Endurance Athletes and HIIT Training

In recent years, High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a preferred method of training for both elite athletes and fitness professionals. HIIT workouts are based on the circuit training method and seek to maintain a high intensity throughout the workout.

Researchers, Howard and Stavrianeas (2017), investigated the benefits of HIIT by conducting a 10-week study researching the effects of HIIT training among in-season high school soccer players. Their study proved HIIT to be an effective approach to endurance training.

Benefits of HIIT

The study participants were randomly selected and divided into two groups: an experimental group (HIIT) and a control group (CON). The protocols of the study took into consideration the age, weight, and height of the study participants. Each value was recorded at the beginning and conclusion of the study. The study lasted for 10-weeks for both groups. The control group underwent normal team conditioning (endurance) training, while the experimental group performed “a HIIT protocol of a 30-second all-out sprint with 4.5 min active recovery, for 4 repetitions, 3 times a week. At week three the repetitions increased to five, and from week 5 onward it was increased to six, keeping HIIT training at 3 times a week” (p. 715).  The researchers concluded that

“HIIT is a viable alternative to traditional soccer conditioning for increasing aerobic power” (p. 717).

Try HIIT

If you are an endurance athlete – tennis, soccer, football, basketball – HIIT training may be a viable option for you. Talk with your coach or athletic trainer and seek to implement HIIT into your aerobic training program.

Below, you can find a sample HIIT workout. While it differs from the running/sprinting training in the above example, the routine offers both aerobic and anaerobic benefits and can be modified to your specifications.

Sample HIIT Workout

One-minute intervals with 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

Total time commitment: 40 min.

Part A. Complete 2 Rounds (No weights required)

  1. Jump Lunge
  2. Squats
  3. Triceps Dip
  4. Burpees
  5. Russian Twist
  6. Push-ups + Knee to elbow
  7. High Knees
  8. Side Plank Knee to Elbow touch (left side)
  9. Side Plank Knee to Elbow touch (right side)
  10. Bicycle Crunches

Part B. Complete 2 Rounds (Weights required):

  1. Squat and Press
  2. Pushups + row
  3. Side Burpee
  4. Dead Lifts
  5. Elevated Plank
  6. Alternating Curtsy Lunges
  7. Pushups + Superman
  8. Kettlebell Swings
  9. Plank Tuck Jump
  10. Max Lateral Jump

Reference:

Howard, N., & Stavrianeas, S. (2017). In-Season High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Conditioning In High School Soccer Players. International Journal Of Exercise Science, 10(5), 713-720.

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