Is HIIT Training Aerobic Or Anaerobic? (Best Exercise For Health & Fitness)

Is HIIT training aerobic or anaerobic? Today we’re going to explain it so that you can set some good goals both for your
fitness and your health. Hey I’m Dr. Sten Ekberg with Wellness
For Life and if you’d like to truly master health by understanding how the
body really works make sure that you subscribe and hit that notification bell
so that you don’t miss anything. There’s a lot of confusion about training and
aerobic and anaerobic, cortisol, blood sugar… so we’re gonna talk a little bit
about this today so that you can set some good goals and understand why
you’re doing it depending on what your health and fitness goals are. So let’s
assume that you have a resting heart rate of about 60 that’s if you’re in
pretty good shape a lot of people are anywhere from 60 up to 80 so if you can
get it closer to 60 then you’ve got a stronger heart and a little bit better
oxygen utilization. So that’s about thirty percent of your maximum heart
rate and from 60 up to about 120 is what we call the aerobic range that means
that your body is providing oxygen or air at a sufficient pace to keep up with
the exercise so because you’re keeping up you can keep doing it for hours this
would be leisurely – a fast walk it could be a bike ride something that you
can keep up for hours and still not feel totally beat the next day that’s about
60% of maximum heart rate then from that point up we’re getting into the an
aerobic that means without oxygen meaning we can’t breathe fast enough to
completely satisfy the body’s oxygen need so we’re falling a little bit
behind we can’t rely on fat burning and using oxygen we have to rely on sugar
and glycolysis and there’s some other videos I’ve done in the past where you
can check that out so between a heart rate of 120 to 160 or 60 to 80 percent
approximately we’re in the an aerobic range now we’re huffing
puffing and we can keep it up not for hours but minutes we can push it and do
it for 20 30 40 minutes if we have enough willpower but it’s sort of
painful and and we’re totally beat afterwards if we do that and then we get
into what we call high-intensity interval training this is the all-out
that give it all you got do-or-die kind of exercise and because
it’s it should be so intense you can only keep it up for seconds and if you
could keep it up for minutes then you’re really more in the anaerobic range you
haven’t really hit the zone of high intensity where you get some of those
specific benefits so your maximum heart rate is going to vary a little bit and
typically it’ll probably be somewhere between a hundred and sixty to 220 and
that’s because the maximum heart rate goes down as we age everyone’s a little
different but typically you’re gonna find it to be roughly 220 minus your age
so I am 54 years old so if I subtract my age from that I should have a maximum
heart rate of about 166 so when I really push myself if I do some uphill sprints
or something I can still get my heart rate to about 175 so it’s a ballpark
number but it’ll give you a pretty good range of where you need to be and the
220 heart rate would be basically a teenager so if you’re 60 years old shoot
for 160 if you’re a teenager shoot for 200 220 and that means you’re in within
a few percent of your maximum heart rate so I put a hundred-plus here because
myself for example can get over a hundred percent of my theoretical
maximum heart rate but once in order to get in to hit you want to push yourself
to where you’re very very close to that maximum heart rate so let’s look at
what’s happening in the body in these different areas in these different
stages so let’s look at stress level how much stress is it to the body and we we
talk about cortisol general stress level and how much does it break the body down
because we want to realize that exercise does not build you up exercise breaks
you down it’s the recovery and the proper
nutrition that builds you back up so you can do the exercise again even better
so with aerobic exercise when you’re just walking leisurely when you’re on a
bike ride in the park then it’s a very mild stress so you’re not making much
cortisol and there is not much breakdown so there’s not much need for recovery or
rebuilding there’s no challenge you don’t have to get better really to do
the bike ride next time then as we get up we go from mild to moderate cortisol
and stress and breakdown to severe to extreme and what this means is every one
of these has some benefits because the closer we get the more extreme we get
the higher the stress level which breaks us down and that’s not a great thing but
it is sort of a great thing because it’s the challenge to the body so it tells
the body hey you got to really really get your act together
you got to grow stronger so that you can handle this next time because if you do
this on a regular basic basis the body quickly gets the idea that this is going
to happen again and we’d better get our act together next we look at growth
hormone and this is sort of related to what I just mentioned growth hormone is
a rebuilding hormone it’s a rejuvenating hormone it’s extremely powerful for
anti-aging so powerful that they often give it as an as a drug but of course
when they give it as a drug you unbalance the body because you’re
pushing it in from the outside when you make it on your own you always remain in balance in your body so the growth hormone impact on
aerobic is very low you’re not challenging your body much as we go up
you get some and then you get more and at the hit level now you’re making as
much as three to four hundred percent the normal amount of growth hormone and
this stays up for 48 to 72 hours it degrades gradually so even doing a HIIT
workout twice a week is gonna keep you at a pretty high level of growth hormone
in a sustained way fitness now this depends on what you’re after now we’re
talking more about what’s your goal the fitness impact on aerobic is pretty low
with anaerobic you get more and more and once you get into hit you have a lot of
fitness impact so now we have to look at what is your goal I was an Olympic
decathlete so my goal was extremely event specific at a very very high level
