While a consensus over when adults should begin receiving “high intensity interval training” (HIIT) — sometimes referred to as calorie counter cycling — is unclear, a lot of research seems to suggest that it’s relatively safe to add some resistance training to your daily routine. The American College of Sports Medicine proposed in 2007 that people gain five percent to seven percent body fat loss within six months after beginning HIIT.
The questions over which benefits and risks of HIIT outweigh the benefits of strength training should be put to rest. The damage that is done to blood vessels via traditional strength training training is (very fortunately for humans) relatively modest. More importantly, the way some types of HIIT reduce calorie intake via muscles — like HIIT Pilates — may mean that you don’t need to bulking up, or drop much weight as a whole. That’s good news, particularly if you’re someone who loves to work out, loves what you do, and loves the benefits (and the bad breath) that come with it. So the best advice? Wear a helmet. Don’t bike between 9am and 5pm. And when you do cardio, don’t forget to get resistance training.
The American College of Sports Medicine can hardly be faulted for being ahead of the curve in this sense. The move is one of the many notable endorsements for HIIT, an exercise program that typically combines lower-intensity intervals, weight training, plyometrics (or sprinting), and/or HIIT periods, at times often combined with interval cycling. Not since, for example, the premiere series “Breaking Bad” has an exercise program been shown to be so effective.
In a statement on Friday, the CDC declared that the American College of Sports Medicine endorsed the CDC’s moves to better support efforts to increase overall physical activity. In some ways, the statement is a remix of the previous fitness recommendations from the CDC, and indeed “outperforms” the College’s previous recommendations, “while [providing] the flexibility and emphasis on developmental exercise” that would be required for something like childhood and adult exercise programs to be truly effective. According to the CDC, recommendations for health and wellness individuals under 18 are now stronger than those for adults. The CDC also noted that various other groups, including those in the military, had already endorsed the college’s own existing fitness recommendations.
Now that HIIT is no longer considered a new fitness trend, the CDC seems to understand that it has a reputation. But it also seems to think that HIIT has the power to benefit everyone, regardless of age. It’s got the flavor of the moment, and there may very well be benefit there. That said, the moves the CDC made on Friday didn’t address the key question. What should the CDC do in the future? It should really have it under review. Because there should be more for everybody to get into.