a statement like this back, please include a citation, and rewrite the paragraph so it's coherent and useful to wikipedia readers. Dridgway (talk) 15:58, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

As already mentioned, the original article reads "an intensity of about 170% of VO2max". That is, the intensity was 1.7 times higher than the intensity of a 100% VO2max exercise. You really can't consume more oxygen than VO2max, but you can exercise at a higher intensity. I've updated the article to make it clearer. Roponor (talk) 02:25, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you can train at a intensity higher than VO2max, by using your anaerobic capacity in addition to your aerobic capacity. Doing so by requirement accumulates lactic acid in your muscles, since that's the only alternative to aerobic powering of the muscles. Tabata really does claim 170% of the VO2max intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times over 4 minutes. I don't have access to the full article, but this seems highly implausible. 170% over 20 seconds, plus 0% over 10 seconds means an average intensity of 113% (170*20+0*10)/30=113. If you work at 113% VO2max for 4 minutes, you thus have a lactic-acid buildup in your muscles equal to *atleast* 0.13 * 4 minutes = 31 seconds. It seems highly implausible that ordinary people are capable of working at 170% VO2max with that much lactic acid in their muscles. Does anyone have access to the full article to say what is actually said about the intensity, and how it was measured ? Eivind Kjørstad (talk) 12:43, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Changes made here should be necessary and clear[edit]

It really should go without saying, but apparently it needs to be said. If you're going to edit the HIIT section please stay on topic and make sure statements you make are clear.

"1) 3-5 minutes warmup, which consists of light jogging at first and then you gradually increase the intensity towards the end. Eating healthier foods and using this trainig makes losing fat a lot easier""

Eating healthier foods is vague and unnecessary. Unless you go on state what comprises of "healthier," do not state it. The article is about HIIT, not how to lose fat.Silversurfer651 (talk) 19:01, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this sentence, "HIIT is somewhat counterintuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively" necessary, especially the part about it being counterintuitive. It doesn't seem like it should be mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrNiceGuy1113 (talkcontribs) 21:30, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistency with Article on Aerobic Exercise[edit]

This article states that HIIT is a form of aerobic exercise, but then goes on to give percentages of VO2 Max that clearly fall under anaerobic on the chart on the Aerobic Exercise page. It seems to me that HIIT is a form of anaerobic exercise, but I'm not an exercise scientist, I'm just confused by the two articles. uroscion 13:22, 27 January 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The reason for the confusion between aerobic, anaerobic is that the high-intensity portions of HIIT approach or cross the anaerobic threshhold with the point of improving aerobic fitness. By taking the heart back and forth across the threshhold, you are improving its ability to engage in aerobic exercise. I will try to explain this (with citations) in my rewrite. Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 19:03, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Removed the "Disadvantages" section[edit]

I took the liberty of removing the whole "Disadvantages" section since it does not list any sources apart from Tabata's study, and it's interpretation of that study is clearly misguided. The claim that IT group showed almost no improvement over the second 3 weeks is not supported by the article - while the IT group VO2max progress during second 3 weeks was slower than their progress during first 3 weeks, it was still better than the "steady" ET group progress over the second 3 weeks.

Furthermore, either interpretation of this part of Tabata's study certainly constitutes original research and as such should not be on Wikipedia. (talk) 01:30, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Benefits section should be organized into (A) training benefits; and (B) metabolic benefits[edit]

Benefits section should be organized into

(A) training benefits

E.g., muscle & aerobic benefits


(B) metabolic benefits

E.g. improved glucose and insulin metabolism, fat loss, reduced central adiposity — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ocdnctx (talkcontribs) 13:17, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Should article be combined with "Interval training article?[edit]

Interval training is more widely known (per Google hits, below) most likely especially to the general public. This High-intensity interval training article and the Interval training article are both short. Both articles would benefit from being combined, and a clear explanation of the differences between the two added.

Failing combining the two, good cross-referencing and a disambiguation page are needed.

