View Full Version : Optimum time of intervals in HIT cardio

11-21-2001, 04:54 PM
hey guys, what is the optimum time range for each interval for interval cardio training.

for example, would sprinting for 60 seconds/walking for 60 seconds be better than sprinting for 30 seconds/walking for 30 seconds?

and how about staggering the intervals, for example: 60 seconds sprint followed by 30 seconds walk etc..

any input?

thanks losers.

11-21-2001, 05:06 PM
When I used to do HIIT, I used to run 45 sec , as fast as I could ,and 45 sec , at a slow pace.
After a while I started to alternate , and I was doin 60 sec sprint and 60 sec walk. You can make your own routine ,the benefit will be almost the same. I did HIIT for 2 month and I lost 8lb.

Once in a while I still do HIIt for a total of 12-15 min. Its fun to alterante you cardio. I usually run 3 miles ,every other day.

chris mason
11-21-2001, 06:08 PM
I am sure that "optimum" will vary amongst individuals, but from what I can remember, 2-3 minutes followed by a similar rest/low intensity period is generally considered best.

11-22-2001, 05:24 AM
ok, but can you tell me why specifically 2-3 minutes is best?

11-22-2001, 06:32 AM
Just a theory but I maybe the idea is to choose whatever interval allows you to sprint all out. That's likely going to be more than 20 seconds and less than 3 minutes.

Maybe some runners in the group could shed some light. At what distance do you start to pace yourself in a race?

11-22-2001, 08:40 AM
What I've read suggests doing 30/30 intervals for 3-4 minutes followed by a 3 minute low-intensity cooldown leads to good things.

11-22-2001, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by PowerManDL
30/30 intervals for 3-4 minutes

what does this mean?

11-22-2001, 08:45 AM
30 seconds hard, 30 seconds light.

Also, heart rate should be at 150 bpm before starting intervals-- so a warmup is recommended.

11-22-2001, 08:50 AM
so for HIIT to be effective all you need is 3-4 minutes of it? at 30seconds high and 30 seconds low??

11-22-2001, 08:54 AM
You start with 4 minutes, and you add 1 minute each week until you are able to do it for 15 minutes.
In other words you start by doing 30/30 4 times, then 30/30 5 times the next week
I suppose by the time you get to 15 minutes you oughta be a world class sprinter.

11-22-2001, 08:55 AM
No, no, no--

15-20 minutes total; but the way I listed is a good way to organize your intensity within that time frame.

11-22-2001, 09:01 AM
so is my 1 minute on 1 minute off for 20-30 minutes with a 5 minute cooldown overkill?

11-22-2001, 09:03 AM
Not if you're a massachist :)

11-22-2001, 09:04 AM
For intervals, yeah, 30 minutes is a bit overkill. If you're doing it right, 15 minutes should lay you out like a three dollar whore. This is like the HIT approach to cardio-- give it all you got and quit.

And its spelled masochist.

11-22-2001, 09:08 AM
Yes sir. M A S O C H I S T

Do I get an A now teacher?

11-22-2001, 09:11 AM
okay so in chat you mentioned that for otimal fat-burning and anaerobic adaptations that it shouldn't be more then 15 minutes....

why wouldn't more time give you more benefits?

11-22-2001, 09:13 AM
so 30 second intervals for 15-20 minutes is considered best?

So after that you go home and die quietly in a dark corner then?

11-22-2001, 09:16 AM
and to build of chigs question.....

is there anything wrong with doing 60 second intervals too?

11-22-2001, 09:18 AM
The whole point of hiit is to burn fat with as little muscle loss as possible, if not even building up the leg muscles. Once you start going up to 30 minutes of cardio you're basically do long distance and catabolism is more than likely kicking in. As for the 60 seconds, I'm not sure, but I think it will lower your endurance much faster.

11-22-2001, 09:19 AM

Well, intervals are an interesting thing. At first glance, they seem like cardio, which they are. But, because of their nature, you're bringing anaerobic metabolism into it as well. Anaerobic metabolism wasn't designed to be used for long periods. Its designed to literally get the job done, then recuperate. Aerobic metabolism is what handles the long bouts of work.

Doing intervals hard enough to get the benefit, you wouldn't need (nor be able to do) more than 20 minutes or so. I don't know of many world-class sprinters that could go 30 minutes doing *hard* intervals, at the lower ratios.


30/30's for 3-4 minutes, then a 3 minute block of low-intensity to recover. Repeat that (edit: entire) block for 10-20 minutes.

11-22-2001, 09:20 AM
Yea what he said.

11-22-2001, 09:22 AM
Excellent, thanks Matt - that is exactly what i wanted to know.

11-22-2001, 09:24 AM
Sixty seconds will work, but consider this-- can you sprint all-out for 60 seconds? Further, can you do it repeatedly for 20-30 minutes?

Sixty seconds would be good for slightly lower intensity work, but you wouldn't be bringing the anaerobic threshold into it, which is the entire point of HIIT training.

11-22-2001, 09:28 AM

i do that like every night....60 on 60 off for 20-30 minutes depending on my energy levels....and yes my high intervals are all out...actually i just upped the resistance this past week because i had outgrown the old program. that killed me.

i suppose i could give 30 seconds a shot, but i'm not quite sure how to increase my intesisty past what it already is.

(also remember i'm a woman...my endurance is a bit different from yours)

11-22-2001, 09:34 AM
Dude, if you're pushing it to the point of a 3.9 40, then you're a freak.

11-22-2001, 10:13 PM
To up the intensity you could do two things. First, get off the cardio machine and actually sprint cause those things really cut into the intensity level when your doin HIIT. Second, take a break from HIIT style cardio for a week, maybe even two. Just do low intensity long duration cardio. Then when you come back to it, your body should be deconditioned to it. The problem is that right now your body has already adapted to the stress level so it won't provide much benefit. Thats also why you only want to move the duration up slowly when you first start- so that your body has to continually adapt, not adapt all at once.

11-23-2001, 06:20 AM
thanks aekhardt...i'm actually tweaking my program now, and adding in a walk/jog kind of routine in too....i think i'm gonna give that deconditioning thing a try too......