More Chat on High Intensity Interval Training and Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption

Good Afternoon…

I took a break from my Sunday Coffee & Chat this past weekend on the account of celebrating the Resurrection (Easter). My intentions were to get back at it this Sunday, but an article came to my attention and I felt compelled to brag!

One of my many callback ringtones is “Humble and Kind’” by Tim McGraw. I have not always pulled off those traits Tim sings about, but I have strived to more often over the past few years. Hopefully more successful than not.

Today I may not be so much.

For a good part of 2 years I have been espousing, preaching, teaching and whatever else I could possibly do, the benefits of “High Intensity Interval Training” (HIIT) AND “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” (EPOC).

Whether the goal is to develop more powerful muscles or burn more calories, it has been proven scientifically that a correctly executed “HIIT” workout is the most effective way to accomplish these goals.

Maintaining a level of intensity that keeps your heart rate in an anerobic zone while working out develops powerful muscles (I will explain the difference between muscle strength and muscle power shortly), while also setting your body up for a more prolonged recovery (EPOC). The higher the intensity the longer the recovery and more importantly the longer our body burns calories post workout.

Let’s talk about muscle power versus muscle strength. Typical strength training focuses on building muscle through tearing down and recovery. These muscles are beneficial for a healthy frame, greater metabolic functioning and look pleasing in the mirror. All good reasons for building muscles (except maybe the mirror thing). Muscle power is more about our body functionality and less about vanity. Our ability to climb stairs is based on the power of the muscle and not so much how much weight the muscle can move. In the gym we often get caught up in the amount of weight we can lift, push or pull; but what matter more, is the power capability of the muscle. A muscular set of arms may look nice, but arms that can functionally accomplish the activities we require, are far more beneficial. Both power and strength require moving loads, but power is more about speed of movement than amount capability, or even appearance.

Back to “HIIT”

A few weeks ago, I chatted about the large increase in injuries due to “HIIT” workouts and yet I believe “HIIT” is an important part of a training program. The critical part of “HIIT” is not the intensity, but the most critical piece of a “HIIT” workout is correct form and posture. While working out in an elevated intensity will have some value, if it is not done correctly the value will be less, and the likelihood of injury becomes greater. Unfortunately, many group fitness classes become too large and it becomes impossible to make sure participants are maintaining the correct form and posture. I highly recommend never doing a “HIIT” group training that allows more than 5 or 6 participants.

So, allow me to brag about our approach to high intensity interval training. We have been all over the value of “HIIT” and “EPOC,” from day one! We also care about it being done right, for both effectiveness and safety. We do not focus on muscle size as much as we focus on helping every person function better and improve body composition.

To find out for yourself, reach out to us ( and we can put together a small group class for you and 3 or 4 of your friends.

Have a great finish to your week!

God Bless