Sneak Preview of Chapter 3

Chapter 3 focuses on the three key physiological targets of HIIT:

  • Aerobic (oxidative) metabolic response
  • Anaerobic (glycolytic) metabolic response
  • Neuromuscular and musculoskeletal strain

Curriculum at a Glance

Everything you need to understand the science and application of HIIT.
Chapter 1: Genesis and Evolution of High-Intensity Interval Training

You’ll begin with the origin, history, and evolution of HIIT training, before covering the current science and best practices.

One of the primary aims of this course is to show you how HIIT can be used as a tool or “weapon” to solve your programming puzzles.

By manipulating these HIIT variables, you create an arsenal of weapons to target physiological responses.

But your athletes and sports create a unique context that you must incorporate into training strategies in order to deliver performance gains.

So you’ll understand the importance and benefits of adapting your training programs to your specific context – your athletes’ physiological profile, phase of training, and needs relative to the demands of their sport – so you can effectively implement HIIT at the right place and time.

Lessons Included:

  • Defining high-intensity interval training
  • The history of HIIT
  • Defining sport performance and appreciating a sport’s context
  • Key contextual considerations needed for programming HIIT
Chapter 2: Traditional HIIT Methods

You’ll understand many useful HIIT training methods that have been developed over the decades by leading coaches and practitioners.

No one approach is perfect, but each is particularly effective in the right context.

You’ll see the full range of HIIT weapons at your disposal so you can craft a high-performance arsenal based on your specific needs.

Lessons Included:

  • Rating of perceived exertion method
  • Maximal aerobic speed and power
  • Heart rate based prescription
  • Anaerobic speed / power reserve
  • 30-15 intermittent fitness test
  • All-out sprint training
  • Track and field approach
  • Game-based HIIT or small-sided games
Chapter 3: Physiological Targets of HIIT

You’ll understand the key physiological aspects affected by HIIT, including:

  • Aerobic oxidative metabolic response targets, including cardiac output, aerobic enzymes, mitochondrial function as well as respiratory work.
  • Anaerobic glycolytic metabolic response targets that may cause changes in lactate kinetics and glycogen depletion.
  • Neuromuscular and musculoskeletal strain targets seen through soreness, muscle function and muscle strength or power as well as changes in movement characteristics.

Lessons Included:

  • The 3 key physiological targets of HIIT
  • The aerobic oxidative target and time spent at VO2max
  • The aerobic oxidative target and the respiratory system
  • The aerobic oxidative target and the circulatory system
  • The aerobic oxidative target and tissue deoxygenation
  • Metabolic systems in skeletal muscle
  • Metabolic thresholds
  • Metabolic response signals for adaptation in skeletal muscle
  • The anaerobic glycolytic target and its assessment
  • The anaerobic glycolytic target and HIIT considerations
  • The neuromuscular system and its assessment
  • The neuromuscular system target and HIIT considerations
Chapter 4: Manipulating High-Intensity Interval Training

You’ll get an introduction into the 12 variables you can manipulate to hone your HIIT weapons (long and short intervals, repeated sprints, sprint intervals and game-based HIIT).

The 12 variables include work intensity/duration, recovery period intensity/duration, number of intervals, series duration, between series recovery intensity/duration, total work performed, exercise mode, ground surface, environmental conditions and nutritional status.

Lessons Included:

  • The 12 key HIIT manipulation variables
    • Work bout intensity
    • Duration of the work bout
    • Recovery period intensity
    • Recovery period duration
    • Number of intervals or series duration
    • Number of interval bout series
    • Between-series recovery duration
    • Between-series recovery intensity
    • Total work performed
    • Exercise mode and ground surface for run-based HIIT
    • Environmental condition (heat and altitude)
    • Nutritional status
  • The 5 key HIIT weapons and their target types
    • Long intervals
    • Short intervals
    • Repeated sprint training
    • Sprint interval training
    • Game-based HIIT
Chapter 5: Fine Tuning Your HIIT Weapons

After establishing your five primary weapons and understanding the 12 variables, you’ll learn how to tell if your honed HIIT weapon is working.

Depending on how you sharpen the weapons, HIIT manipulations allow you to form 5 different target types based on the degree of oxidative, glycolytic, and neuromuscular emphasis evoked.

