Speed Training: the missing HIIT Type

Written by Paul Laursen

March 17, 2022


As you may know, one of the key concepts HIIT Science developed over the last 3 years is the HIIT Types. This was Martin’s brainchild from the team’s two part review written in 2013, and Paul wrote a simple blog titled ‘why the HIIT Types’ that more recently outlines its importance. To summarise the concept, understanding the key physiological responses of different HIIT sessions enables you the ability to place the right session, in the right place, at the right time, in order to maximize the development of the physiological capacities you’re after. When you do a HIIT session, you can target 3 key physiological targets (Figure 1 ).

Figure 1. Key physical and metabolic targets of importance with HIIT, including the aerobic oxidative system, the anaerobic glycolytic system, and the neuromuscular system.

Logically, you end up with six different types of HIIT sessions (Figure 2) as shown in our most popular figure 2 below. While we put a lot of emphasis on the first 5 HIIT types, we thought it was time to shed some light on the last piece of the puzzle: the HIIT Type 6.

Figure 2. THE key figure of HIIT Science. Once the context is determined, use this flow chart to consider your HIIT target based on the desired level of oxidative, anaerobic or neuromuscular response.

HIIT Type 6: the missing piece of the puzzle

 So what is the HIIT Type 6 target? According to our own definition, a HIIT Type 6 target is essentially a large neuromuscular strain, with limited metabolic contribution (neither oxidative nor anaerobic) (Laursen and Buchheit, 2018). This would encompany any form of training aimed at developing strength, speed and power (Figure 3).

Figure 3. HIIT Type 6. The bars represent the contributions of the aerobic, anaerobic and neuromuscular systems.

In our book, we mainly focused on the first 5 HIIT types as these are the classic HIIT formats. We also consider the potential interferences between strength and endurance training with the excellent Jackson Fyfe. However, we have never, until now, focused on this critical aspect of performance, which is about developing your neuromuscular system to get stronger, faster and more powerful. This is quite paradoxical as everyone wants in some way to be better at one of those. For any race or key moment in sport, it is always a question of being quicker than someone else, isn’t it? Even when we look at the evidence side of things, research highlights that sprinting actions, for example, are the most common moments preceding a goal (Faude et al., 2012) or that exposure to top speed running could help to prevent soft-tissue injuries (Duhig et al., 2016, Buchheit, 2019). With this in mind, we reached out to one of the best specialists of speed training in the business: Dr Joseph Coyne.

Joseph used to be a coach for the sprint and jump section of Chinese track and field national team and he’s developed this new course for us with you and your athletes in mind. With numerous years of experience, Joseph has helped support 6 world records and over 15 gold medals at various world championships/Olympics, as well as working with two sub 10s 100m sprinters. In addition, he also has experience developing speed for team sport athletes, with the most famous being former All Black star Sonny Bill Williams. In the course, Joseph will be sharing his experience and all the tips you need to develop those speed qualities in your athletes. If you feel the need for speed, have a look at the video below to get an idea of what you could learn from Joseph in this incredible course!

Interested? Use the sign-up to the form below and be first to know when the course is available and benefit from an exclusive discount code!


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