so that meant I had to practice at the level and in the same way that I was
going to compete because if you’re if you’re a sprinter and you’re gonna run
the hundred meters and it’s gonna last 10 seconds and you’re gonna be all out
you’re gonna be on a hundred percent you can’t practice at 70 percent and then
believe that the body is ready to go to a hundred same thing if you’re a tennis
player or a rower or a mountain biker or a triathlete you have to do some base
training but then you have to gear it toward your specific goal now let’s look
at what some different goals might be so obviously if your goal is fitness if you
are a triathlete then you got to figure out how to balance this in a way to fit
your event if you’re a triathlete you’re gonna spend a lot of time right around
the lower end of an aerobic because you’re going to be going for six seven
eight hours so you can’t be up in here because you couldn’t sustain
it but you also can’t be down here because
then you’re not really getting the fitness level that you need but let’s
just say someone’s goal is health you don’t have any particular not going to
compete you’re not gonna race you just want to be moderately fit you want to be
healthy you want to maximize the growth hormone and the all these different
variables let’s say it and now it also depends on how old you are so if you’re
20 or 50 or 80 years old you’re probably going to have a little bit different
goals but let’s say you’re 20 years old and your goal is just to be healthy then
I would suggest and these are just rough numbers it’s not like I researched this
and said this is exactly what you need to do for this situation but it’ll give
you an idea I think of where how you can kind of fit this together so if you’re
20 years old then you probably just want to do somewhere between 60 and 90
percent of your training in the aerobic range meaning you’re breathing slowly
you’re breathing fully but steadily but you’re not panting and panicking and
this is tricky for a lot of people because they think training is pain they
think they have no pain no gain that they have to hurt in order to get
something out of it and that’s not true because at this level you have still
doubled your heart rate you have more than doubled your circulation because
each heartbeat pumps more blood so you’re tripled or quadrupled your
circulation your drainage your detox your oxygenation of tissues all of these
things are tremendously increased even at a moderate level long before you
actually feel pain or discomfort so if you’re just looking for health then do
the vast majority of your time in training in the arabic range meaning 120
or less in heartrate then you probably want to do some if you enjoy it if you
want like to Tenace if you like to do spin classes if
you like to do aerobics then do some of that if you enjoy it do some because
it’s going to get you some fitness it’s moderately stressful and again this
depends on how healthy you are to start with if you’re already a little bit
fragile then you probably don’t want to get into this range at all if you’re
just trying to get started you might spend as much as a hundred percent of
your time in in this range and then I would encourage you to still do a little
bit of high-intensity training even if you do ninety five percent down here and
you do nothing here do a little bit of high-intensity
but this also has to do with how fit you are how healthy are you if you have pain
if you have knee pain or back pain or Achilles pain you’re not going to be
able to do sprints so you have to adapt it to what you’re capable of doing
something that’s relatively safe would be a stationary bike for example you sit
down and you pedal as hard as you can for seconds not minutes or hours thirty
seconds you take a few seconds ten 20 second break you go all out again
30 seconds and you just do that until you get your heart rate up and you do
this no more than once or twice a week if you’re if you’re young and fit you
might do it a little bit more you might want to do it three or four even five
times if it’s event-specific but the older you get and the less
event-specific you are you probably don’t want to do this more than once or
twice a week for just a few minutes just long enough to get your heart rate into
that 95 to 100 percent range and now you are dramatically increasing your growth
hormone your anti-aging circumstances and so forth so if you’re 50 you might
want to go somewhere between 70 to 95 percent in the aerobic range if you
enjoy it do a little bit of anaerobic and do a little bit
of high intensity and even if you’re 80 years old if you can you might do as
anywhere from 80 to as much as a hundred percent in this range you may do
something here if you’re really youthful 80 year old and you like playing tennis
keep doing that or if you have some specific hobby and do what you can if
you’re if you’re not fit enough if you have pain or something keeping you from
it then your high intensity is going to be zero which holds true for the 50 year
olds as well but if you can try to do at least once a week maybe twice a little
bit of high intensity because now you are challenging your body you’re telling
your body hey we need some growth hormone we need something to build up
the body so that it can get better so you can get stronger so you can have
more vitality and deal with this stress tomorrow because it is very stressful
that’s why even though the tremendous benefits we want to keep this to a
minimum very very short duration not every day because this is low low stress
you can do as much as you like do it for hours if you enjoy it and in the
anaerobic range then you do as much as you enjoy but don’t let it become most
of the training that you do because now you’re just stressing your body without
really getting the health or fitness benefits so is hit training Arabic or
anaerobic well it’s on the spectrum so hit is an extreme version of anaerobic
stay tuned to our channel so you can learn more about health make sure you
subscribe and hit that notification and share this video with as many people as
you can because there’s a lot of people who want to be healthy but they’re not
quite sure how thanks for watching

