Posted by: dukeraleighadmin | February 15, 2018

High Intensity Interval Training

by Jocelyn Wittstein, MD, and Melissa Raddatz, NP, of Duke Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become one of the most popular fitness trends of the last few years. Runners rave about it for cross training benefits to enhance their strength, fast twitch muscle fibers and metabolic rate. But for those who haven’t tried it, here’s how it works…

High Intensity (HI) is best defined as maximal effort. Interval Training (IT) is alternating high intensity effort with “active rest.”

  • Typical HIIT work outs are 20-60 minutes in length with multiple interval segments. Shorter work intervals are higher output. Longer work intervals are lower (yet demanding) output. These work intervals are then followed by “active rest.”
  • Typical exercises involved can vary from burpees to kettle bell swings and biking to rowing.
  • For those new to HIIT – follow the direction of your coach or group instructor for appropriate technique to avoid injury.
  • HIIT can be low intensity and still effective if you have joint pain.
  • 20-30 minute HIIT sessions are sufficient for results. Recommended maximum of 2-3 sessions/week. Optimal caloric burn occurs first thing in the morning.

Try HIIT for yourself! The entire workout takes about 25 minutes, and can be done at home.

  • Warm up = 5 minutes light running
  • Alternate the following 3 moves for 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest in between each. Repeat sequence for 5 rounds.
    • Mountain climbers (low impact = shoulder taps) for cardio, arms and core
    • Sit ups for core
    • Squats jumps (low impact = regular squat) for legs
  • Cool down = 5 minutes of light running

Running partners Dr. Jocelyn Wittstein and Melissa Raddatz, NP work together at Duke Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Dr. Jocelyn Wittstein is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic surgery at Duke. She specializes in adolescent and adult sports injuries. She has run several marathons and is an age group competitor. She previously coached Team in Training marathon groups in Eastern North Carolina. Melissa Raddatz, NP enjoys treating athletes and sports enthusiasts of all ages and levels. She ran Division I Cross-Country and Track at William & Mary. She has run a 2:50 marathon and is a five time nominee for New York Road Runners “Runner of the Year.”


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