Wednesday, March 08, 2017

High Intensity Interval Training

Amazon link

The Times says today, "Work out in short sharp bursts to slow the ageing process".
"American researchers led by a group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, now believe that short but vigorous bouts of effort boost the activity of genes that govern mitochondria, the power plants in muscle cells."
Of course we knew all this from Michael Mosley's BBC programmes a while back. Still, in the spirit that a little extra knowledge is not a bad thing, I considered buying Mosley's 'Fast Exercise' book but indifferent reviews pointed me instead to James Driver. This review seemed pretty balanced.

From Amazon reviewer Iain Rutherford:
"This book is very short, despite that, however about 10% of the way into the book I almost came close to putting it down and never picking it up again. The book is badly written and the initial parts of the book read more like anti continuous training (CT) propaganda rather than an introduction to HIIT. The means of referencing actually started to wind me up as it was impossible to follow the methodology applied with reference 10 being stated before reference 8 and so on. Some of the claims that are made in order to justify the authors love of HIIT and discrediting of CT are just not true ... this combined with the occasional meaningless graph that has no legend and no values on the axis grated on me. Finally the obscene overuse of exclamation marks made me feel like I was reading fan fiction rather than a serious book on an introduction to a type of training.

"All of that said, the book had massive turn around after the first 33%. At this stage the author starts to talk about HIIT, the means to doing sessions, rough programs and lay out of sessions. The means and ways that you can actually apply HIIT. It suddenly became a very good read, well laid out and discussed, even the exclamation marks died down to acceptable levels, it was almost as if a different author had taken over. That part of the book is well worth reading and actually bumped the score up to 3 stars, if the initial part of the book hadn't existed I would probably have given if it 4 to 5 stars. I'm now using the training and feel it is beneficial, this book has given me a great insight into the means to incorporating HIIT sessions into my training and in time I'm sure I'll be able to use it for other people's training.

"As my title says, just ignore the first third of the book, then read, you'll get a lot more from it and be less likely to get annoyed with it."
So it's due to arrive tomorrow. This morning I hit the exercise bike for five whole minutes with two high-intensity 30 second sessions. Yep, definitely felt better, and after a shower I felt my mitochondria had quite perked up.


Update: 9th March 2017.

The book arrived today. It's a lightweight read, just the kind of thing you'd expect a personal trainer to write. I can't say I learned anything substantial, although there were some 'how to' points worth reviewing. For example:

  • how hard the high-intensity phase (100% - hard as possible to failure; 10 - 30 secs),
  • how many reps (4 would be ballpark), 
  • how long recovery (10 seconds - harsh! - 30 secs through to two minutes), 
  • how long the HIIT session should be (no more than 30 minutes c. three times a week),
  • Warm up and down; stretch afterwards but not before - with recommended stretches. 

That kind of thing.

It's worth a flip-through but I'm not sure it's worth the money - probably get all that stuff for free on the Internet. Also, he's not a good writer - it's rather dry. I'd say three stars at most.

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