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Is High Intensity Interval Training Right For You?

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The new buzzword in exercise circles these days in “HIT” which stands for high intensity interval training. The promise with this type of workout is that it can give identical benefits to a much longer but less rigorous exercise routine in a fraction of the time. Sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it? It has been proven to be just as effective as it claims but the catch is that this new strategy calls for not just a step up in your normal effort but a all out, hold nothing back effort for each and every workout.

A friend of mine recently decided to tackle this challenging routine thinking of all the time she would save with shortened workouts. Her first routine required only 9 minutes of intense effort (one minute, two minutes, three minutes, two minutes, one minute) with an equal amount of low energy movement (rest time) in between each segment. This sounded like an absolute piece of cake to her. Her view changed rather rapidly once she got started and realized how difficult and demanding it was to maintain that level of effort for even 2 or 3 minutes. She confided that she felt physically ill (nauseated) at the conclusion of her 9 minute workout. That did not deter her from showing up for the next scheduled exercise session however. She found that she did realize similar results to those she derived from her marathon 2 hour workouts and vowed she would continue with HIT. She also confirmed that she felt a good deal more pain and physical discomfort with her new training methods. All things considered, she felt it was worth the effort.

This new approach is working for my friend but it is definitely not for everyone, especially those who require a low-impact, non-strenuous form of activity.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in volleyball nets and basketball backboards