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Truth Not Trends

Mar 7, 2022

This week we talk about the difference between High-intensity training (HIT) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

High-intensity training (HIT) is a form of strength training popularized in the 1970s by Arthur Jones, the founder of Nautilus. The training focuses on performing high quality weight training repetitions to the point of momentary muscular failure. The fundamental principles of high-intensity training (HIT) are that exercise must be very intense, but workouts should be relatively brief and infrequent.

Fartlek, which means "speed play" was developed in 1930 for the Swedish cross country racing teams. As the name implies, it differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes. One component of Fartlek training is that it used a faster-than-race pace and concentrated on both speed and endurance training.

More structured Interval training was first introduced in the 1950s as a higher intensity form called sprint interval training, which reached 100% maximum heart rate and was used to improve the performance of elite Olympic athletes.

Other terms that are used interchangeably with HIIT are Tabata and circuit training. Tabata is a form of HIIT that was created by Professor Izumi Tabata in 1996 involving Olympic speedskaters. His exercise intervals were extremely high intensity, followed by very brief rest periods.