HIIT, Getting Started with Low-Volume Training

By Ken Artuz

By Ken Artuz


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HIIT, Low-Volume Training, A Comprehensive Study

HIIT has become increasingly popular among people for its time-efficient method of trying to get fit and healthy. However, it is crucial to note that not every HIIT workout is the same. Researchers have found that low-volume High-Intensity Interval Training is as beneficial as traditional high-volume HIIT exercises. Compared to other aerobic exercise training, including high-volume HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training, low-volume HIIT can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, glucose control, blood pressure, and cardiac function similarly or more significantly.

By exploring the potential benefits of such a training method, I’ll examine the study and its findings and analyze whether low-volume HIIT can benefit fitness beginners and athletes.

Artuz Fitness HIIT Getting Started with Low-Volume Training
Stock Photo via Anete Lusina

What Is HIIT in Low Volume?

Interval training that involves less time between sets of exercise and more extended rest periods is known as low-volume HIIT. The intensity of each interval is higher in this type of training than in traditional HIIT workouts, but fewer total reps. In a low-volume HIIT workout, a sprint may continue for 8-10 seconds with a rest period of four minutes, but in a traditional HIIT format, a sprint will consist of 20-30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

Artuz Fitness HIIT Getting Started with Low-Volume Training
Stock Photo: Pexels via Li Sun

The Studies On Low Volume HIIT

A study published in 2015 found that moderate-intensity activities produced similar cardiovascular and metabolic benefits as HIIT workouts. This study compared the effectiveness of HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) on 90 previously inactive participants. In the HIIT program, participants spent an average of 55 minutes per week exercising compared to MICT participants, that spent 128 minutes per week exercising.

Evidence suggests that low-volume HIIT improves performance and cardiovascular fitness more than traditional HIIT. In particular, low-volume HIIT groups experienced a significant increase in VO2 max (a measure of cardiovascular fitness).
Low-volume HIIT training offers additional health benefits than traditional aerobic exercise, such as blood sugar control, blood pressure, and heart function.

Artuz Fitness HIIT Getting Started with Low-Volume Training
Stock Photo via Cottonbro studio

The Benefits Breakdown

Benefits of Low Volume HIIT for beginners:

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness
  • Increases metabolism
  • Increases endurance
  • Increases muscle tone

Benefits of Low Volume HIIT for athletes:

  • Improves athletic performance
  • Increases speed and power
  • Increases muscle endurance
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness

In Closing

Low-volume HIIT can be a great exercise option, but I recommend keeping a few things in mind. It would be best to start by initiating small and gradually increasing the intensity and volume of your intervals. You should also listen to your body, rest properly between breaks, and ensure adequate recovery and rest time.

As you become more familiar with the format, you can gradually increase the number of reps and decrease the rest periods of your low-volume HIIT workouts. A good starting point would be 4-6 30-second sprints with 5 minutes of rest between each sprint.

We do not provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information provided on this website or by our brand should be viewed as a supplement and not replace the guidance provided by a qualified healthcare professional. Before taking any action based on the information presented on this platform, you should consult with a medical expert. No content available on this site, regardless of its publication date, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your physician or any other qualified clinician.

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