#293 - AMA #57: High-intensity interval training: benefits, risks, protocols, and impact on longevity

The Peter Attia Drive

11-03-2024 • 18 mins

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In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter delves into the topic of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), starting with addressing some common misunderstandings around this type of exercise and breaking down what HIIT truly entails. He examines the correlation between HIIT and VO2 max, a vital metric for overall health and longevity, and describes the beneficial impact of HIIT on longevity when incorporated properly. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of building a wide base of cardiovascular fitness, reveals the optimal protocols for incorporating HIIT into a balanced routine, and discusses the risk of injury and other potential drawbacks of HIIT.

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We discuss:

  • Common questions about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) [1:30];
  • The origins of HIIT [3:15];
  • Defining HIIT training and differentiating it from sprint interval training (SIT) [5:45];
  • Why HIIT is often touted as a more efficient way to exercise [14:00];
  • Navigating the nuances of HIIT research: understanding limitations and the importance of a blended exercise routine [20:30];
  • The four pillars of exercise [24:15];
  • Using HIIT to improve VO2 max [26:00];
  • HIIT training for the untrained individual: impact on VO2 max and the interplay between exercise-induced adaptations and potential weight loss [33:00];
  • Sprint interval training (SIT) vs. HIIT: comparing the relative improvements in VO2 max and the impact of longer duration intervals [40:00];
  • Benefits and limitations of HIIT, drawbacks of overtraining with HIIT, and the importance of a diversified routine to increase total cardiorespiratory capacity [44:15];
  • HIIT protocols Peter recommends [58:45];
  • The risk of injury and other potential drawbacks of HIIT [1:02:15];
  • The importance of incorporating a balance of continuous moderate-intensity cardio and HIIT when aiming for longevity [1:04:00]; and
  • More.

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