Google hits 2012 Jan. 7:

"interval training" 4,040,000 "HIIT" 3,370,000 "HIIE" 2,250,000 "High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise" 179,000 "High-intensity interval training" 741,000 "sprint interval training" 229,000 "Fartlek" (Swedish-origin informal interval training technique) 619,000

In the medical studies field, the acronym HIIE seems the preferred acronym; in PubMed, it is favored over HIIT by a factor approaching 5 to 1:

Google hits 2012 Jan. 7:

"pubmed HIIE" 2,170,000 hits

"pubmed HIIT" 457,000 hits

Posted unsigned by User:Ocdnctx, January 2012.

I've never been much of an athlete, but when I did the old-style intervals in the swimming pool the intended benefit was enhanced heart-rate recovery. With the new style intervals, which I now do on a rowing machine, the goal is total muscular depletion, triggering a specific set of muscular and energy-system adaptations (including the surge in HGH). I personally don't see any benefit to reading about the old-style intervals when I'm reviewing new findings concerning the new-style intervals. — MaxEnt 16:06, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
On one hand, I see why User:Ocdnctx suggests merging High-intensity interval training with the interval training article. If you look in a variety of subject encyclopedias, (e.g., 'Sage Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine', 'The Gale Encyclopedia of Fitness'), high-intensity interval training is just one type of interval training. And usually those encyclopedias don't have an entry under both - they just have interval training. On the other hand, the beauty of wikipedia as opposed to print encyclopedias is that when a sub-topic gets large enough, it is easy to make its own page and use wikilinking to bring it all together. I think the glut of pop-fitness blog-style information out there right now on high-intensity interval training suggests that HIIT deserves its own page on Wikipedia. There is a lot of research focused on specifically high-intensity interval training and it's been increasing over the past six years (see chart below - I did a few quick searches in my library's main search tool, limiting to 'scholarly journals' and each year in turn). This is true of research on interval training, too; however, I think the amount of research on specifically high-intensity forms of interval training, and the pop-culture interest, suggest that HIIT should be its own article. I do think the interval training article should be beefed up, though. I plan to add a few new citations to systematic reviews to this HIIT article; then try to ground both HIIT and the interval training article with some scholarly encyclopedia sources providing a framework for both types of exercise. Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 13:22, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
searches performed in EBSCO Discovery Service,, on 6/14/15, limited to scholarly articles
Okay, after sifting through the scholarly articles with "interval training" but not "high-intensity interval training," I see that they are still 'actualy' still about high-intensity interval training - they just call it sprint interval training or aerobic interval training, but they're still about HIIT. And consistently, interval training is contrasted with "moderate-intensity continuous training." If you do a search on "interval training" in PubMed you will see what I mean -- most researchers are contrasting "interval training" with "continuous moderate-intensity interval training". Of course the extreme-ness of what "high-intensity" means varies by regimen, but it seems like almost all mentions of "interval training" involve the idea of working at a level that is high-intensity for the subject interspersed with recovery periods. I would now advise these two articles be combined under "interval training" (to contrast it with "continuous training" and with disambiguation notes explaining "high-intensity interval training" is just modern terminology for what's historically been known as "interval training". IMHO, the whole "high-intensity" thing has just been added to make it sound "EXTREME, DUDE!" I can't find examples of interval training that aren't "high-intensity" by another name. I'm going to get to work on this offline so please let me know if you disagree with this approach! Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 18:57, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

There has been interval training for a very long time. Some of that would be high intensity (i.e. an extremely high percentage of maximum heart rate) and some would be lower (but still fairly high). The point about HIIT is that it makes certain claims about the effectiveness, specifically, of the very high percentage type of training (that is not thought to be present in the normal type). As such it probably deserves its own article - even if for no other reason than to highlight the lack of agreement between the various protocols adopted and similar lack of large cohort studies. PRL42 (talk) 18:19, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

New research on less intense HIIT[edit]

Adding this for future reference because I don't have the time right now to incorporate this new material into the article:

Gebala et al (cited in this article) came out with a new study[1] showing benefits from a less intense version of HIIT. The New York Times reported on it here. (talk) 20:57, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Note that "less strenuous" meant "one minute of strenuous effort, at about 90 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate (which most of us can estimate, very roughly, by subtracting our age from 220), followed by one minute of easy recovery. The effort and recovery are repeated 10 times, for a total of 20 minutes." So I think that's still "high intensity". Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 19:01, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Consider removing (or correctly supporting) subjective claim[edit]

The following quote is subjective and cites a 3rd level source (in Forbes) which sites a 2nd level source. It ought to be either removed or supported by a 2nd level source directly.