Lessons Included:

  • Long intervals
    • Intensity for eliciting the oxidative response
    • Duration for eliciting the oxidative response
    • Recovery characteristics and the oxidative response
    • Glycolytic response characteristics
    • Neuromuscular response characteristics
  • Short intervals
    • Intensity for eliciting the oxidative response
    • Duration for eliciting the oxidative response
    • Recovery characteristics and the oxidative response
    • Glycolytic response characteristics
    • Neuromuscular response characteristics
  • Repeated sprint training
    • Oxidative response characteristics
    • Glycolytic response characteristics
    • Neuromuscular response characteristics
  • Sprint interval training
    • Oxidative response characteristics
    • Glycolytic response characteristics
    • Neuromuscular response characteristics
  • Game-based HIIT
    • Oxidative response characteristics
    • Glycolytic response characteristics
    • Neuromuscular response characteristics
Chapter 6: Incorporating HIIT Into a Concurrent Training Program

You’ll understand the concept of concurrent training, defined as “the simultaneous integration of both strength training and metabolic conditioning within a periodized training regime” – a clear challenge in the practitioner’s programming puzzle.

However, with an understanding of the five types of HIIT targets and responses, you can minimize the interference effects between strength and metabolic training adaptation.

Lessons Included:

  • General strength vs metabolic conditioning factors and the interference phenomenon
  • Considering neuromuscular fatigue to explain the interference phenomenon
  • Intensity, volume and mode characteristics of concurrent training
  • Appreciating neuromuscular fatigue
  • Individual and team sport programming puzzle examples
Chapter 7: HIIT and Its Influence on Stress, Fatigue and Athlete Health

HIIT training can represent one of the most potent forms of exercise-related stress. This is why you’ll need a holistic perspective for understanding stress before objectively quantifying stress and individual load response.

This holistic perspective covers not only stress related to HIIT but also the stress-impact of other factors such as diet – all of which impact an athlete’s physiology via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

These factors serve to either attenuate or compound overall stress and subsequently improve or derail progress.

Lessons Included:

  • Health and fitness defined
  • The general adaptation continuum of stress tolerance
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis
  • Health assessment tools
  • Diet and nutrition
Chapter 8: Training Load

When it comes to HIIT-related stress, the primary variable is the theoretical concept of training load, defined as “the product of training intensity and training volume.”

Training load can be measured from either an external (e.g. power output or movement distance) or internal (e.g. heart rate) perspective. Understanding both is important, as together they help contextualize one another.

By measuring external and internal training loads, you can effectively quantify the “input stress” on the body – useful in both adapting your programming to avoid overtraining and understanding what has actually occurred in a session (prescribed versus actual training).

The knowledge and skills taught just in this chapter and the next are incredibly valuable to today’s high-performance sport organizations.

Lessons Included:

  • What is training load?
  • External training load
  • Internal training load
  • Power meters
  • Locomotor-based rates of movement
  • Heart rate, lactate and rating of perceived exertion
  • Training zones and TRIMP scores
Chapter 9: Response to Load

Training load response is highly specific to particular training programs and individual characteristics, so to determine training status you’ll learn to monitor 3 key families of markers:

  1. Internal metabolic, cardiopulmonary, and autonomic status as inferred by heart rate (HR).
  2. Neuromuscular status and locomotor efficiency using GPS and accelerometry.
  3. Overall health, fatigue, and mood (psychology) using wellness questionnaires.

In addition to defining and describing these parameters and measurement tools, you’ll know integrative assessment methods and simple statistical procedures to interpret your data.

The knowledge and skills taught just in this chapter and the previous are incredibly valuable to today’s high-performance sport organizations.

Lessons Included:

  • Assessing training status
  • Heart rate during exercise
  • Heart rate recovery
  • Heart rate variability
  • Neuromuscular response through locomotor activity
  • Optimizing the model
  • Wellness
  • Statistics are our weapons
Chapter 10: Putting It All Together

You’ll summarize all you’ve learned of the principles and practical applications of HIIT, and be prepared to deploy your new HIIT weapons. You’ll be ready to finalize your learning in the sport-specific module(s) you choose.

You’ll also get words of advice on the mindset you should adopt as you continue your journey through the world of high-performance sport.

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What students are saying about the course

Jack Nayler

Head of Sports Science at Glasgow Celtic FC. Former clubs include Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid

“The original ‘Science and Application of HIIT’ review articles – the basis for the HIIT Science course – were an instrumental resource that influenced how I think about training and go about my programming in top level clubs. It showed me how to think about objectives first, before content. Understanding this simple point helps to keep programming on track and tailor exercises to the individual player needs.”

Naoki Kawamori

Freelance S&C coach - Earth Friends Tokyo Z, Former S&C coach for Japan Institute of Sports Sciences

“The works of Martin and Paul, especially their review series of “High-intensity interval training, solutions to the programming puzzle”, have given me the foundation upon which I design high intensity interval training programs for my athletes, including Olympian fencers and professional basketball players. Their new project “Science & Application of High-Intensity Interval Training” is a must-have resource for all the strength and conditioning professionals.”


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