High intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) is very popular these days, but is it really the best way to exercise?
Conventionally, if you do 20 minutes of running, cycling, aerobics, you do it at a constant speed. In interval training, you push yourself to exhaustion for a short duration, say 30 seconds, then rest for a set duration before repeating the cycle.
Personally, I found that it is a great way to boost your stamina, especially if you are training for an event. The problem comes when you are tired and focused on finishing the interval, so your form slips and this can result in injuries. My true story :(
Dr Martin Gibala, who has been researching interval training for 13 years, gave an interview to The New York Times.
Interestingly, he found no major difference between high intensity and normal workouts. However, because interval training is more time-efficient, it may be easier for people to fit it into their busy lives.
He said: "I do something physical every day, and it’s not all H.I.I.T. I play a weekly hockey game. But life is busy. My wife works and we have young kids. So most of the time, it’s intervals, sometimes on a stationary bike, sometimes on other equipment in my basement. I do high-speed pull-ups and push-ups. I’m like everyone else. I fit in as much exercise as I can, when I can, and that would be my advice to anyone."