Yesterday, Timbo (aka Dr. Timothy Miller) added a comment to one of my older HIIT posts – HIIT v.s. Type 2 Diabetes.

Since it was an older post, most of you wwill never see his comment. And that would be a shame, because Tim’s description of a real HIIT workout was fantastic:

I’ve been doing HIIT workouts about four times per week for three weeks now. I do it on the elliptical trainer at the gym. (The stationary bike tends to hurt my knee.) I can go harder on the stair master, because I’m using my upper body at the same time as my legs. I warm up for about five minutes at modest speed and resistance, then turn up the resistance really high and go AS HARD AS I CAN for 30 seconds, then go slow and easy for five to ten minutes, and repeat, until I have done four high-intensity intervals. I go slow and easy for about five minutes to cool down. 25 to 30 minutes total.

When I say I go “as hard as I can,” this is what I mean. On a Life Fitness model 9500 elliptical trainer, I’m at level 18 at 80 to 90 rpm. This is equivalent to a rate 2000 calories per hour.

I’m a type-2 diabetic, 60 years old. The last two times I checked, I started the workout with blood glucose of 140 to 150. After the workout, it was down to about 70. I’ve had to reduce my insulin dose.

I’m hoping I will reduce my insulin need, and maybe won’t need insulin at all. (I don’t use oral meds.) Time will tell. I believe none of what I hear and half of what I see.

All the ecstatic blog posts and articles forget to mention one thing: These workouts are exhausting! Very exhausting. After each interval, I feel like I might faint and fall off the machine. I remain winded for about five minutes after each one. I’m physically tired for at least an hour after I leave the gym. I was already fairly fit. I’ve been doing fairly regular cardio and strength exercises for years. Maybe I’ll get used to these workouts after awhile.

HIIT is all about the effort – Full out 100% total exhaustion effort.

So, the next time you do a HIIT workout, you NEED to ask yourself…Am I giving 100% effort?

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