Unless you’ve been dwelling below a rock for the previous couple of years, you’re effectively conscious that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a scorching subject in health and sports activities coaching. And, in contrast to most health tendencies that come and go like clothes types, HIIT isn’t going anyplace as a result of it’s based mostly on a strong basis of analysis exhibiting its advantages on physique fats discount and enhancing health and conditioning.

According to the e book Fitness and Wellness, 10th ed., “Research signifies that extra well being and health advantages are reaped because the depth of train will increase. HIIT produces the best enhancements in cardio capability (VO2 max) and will increase the aptitude to train at a better share of that capability (anaerobic threshold), thus permitting the participant to burn extra energy throughout the train session. The information additionally present that HIIT additionally will increase the capability for fats oxidation (fats burning) throughout train.”

Back view of gorgeous sports activities individuals operating on a treadmill in gymnasium


Now, though you might be conversant in HIIT, you is probably not conversant in Supramaximal Interval Training (SMIT), which can be a more practical coaching methodology for energetic people (HIIT or SMIIT isn’t designed for newcomers) at enhancing health and efficiency.

A 2013 research printed within the European Journal of Sport Science seemed on the endurance and dash advantages of high-intensity and supramaximal interval coaching. The researchers on this research discovered that “enhancements in 3,000 m time trial efficiency had been larger following SMIT than steady operating, and enhancements in 40 m dash and Repeated Sprint Ability (RSA) efficiency had been larger following SMIT than HIT and steady operating.”

Additionally, the researchers on this research noticed a gender impact for the three,000-meter time trial solely, the place females modified extra following the coaching intervention than males.

In different phrases, (on this research) SMIT supplied the best advantages for bodily energetic people for concurrent enhancements in endurance, dash and repeated dash efficiency.

The purpose of this text is to 1) enable you to perceive the variations between HIIT and SMIT and a pair of) present you tips on how to safely and successfully incorporate SMIT into your exercises.


To higher perceive tips on how to use SMIT, and HIIT for that matter, it’s essential that you simply perceive the variations between High-intensity Interval Training and Supramaxmial Interval Training.

Put merely, HIIT is a coaching modality that includes performing high-intensity train intervals which are interspersed with low- to moderate-intensity restoration phases. SMIT includes performing maximal depth (all-out) bursts of train interspersed with relaxation intervals (no exercise).

With each HIIT and SMIT, the extra intense the work interval, the longer the restoration interval. That stated, since SMIT includes supramaximal (all-out) depth, the restoration interval includes full relaxation (no exercise)— whereas with HIIT, “energetic relaxation” can be utilized by incorporating low-intensity train within the restoration part (relying on one’s health degree).

VO2 Max and Supramaximal Training

In the 2013 research talked about beforehand, the individuals had been break up into three teams: The HIIT group did 4 to 6 bouts per session of 4 minutes of labor at 100 p.c of their VO2 max and 4 minutes passive restoration (standing or sitting nonetheless). Participants within the SMIT group carried out seven to 12 bouts per session of 30 seconds of labor at 130 p.c of their VO2 max with 150 seconds of passive restoration. And, the third (management) group did 30 minutes of steady operating at 75 p.c VO2 max. Each group skilled thrice per week for six weeks.

Now, for those who’re not conversant in the idea of VO2 max, you might be curious as to how one can work at 130 p.c of your VO2 max, as its counter intuitive that one can go above 100 p.c. The reply, to make clear this confusion, comes from a primary understanding of what your VO2 max is: VO2 max is measured in ml/kg/min; milliliters per kilogram a minute.

In the e book Physiology of Sport and Exercise: third Edition, VO2 max is outlined as:

“The highest charge of oxygen consumption attainable throughout maximal or exhaustive train.”

In different phrases, as train depth will increase, so does oxygen consumption. That stated, some extent is reached the place train depth can proceed to extend with out an related rise in oxygen consumption.

What we’re actually speaking about right here is cardio vs. anaerobic coaching.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

Put merely, cardio (coaching) means “with oxygen,” and anaerobic (coaching) means “with out oxygen.” And, as I simply defined, the primary factor that separates cardio from anaerobic coaching is depth.

To perceive this in additional sensible phrases, right here’s a easy, real-world instance:

Let’s say you and a good friend are jogging collectively. While you might be jogging, you might be carrying on a traditional dialog. If you’re capable of converse in regular (full) sentences with none huffing and puffing between phrases, it means you’re in an “cardio state” (i.e., with oxygen). However, for those who each resolve to choose up the tempo and pace as much as a quick run or dash, certain you’ll nonetheless be to speak to at least one one other, however you’ll be unable to get out full sentences with out huffing and puffing, which suggests you’re now in an “anaerobic state” (i.e., with out oxygen). This is your cardio ceiling or VO2 max.

The instance I simply gave you (above) is known as “The Talk Test.” It’s a quite simple, however authentic methodology of telling whether or not you’re in cardio or anaerobic state.

