Welcome to HIIT Science

HIIT Science Overview

Written by Paul Laursen

August 21, 2018

Greetings fellow high-intensity interval training (HIIT) enthusiasts, and welcome to our blog, aptly named: “Get your HIIT”. Here, we will bring you content related to the science and application of HIIT, the central theme of HIIT Science. HIIT Science is the brainchild of Martin Buchheit and Paul Laursen who have a long history of interest and research in the area of HIIT, and importantly how it can be applied in the sport setting to develop athletic potential and enhance performance.  The purpose of HIIT Science is to disseminate both the fundamental science of HIIT, and its application in sport. We aim to achieve these goals through a number of means: Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training – The Book The foundation of our philosophy is presented in our new book, Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, published by Human Kinetics (Figure 1). The book is broken into two main parts:
  1. Part I: The Science of HIIT
  2. Part II: Applying HIIT in Sport
While we take the lead for Part I of our book, Part II of our book is generously provided by leading coaches and practitioners embedded within some of the most successful sporting teams today. Together, the material offered provides a useful footing for any passionate coach or sport scientist intent on understanding both the science and application of HIIT in high level sport. Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training – The Course Our years of experience in both academia and elite sport makes us well aware of the current abyss between these “two worlds”. As Martin reminds us: “Houston, we still have a problem”. While both realms are highly valued, it is clear that collectively we could do a better job at BOTH teaching the scientific underpinnings of training and showing those in academia the reality of the daily demands on athletes and coaches. Indeed, few academic programs in the world include immersion opportunities for their students in high-level sport. Equally, many of those already embedded in elite sport are unable to afford either the cost or time associated with attending a 4-year university degree. Moreover, for those enrolled in degree programs, it’s uncertain whether the information gained can be usefully applied within their particular sport operation. Those who are already working in sport implicitly understand context and we know that if those individuals get the science right, they will immediately enhance their athletes’ chances of succeeding. To address the gap between theory and practice, we have taken an additional step beyond our book and created an online course to teach both the science and application of HIIT in sport. The course follows the book’s content (Figure 1), and features the majority of the contributing experts. The course is being produced by the good folks at Elite HRV and will be available in December 2018 through the HIIT Science website. We are currently applying for Continuing Education Credits from the major national and international governing bodies of sport science and medicine so that the course may be used to further your continuing education requirements. The HIIT Science Community But wait, there’s more! In addition to the book and course, we have a number of free initiatives in the pipeline to further disseminate learning and development in the area. To complement the Get Your HIIT blog, we will also produce a podcast and an online discussion forum. Finally, partial proceeds of HIIT Science will be used to generate grants and scholarships for applicants who can demonstrate research initiative proposals from credit-based post-secondary institutions (college/university) that serve to bridge the gap between research and applied practice. Watch this space for more information. If any of these initiatives pique your interest, you can let us know by signing up to our newsletter, following us on our socials and helping to spread the word. We are always keen to hear from those who want to help our cause, so please do connect through our channels. The “I need my HIIT” @HIIT Science Social Contest To kick off our first contest, running from September 1 to December 1st  2018, we will give away up to 20 free books to the most creative social posts with the hashtag #ineedmyhiit @hiitscience.

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Have you ever thought about what tools are best for telling us when to apply HIIT the next time? How do we know when we will handle it again without driving our athlete into overtraining or injury risk? If you’ve read our ​book​ or taken our ​course​, you’ll know about how important this variable will be when we look to design the ideal program. Both heart rate variability and subjective comments were key factors we discussed. But is one better than the other?
Maybe. We’ve stumbled upon an incredible study that might just help clear our thoughts on the matter in terms of athlete readiness and when to apply HIIT again in the future to maximize performance potential. The blog post written by ​Diego Hilgemberg Figueiredo​ compares training plans guided by either HRV or subjective inner feelings. The findings may surprise you. Check out a sneak peak in the graphic below as to why heart rate and HRV can’t always bring us certainty around readiness to perform. They’re good, and helpful, but you must know your context! Combine it with feel to get the most power in your programming.


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