Quote: HIIT is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time.[5]

Arbalest Mike (talk) 17:02, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Undefined terms[edit]

The terms "heart rate reserve" and "eucaloric Interval training" are used but not linked to a description. Perhaps earlier occurrences were edited out? Either way I certainly don't have a clue what they mean. This article seems well maintained so it's probably best if I leave it to one of the regulars to fix. HuwG (talk) 21:47, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

eucaloric interval training[edit]

Isn't "eucaloric" a diet plan that matches food intake to daily exertion? What is "eucaloric interval training" (at the bottom of this topic)?

What's a runest?[edit]

Under the Peter Coe Regimen section: "Coe set sessions involving repeated fast 200 metre runs with only 30 seconds recovery between each fast runest." I would change it but i'm not sure if he just meant run or what. Bucknastay (talk) 06:40, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Was presumably runset, has evidently been fixed. PJTraill (talk) 13:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Eucaloric intervals hardly high intensity[edit]

From what I can glean from the abstract of the Venables/Jeukendrup paper, the intervals were hardly high intensity.

In a counterbalanced, crossover design, eight sedentary, obese, but otherwise healthy male participants performed two 4-wk blocks of endurance training, either at a predetermined intensity eliciting maximal fat oxidation (TPCON) or at 5-min intervals of +/- 20% FATmax (TPINT).

So it was 5 METs for fat burning, and the intervals alternated (equal time) between 4 and 6 METs? Something of that order? I'll leave it for another pair of eyes to parse the above and determine whether the entire section is best pared away. — MaxEnt 15:55, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


I believe the word "regimes" should be "regimens" in the sentence that begins, "However, research has shown that HIIT regimes . . ." in paragraph two of the home page for this article. I'm new to wikipedia editing and do not know how to simply make the correction. Apologies. Sewdebsays (talk) 16:41, 23 May 2017 (UTC)sewdebsays

 Done @Sewdebsays: As per wiktionary:regime#Noun, #4, regime is defined as "A regulated system; a regimen." Nevertheless, wiktionary:regimen#Noun #2 states "Any regulation or remedy which is intended to produce beneficial effects by gradual operation." I think you are correct in the latter is more precise.
Regarding editing Wikipedia, please refer to the welcome message that I placed on your web page that has a menu of useful links for learning your way around Wikipedia.
Happy editing! Peaceray (talk) 17:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

"Condition" not defined by link.[edit]

The statement "HIIT workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition" links to physical exercise which does not define "condition", which sounds a bit like a Germanism (de.wiktionary/Kondition, meaning 2, i.e. physical fitness, not currently at en.wiktionary/Kondition). If "condition" is meant to add significantly to "athletic capacity", it should be reformulated or linked to a clear definition; in the latter case, "condition" has a specialised meaning in this context, which needs to be added to en.wiktionary/condition. Otherwise "condition" should be removed. PJTraill (talk) 13:47, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Significance of disqualifications in 1996 Tabata study[edit]

The last sentence in the Tabata section notes the disqualification of 1996 study participants failing to meet some threshold, but doesn't connect that sentence to what precedes it. I'm assuming it's meant to convey that some have pointed to this as casting doubt on the significance of the findings previously described. It should say what doubts have been expressed in relation to this disqualification. The sentence had previously begun by telling us "it is important to note", but that is WP:EDITORIALIZING, and it wasn't helpful anyway to tell us that it was important to note when it didn't say what we should note specifically, nor why. Largoplazo (talk) 10:06, 29 May 2018 (UTC)