It’s that straightforward: If you’re capable of converse a full sentence, as you usually would in a dialog, you’re nonetheless in an cardio state. But if it’s important to take a breath (or just a few breaths) throughout a single sentence, you’re in an anaerobic state.

Now you possibly can see that 1) VO2 max is simply the utmost quantity of oxygen we are able to eat and make use of; the extent at which we can not enhance our consumption of oxygen, not the maximal quantity of working depth we are able to obtain. And, 2) Supramaximal coaching is just working at an depth that’s above your VO2 max: at an anaerobic depth.

Also, sooner or later earlier than we hit our VO2 max we come throughout the lactic threshold. The lactic threshold is successfully the boundary level that stops us making use of our full VO2 max. This is essential to know as a result of, though a lot is fabricated from the VO2 max by many train physiologists, VO2 max is not  predictor of efficiency in elite athletes. The winner of a marathon race, for instance, can’t be predicted from maximal oxygen uptake.3 While a excessive VO2 max could also be a prerequisite for efficiency in endurance occasions on the highest degree, different markers comparable to lactate threshold are extra predictive of efficiency.2

This actuality traces up completely with the findings of 2013 research printed within the European Journal of Sport Science talked about beforehand.

Shuttle Sprints: The Ultimate Supramaximal Interval Training

If your highschool expertise was something like mine, the time period “shuttle run” brings again gymnasium class flashbacks. I say maintain the reminiscence alive and add some old-school shuttle dash work to your exercises now that you’ve got new college information of how useful this type of coaching is to your health, determine and efficiency.

Put merely, shuttle sprints are one of many best possible methods to include SMIT into your exercises since you don’t want any particular gear and even have to be inside a gymnasium. You simply want the desire to undergo tremendous intense work, which— no secret right here— is simply plain robust! But, with the precise mindset you’ll understand it’s harder than YOU are!

How to do it:

  • Place two cones or water bottles roughly 25 yards aside.
  • Sprint as quick as doable backwards and forwards between the cones. Be certain to drive along with your arms whereas sprinting.
Up and again between the cones = 1 spherical journey.
  • You can do 150 yards, 200 yards, 250 yards or 300 yards. (6 spherical journeys = 300 yds, 5 spherical journeys = 250 yds, Four spherical journeys = 200 yds, Three spherical journeys = 150 yds)
  • Touch the cones every time. When altering course at every cone, concentrate on your lower-body alignment and management.
  • To assist stop hamstring pull, which frequently happens from fast begins, jog as much as the primary cone to start every dash spherical, as a substitute of ranging from a dead-stop place.

6-Week Shuttle Sprint Program

Training sensible means utilizing sensible development to steadily enhance the depth of every of your exercises to make sure that you’re regularly enhancing with a lot much less threat of harm or over-training.

Here’s a six-week shuttle dash exercise development you need to use to securely and successfully profit from this SMIT modality:

Week 1 – 300yd x 1, 250 x 1, 200 x 2, 150 x 2

Week 2 – 300 x 1, 250 x 2, 200 x 2, 150 x 1

Week 3 – 300 x 2, 250 x 1, 200 x 2, 150 x 1

Week 4 – 300 x 2, 250 x 1, 200 x 3, 150 x 1

Week 5 – 300yd x 2, 250 x 2, 200 x 2 , 150 x 2

Week 6 – 300 x 2, 250 x 3 , 200 x 2, 150 x 2

Rest two to 4 minutes between dash units relying in your health degree (i.e., restoration means). Don’t begin your subsequent dash set till you possibly can full a full sentence with out huffing and puffing (i.e., move the Talk Test).

Bad Knees? No Problem— Do This Instead!

If knee points stop you from even desirous about operating shuttle sprints, or perhaps you’re simply anxious about injuring your self— no downside! An Airdyne bike is the proper, knee-friendly, low-impact, however high-intensity various.

The Airdyne bike has been round for a number of a long time— It’s that bike the place you utilize your arms when you pedal. For this purpose the Airdyne is superior to the same old model bike you see in gyms that solely require you to make use of your legs.

If you possibly can’t discover a gymnasium with an Airdyne bike to make use of, I like to recommend shopping for one (used or new) as they’re not very costly and the worth they offer you fitness-wise far outweighs their monetary value.

To carry out SMIT utilizing the Airdyne bike, I like to recommend carried out seven to 12 bouts per session of 20 to 40 seconds of labor (as exhausting as you possibly can go) with two to 3 minutes remainder of passive restoration between units.

Final Words

Even for those who don’t have dangerous knees, the Airdyne bike can completely function a pleasant complement to sprinting. In different phrases, it’s one other efficient methodology you need to use so as to add range to you supramaximal interval coaching (SMIT) toolbox.


  1. Endurance and dash advantages of high-intensity and supra-maximal interval coaching. Cicioni-Kolsky DLorenzen CWilliams MDKemp JG. Eur J Sport Sci. 2013 May;13(3):304-11.
  2. Wilmore JH and Costill DL. (2005) Physiology of Sport and Exercise: third Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics
  3. Energetics in marathon operating. Medicine and Science in Sports. 1969 1(2):81-86

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