The Truth About High Intensity Training

The Truth About Exercise

The Truth About Exercise

If you`ve half an interest in living longer, if you`re a parent, a kid, and or a fitness fiend, heck, if you`re a person, you must watch this.

It`s called “The Truth About Exercise”.
I`m guessing it`s not even news to some of you. This  BBC documentary premiered last year, after all. And the ideas it contains may not be new to you either. But they`re certainly new to me. And life changing.

The documentary presenter, Michael Mosley, is keen to find a more efficient, effective way of exercising than slogging for hours in the gym. What he discovers-with the help of scientists who have researched this-is that three minutes of exercise per week is enough to improve our cardi-vascular fitness and help improve our insulin/sugar balance.


It`s called High Intensity Training or yep, sorry to add yet another darned acronym to your collection ~HIT.

The key element of those three minutes, is that the exercise has to be twenty seconds of very tough high aerobic exercise. So, the documentary shows Mosley sweating his guts out on a stationary bike. But, just for twenty seconds. He takes a break, then back at it for another twenty seconds, another break, another twenty. And that`s IT. Done and dusted.

Do two more sessions of that per week and that`s all you need to push your blood glucose into safe levels and improve your cardio-vascular rating.

Oh, there`s other gems in the documentary too. Like how fat enters our bloodstream after a fry-up- you could literally see the fat floating around in there. And how  avoiding sitting around and just staying on your feet and moving makes such a difference to health and fitness. I urge you to watch that documentary soon. Or at least read up about it.

Fascinating and really important stuff.

Could it be that in running ten miles at an easy pace, I`m really just wasting my time insofar as improving my cardio-vascular fitness is concerned?

And if I pumped up the intensity in my interval sessions more, and shortened them, would that improve my overall fitness?

I worked HIT into my run yesterday. Truth be told, I took it easy.Just went for a pleasant amble on the beach and then did intervals-just like Mosley-bursts of really fast(well, for me!) stuff, then relaxing, repeating that four times.

Rocks, Gormanstown Beach March 2013

After that, I had a very pleasant swim in the sea. I tried ignoring the fact that there were so many people on the beach and just one swimmer. Yep, that was me! That always makes me nervous, like they`ve spotted a Man O War or shark or something.



Added to that, the sea itself was eerily calm. You know. Just like that opening sequence in JAWS. Heck, I could even hear that darned tuba and those cellos striking out their warning across the bay.

Brodie-My Hero

Brodie-Where are you when I need you?

And there wasn`t a Brodie in sight to save me.

Luckily, I got over that,and soon felt like I was bobbing about in a giant bath, surrounded by wallpaper poster of mountains, headland, sky and sea. The full 360. Yeah, nice.

There`s something about moving through all that salt and water that makes me feel just fantastic. I wouldn`t mind if Michael Mosley got a few more science geeks investigating that combination. It`s probably one of the very best things we can do for our physical and mental well-being.

Unfortunately, it can have an adverse effect on one`s perception of oneself. When I emerged, I believed I was a reincarnation of Ursula Andress.

Ursula "Red Hen" Andress

Ursula “Red Hen” Andress

Yeah, I felt that good.

Damned well couldn`t find a conch big enough, and unfortunately I had lost my dagger when I was warding off that marauding shark. But, otherwise, I was, in every way possible, the living embodiment of that most famous of Bond girls.

Maybe it`s time they investigated Delusional Effect of High Intensity Training…

Credits: JAWS pic

Brodie pic:

Ursula Andress pic:

22 thoughts on “The Truth About High Intensity Training

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  3. Trying hard to summon the energy for one burst of HIT, then I’ll think long and hard about the next one. Surely that’s enough of the physical for anyone. Pass the digestives. I need a cuppa to help me think 🙂

  4. Without doubt HIT is beneficial. In a running context you’ll never run a long way fast unless you can first run a short way fast. It also hurts, which is why I get a poor take-up for my Thursday track sessions but a better one for the Wednesday plod 🙂 And I’m now looking with some trepidation at my sausages sizzling away in the pan.

    • You`ll have got to those sausages if you`re doing HIT! I was particularly surprised at Mosley seeing an improvement in the blood sugar/insulin levels after just four weeks of HIT. And that training was just 20 seconds of high intensity x3 per session and then three times per week. Most people`s cardio vascular systems improve too in that short space of time.
      Still, I prefer plodding…

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  6. I hate speed training. You’ll have to drag me away from my long plods. Unsure what the shark equivalent would be on land – but that’s probably what is required in my case 🙂

  7. Loved that documentary by Michael Mosley, very interesting. Tabata and interval training is much along the lines of HIT. Enjoyed your post very much, the swim sounded lovely and I giggled about the calmness and jaws.

    • I remember your post about Tabata
      Do you still practise those techniques? I`m interested in anything that makes my sessions more effective and less painful.
      And I`m wary of waters that have been abandoned by other swimmers-always get the feeling they know something I should know!

      • Avoiding pain is a good thing. I only do tabata when I can’t get to bootcamp. But bootcamp is a good mix of sets and repeats very much like HIT and Tabata. I’m with you with sharks – I nearly panicked when I saw a reef shark while snorkelling, no amount of being told that they are harmless decreased my fear!

    • Of course! But beware. There`s a group of female scientific researchers investigating the impact of prolonged gazing at Ursula Andress. There`s findings to date are alarming: at best in can lead to complete blindness and an inability to enjoy the companionship of any other woman. Ever.

      • Actually, I did receive both your comments. I have been detained for the last couple of days by the NSA. Seems they wanted to question me about stalking Ursula Andress. You didn’t tell me they were monitoring your blog!

      • Haha! Think my first comment went into some kind of WordPress Comment limbo. When I found it, I trashed the second one, but yep, seems there`s all kinds of comment police and blog police about!

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