HIIT is the industry buzz word of 2016/17. It’s everywhere with every fitness guru, fanatic and icon espousing the benefits of HIIT training. In many ways they’re right, the benefits are clear, a total body calorie blitz that can be completed in under 20 minutes, with metabolism boosting benefits lasting the whole day, yes we can buy into that. They are efficient, can lead to fantastic results in a short time and they can be adapted to suit a gym full of equipment or your garden. But are they really the silver bullet to health and fitness, is HIIT the most efficient use of time, can too much HIIT be a bad thing?
While research is still light on the ground, there is some agreement that HIIT isn’t necessarily for everyone. Those with a history of heart problems, or with underlying issues, or those who have led a sedentary lifestyle might be at increased risk to injury Also, from a mentality point of view, some individuals just don’t respond well to bouts of high intensity training and may well be put off training after a couple of HIIT sessions.
What is VIIT
VIIT stands for Variable Intensity Interval Training. VIIT is formatted to take participants through high, medium and low intensity phases. Covering HIIT (high), strength and endurance (medium) and mobility/recovery (low). Participants would rotate through the phases, giving a complete workout.
Normally a VIIT workout would start with the high-intensity intervals, which should be performed close to maximal effort say 80-90%. This would be followed by the medium intensity segment, the emphasis here is strength and endurance. The final round is usually low intensity. Movements are typically mobility based.
This movement between different levels of intensity would allow a participant to have a slightly longer session without increasing the risk of injury or burn-out. It also means the body is tested in various different movements and ranges. It’s arguably a safer way to train, especially for beginners or those returning to training. You reap the benefits of a HIIT workout, whilst also improving stability and mobility.
Some benefits of VIIT include:
- Improved athletic performance
- Decreasing body fat
- Improvements in mental wellbeing
- Improving posture and balance
- Stress relief
Why VIIT Matters
HIIT, HVIT, VIIT and any other variation are tough. They challenge you, take you to the edge and possibly over it. But while they are all tough, VIIT is arguably the more rounded workout. VIIT matters. It’s balance between all-out effort, strength, endurance and mobility makes it more accessible and safer to do for the majority. By doing VIIT you can potentially go for longer, still burn those calories long after your session whilst getting a complete, rounded workout that causes less stress and keeps you coming back for more.