Too Busy To Workout

Author: S. Bledsoe, M.D.

I first met Keith Chancey in 1998.  He was a former professional football wide receiver and a current youth minister at a church I was working at in Denton, Texas.  I remember one day walking into the local Golds Gym and seeing him pedaling like mad on a stationary bicycle.  He would then back off for a little, then start pedaling again as fast as he could.


After he was finished, I asked him what he was doing.  “Interval training”, he said.  Of course, I knew what that was, but I had never seen someone doing this as a replacement to their long, paced aerobic exercise.  He told me that 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a week was all he needed to stay in shape.  He was probably in his mid 40’s at the time and truly was in fantastic shape, so clearly, whatever he was doing was working well for him.  I wanted to know more.


He knew back then what most of us never realize, interval training can bring significant health benefits, increased weight loss, and improved work capacity with less time than most people realize.  Keith would get on the bike and pedal as fast as he could at the most difficult level for 1 minute straight.  The next minute was slow pedaling at the easiest level.  Then, he would go back to the one minute sprint.  At the end of 20 minutes, he was done.  That was his secret.


High intensity interval training (HIIT) is ideally suited for the busy person who wants maximal results for minimal time commitment.  The interesting thing though is that interval training may produce superior results to moderate intensity aerobic training .  Certainly, more studies are needed before a conclusion can be reached about the superiority of interval training, but it is undisputed that excellent results can be attained in less time with HIIT.


The next time you happen into the gym, give HIIT a try.  See what you think.  Let us know if you think this could be a new paradigm for you or just a new gimmick in the field of exercise.

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