High-intensity interval training (HIIT) remains a common component of exercise regimens designed to improve fitness and performance for multiple age groups. Research interest on HIIT has surged in recent years due to the health benefits HIIT also provides. Benefits include improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and body composition.
The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee recognized the importance of HIIT’s relationship with health and included an umbrella review in its final report. Updated, detailed information can be found in High-Intensity Interval Training for Cardiometabolic Disease Prevention, one of ACSM's 14 new pronouncements that present the science behind the updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Authored primarily by ACSM subject matter experts, each pronouncement addresses a specific topic, sharing the scientific evidence and identifying key knowledge gaps for future research. All were published in the June 2019 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®. Health and fitness professionals and basic and applied scientists can use the pronouncements to plan future research projects, cite current evidence for papers and grants, and/or inform the development and delivery of effective interventions.
In this blog by ACSM Fellow Ken Powell, M.D., M.P.H., you’ll read a summary of this pronouncement, some of the conclusions, opportunities for additional research and the evidence behind the HIIT guidelines.