by PT Keenan Lyng


What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a type of exercise in which high-intensity exercises are performed with periods of low-intensity exercise or rest.

What determines “High intensity”?

High intensity is typically defined as exercising at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is different for every individual and can be estimated using the following formula: HRmax = 220 – age. Given that I am currently 27, my estimated maximal heart rate would be 193. Using this number I can then determine my heart rate zone during exercise [.85% x 193 = 164.]- [.90% x 193 = 173.7]. With this simple equation, I now have an estimated targeted heart rate for high intensity training which would be between 164-173 beats per minute.


Other ways of determining intensity

Gunnar Borg developed a perceived exertion chart known as the Borg Scale, a self-reported exertion scale correlated with targeted heart rate zones. By using the scale below you can estimate your heart rate based on self reported exertion.

Benefits of HIIT

– Time efficient, in as little as 15 minutes per session – less time than most resistance training workouts or longer duration moderate cardiovascular exercise.
– A higher rate of exercise adherence (more likely to ‘stick with it’ over time)
– Improvements in cardiovascular health: increases maximal oxygen consumption during exercise, endurance capacity
– Also shown to improve: insulin sensitivity, body composition and cognitive function
– Reduces your risk for developing: cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

How can I get started?

– HIIT training has a lot of variation and can be tailored to your individual lifestyle and interests.
– Biking workouts, resistance or bodyweight circuits, sprint intervals, hill climbs, and swimming are just a few examples of activities you could try in HIIT workouts.
– HIIT exercise can also be specific to your sport of choice during your off-season

Recovering between exercise sessions

– Given that HIIT requires you to exercise at a higher and harder rate, you should expect an adaptation period during the first few weeks of sessions.
– Be sure to take time off when needed from HIIT exercise and leave some time for stretching and mobility after sessions



– Please consult your physician or physiotherapist before attempting HIIT training if you have any current illnesses or medical conditions, especially anyone with medical history of cardiovascular disease, or any health history of the heart or lungs.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are curious or have any questions about HIIT
exercise or if you are looking to incorporate a new or different approach to exercise into your
daily or weekly routine.


To book an appointment with Keenan click here or call (902)892-9900.

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