High Intensity Interval training

Fitness gurus agree on HIIT effectiveness

In my school and university days, I did regular exercise. Mostly basketball (every day) and martial arts (three times a week). When I started working fulltime (around 1995) I stopped martial arts and basketball frequency decreased to once a week, if at all. I joined a “nautilus-machine” type gym and attended for a couple of years. After that my exercise regime went down to almost zero (except the occasional basket game with friends).

In 2003 things changed: I joined a gym again and started attending regularly (2-3 times a week). At the beginning it was mostly weight machines, but I wasn’t making much progress and my occasional stiff neck seemed to be getting worse. I looked around at websites talking about doing excersises without weights (like Matt Furey or Ross Enamait) because of my martial arts legacy, but what convinced me was Mistress Krista.

Her great site made me notice ExRx.net. The exersise descriptions were great, it included advice on stretching and the explanations seemed based on sound scientific principles (or at least peer-reviewed literature). I followed a training regime based on their workout templates and started seing some progress.

One day on ExRx, I came across a review for Starting Strength a book by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. The book is very good and, I think, it has helped me improve a lot in the last year or so.

Since latelly my huge commute is putting some strain on my gym routine, I’ve been looking at some “workout at home” options again. I’ve become interested in the type of High Intensity Interval Training that ExRx proposes and following that path (or perhaps it was through Ross Enamait again) I came across CrossFit and their extensive use of Tabata intervals (how come ExRx doesn’t mention them at all? have to ask them).

Now imagine my surprise as I’ve seen things come full circle: Mark Rippetoe’s gym is now part of the CrossFit movement and both him and Lon Kilgore are contributors to the CrossFit Journal.

Reminded me a bit of what I felt when the glamorous world of Object Oriented Design was shaken by the anouncement that OOD guru’s Booch, Rumbaugh and Jacobson were all going to work for Rational on UML.

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Friday 19 January 2007 13:45