The New York Times recently published an article about the complexities of everyone’s favorite exercise trend, High Intensity Interval Training. The article also discussed why HIIT can be so intimidating to people who are new to fitness or getting back in shape. Let’s take a look at how, writer Michelle V. Agins breaks it down:


According to the article, HIIT leads to larger increases in VO2max or maximal oxygen uptake (a measure of our aerobic fitness and endurance) than more moderate exercise.  Additionally,  higher VO2max is strongly associated with greater longevity suggesting intervals are likely to have a more positive influence on our life spans than gentle walks.

Agins also notes that HIIT may help to reduce fat stores around our midsections as effectively as longer, easier exercise, and it seems uniquely beneficial for our brains. Only strenuous exercise prompts the muscles to produce a gush of the chemical lactate which then travels through the blood to the brain, where it is known to promote the creation of new cells and blood vessels, upping brain health and lowering our risk for dementia.

Go Easy Though

While the article shares encouraging benefits about the popular fitness trend, it also signals a warning. You can’t do a HIIT workout everyday and avoid mental or physical injury. The workouts are too strenuous and shouldn’t be a part of your routine more than 3 times a week. At Beechmont, we encourage our members to try our Gauntlet class 2 or 3 times a week to receive all the health benefits of HIIT without burning out. We have plenty of tennis courts, pools, and treadmills for moderate exercise the rest of the week. 

Is HIIT a Little Intimidating?

“High Intensity” sounds a tad, well, intense! If these words have kept you from trying out our Gauntlet class we want to assure you that our expert trainers will not let you burnout. We promise to take care of you, body, mind, and spirit while you’re at our gym. Part of that care involves pushing you to achieve your goals and part of it is encouraging you to rest and recover. We want to help you reach goals in a balanced way while discovering a workout that you love. Our Gauntlet HIIT workout will leave you sweaty and completely invigorated. Come try it out this month!

For more information on HIIT workouts check out the New York Times November article: