New research suggests we can train smarter and harder – but not longer – to obtain beneficial results. Short duration, micro-HIIT sessions in the gym have shown promise and may be more beneficial than traditional exercise routines that rely on steady-state.
Micro-HIIT benefits are not new – a 2016 study showed that one minute of intense training within a 10 minute period yielded the same results as a 50-minute steady-state trained group over a 12-week period.
For those not familiar, HIIT interval training encompasses short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by periods of active rest. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, high-intensity intervals describe exercises performed at 80%-95% of one’s maximum heart rate, lasting anywhere between 5 seconds and 8 minutes.
Micro-HIIT is even shorter – following the 10-minute example referenced in the study. There are several exercises you can do for that “all-out” minute:
- Mountain climbers
- High Knee Jump
- Pull Ups
- Push Ups
- Box Jumps
Or, if you are on a cardio machine – these are perfect to push to full effort for a minute:
- Upright skier
If you can add 1 -2 Micro-HIIT sessions a week, you should notice results.
The bottom line is we need to think about training smart, given the complexity most face in time management – there are only so many hours in the day. But take note of the key component to Micro-HIIT success – the all-out effort for one minute, and continuous effort for the other 10. If you are going to cheat this, and think “exercising” for 10 minutes is enough unto itself, do not expect to see results. Shorter does not mean easier. But for those that can…