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Training seems simple enough. Pick an exercise and do it. However, like everything else, it’s not that simple. Training has evolved into three basic types: Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (MICT), High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Sprint Interval Training (SIT).


Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (MICT) is what most would consider the most traditional form of cardio. MICT is performing an activity or exercise, such as walking jogging, or running, at a continuous, steady, even pace for a relatively long period. When most people decide to begin exercising, this is what they usually do. The attitude is,” if a little is good then more is better.”

Because the duration of the workout is longer and there are no rest intervals, the overall intensity is also lower. Generally, your breathing will become harder and deeper in MICT. It becomes a little bit more difficult to hold a conversation during this type of training, although you can still talk.

Benefits of MICT

  • No instruction needed. Just do it.
  • No timekeeping required. No complicated timekeeping is necessary; just a watch to track total time.
  • You don’t stand out. You are just a person exercising; not someone that keeps running like crazy in spurts and walking between spurts.
For better results in a shorter amount of time, it is better to perform interval training.

Interval training

Instead of training at a long, continuous, steady pace, interval training involves alternating between relatively short periods of strenuous training and even shorter periods of rest.

Benefits of interval training

The most well-established benefit of interval training his better heart health. Interval training can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller amount of time spent exercising. Rather than concentrating on fat-burning or bigger muscles, it boosts your VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use.

Scientists have found that VO2 max is one of the best predictors of overall health. The more aerobically fit you are, the better your heart can pump blood, the longer it takes you to run out of breath, and the farther and faster you can perform your sport. And it can help prevent heart disease.
There are different types of interval training, such as MIIT- HIIT- SIT. The primary difference between the types is not the exercises that are performed, it’s the difference between the times of the work portion of the interval and the rest portion, and the intensity of the work portion.

Research has shown the less intense training programs with shorter intervals carried the least health benefits, while interval training studies reporting the greatest increases typically used longer (three- to five-minute) work intervals.

Interval training can be demanding mentally and physically, while steady-state continuous training more relaxing. However, if you are time-pressed and want fast results, interval training is the most efficient way to train.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout method that combines short bursts of intense aerobic or resistance exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. Runners have used interval training for over 100 years, alternating between sprints and jogging to improve their endurance. In but in the 2000s, HIIT workouts, such as the seven-minute workout in 2013 and the one-minute workout in 2016, became popular as ways to deliver the biggest health improvement for your exercise time.

When researchers talk about HIIT, they’re referring to mostly aerobic workouts that alternate intense exercise, during which a person’s heart rate reaches at least 80 percent of its maximum capacity usually for one to five minutes, with periods of rest or less intense exercise

An example of a lab-tested HIIT routine is the 4-by-4 from Norway. It involves a warmup, followed by four four-minute intervals (where your heart rate reaches past 80 percent of its maximum capacity), each interspersed with a three-minute recovery period, and finished off with a cool-down.
A shorter example of a HIIT routine is the 10-by-1, which involves 10 one-minute bursts of exercise each followed by one minute of recovery.

HIIT workouts are extremely challenging due to the long duration of the high-intensity intervals. Additionally, the rest intervals are at an intensity high enough to labor your breathing

Benefits of HIIT

HIIT can:
  • Burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. HIIT is more efficient at fat burning than MICT.
  • Increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. This results in additional calories being burned even after you have finished exercising.
  • Help you lose fat. HIIT can produce similar fat loss to traditional endurance exercise, with a much smaller time commitment. They can also reduce unhealthy visceral fat.
  • Lead to some muscle gain. However, the gain in muscle mass is primarily in the muscles being used the most, often the trunk and legs, and it is minimal; it’s more of a slight side-effect.
  • Improve oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption refers to your muscles' ability to use oxygen. Traditionally, increasing this involved long sessions of continuous running or cycling at a steady rate. However, HIIT can produce the same benefits in a shorter amount of time
  • Reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Research indicates that it can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in those who are overweight and obese. However, it appears that it does not typically change blood pressure in those of normal-weight and blood pressure.
  • Reduce blood sugar. Studies have found that not only does HIIT reduce blood sugar, but it also improves insulin resistance more than traditional continuous exercise.

HIIT for weight loss

Interval training is the most time-efficient way to burn calories. Research has shown that people can burn comparable amounts of calories in HIIT routines compared to longer continuous exercise routines. The reason for this is that higher-intensity exercise, as in intervals, results in a greater disturbance of the body’s homeostasis, and it takes more energy and oxygen to return it to normal basal levels. However, as research has shown, it is much easier to lose weight by cutting calories in your diet than trying to burn excess calories. To burn a lot of calories, you need to exercise for a prolonged period, HIIT routines are much shorter.


First described in 1960, Sprint Interval Training (SIT) is considered an effective and time-efficient means of achieving improving cardio-respiratory fitness and health outcomes among a variety of populations, healthy or otherwise. SIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise interspersed with low-intensity aerobic recovery intervals.

SIT is a sub-type of HIIT but differs drastically in a few ways. In SIT, the intervals of higher intensity training consist of all-out sprints where you are giving 100% of your effort. The rest intervals in SIT will generally be longer or equal to that of a HIIT workout and usually have a much lower work-to-rest ratio. Because of this extreme intensity, the duration of these intervals and the overall workout are short, which means working at this level of intensity is difficult to sustain. SIT is less of an endurance exercise and more of a maximum effort challenge.

Benefits of SIT

Research shows that SIT leads to a 39.95% higher reduction in body fat percentage than HIIT. Additionally, SIT participants exercised for 60.84% less time than HIIT.  SIT resulted in a 91.83% higher reduction in body fat percentage than MICT. Additionally, SIT participants exercised for 60.12% less time than MICT.

Typically, HIIT operates at a higher work-to-rest ratio than SIT. HIIT workouts generally last around 30-40 minutes although they can be a bit shorter. The work intervals are typically in the 2-4-minute range. Although that may be much longer than the sprints in SIT, the intensity of these intervals is lowered to compensate for the longer duration.

Which is best?

SIT seems the best type of training to do but the best one for you is the one that you will continue to do for a lifetime.

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