Confusion over HIIT abounds it seems
For something so seemingly simple, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) causes far more confusion than it should in my view. Yet, we still see people out there who apparently don’t fully understand what HIIT entails and often confuse basic interval training for HIIT or HIIT for SIT! HIIT is a form of interval training but not all interval training is HIIT, and I’ll get to SIT in moment.
I suspect some of the confusion stems from the variations of HIIT and its evolution over time with different approaches and changes in terminology. For myself, back in the day, what I would have considered interval training would now be considered HIIT and what I considered HIIT would now be referred to as “sprint interval training” or SIT. Hell, even this introduction probably confused a few readers!
I will do my best to clarify it all and link to an excellent review paper at the end of this article that puts it to rest and fully covers physiological adaptations of HIT, SIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), gives recs on frequency/duration, etc. of each, covers the benefits of each, and so forth.The problem with scientists, especially for non-scientists, is science loves its terminology and acronyms and they love to either change them or create new ones just to mess with people. OK, that last part is not true, but for some, it feels that way I know. For example, MCIT is essentially the same, or at least very similar, to what most people already know as steady state low intensity (LISS) work, but one could argue moderate not identical to low intensity per se. No one splits the proverbial hair like scientists, but I digress. Don’t sweat it or over think it here.
A Common Source Of Confusion