25 thoughts on “Is HIIT Training Aerobic Or Anaerobic? (Best Exercise For Health & Fitness)

  1. Thanks again Dr. Ekberg, I will share this with as many as I can, and of course I know what I have to do πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

  2. If you liked this video check out these videos on stretching

  3. i can get my HR up high on a precor non-elliptical cross trainer. when i regularly do this i will do 185-200 heart rate for half an hour. would you call that HIIT? it is really engaging, down to where I can't even form whole sentences for the whole time involved. however, it goes on for half an hour, which is clearly beyond a HIIT time period as you present it. What do you think?

  4. These are really great points. I try and think of this for the dogs as we do agility which is less than 1 min flat out. I will consider this for me and the dogs πŸ™‚ although I dont think I can take their heartrate

  5. How would you classify compound weight lifting (e.g. bench, pullup, row, squat, deadlift)? Sets of these usually last only seconds. I've heard people refer to them as anaerobic, but since the sets are only seconds long, are they really HIIT?

  6. I got 20 years of training and experience of PT and physical training, I've never seen someone to sum it up in a 11 min talk like this! Keep it up with the great job Dr.

  7. it is just about running out of ATP as fast as possible. then the ATP/AMP ratio goes down. that activates the AMPK-Pathway and produces the PGC-1alpha mitochondrial growth factor. because the cortisol does not go up for a long time this is a very anabolic process in contrast with long endurance exercises where the cortisol goes through the roof and testosterone is going down (because of the pregnenalone steal) and therefor long endurance is catabolic.
    i love the SIT like prof. martin j. gibala promotes it. his work in this area is great.
    however, this only affects cells that take part in this kind of exercise. so it does not promote mitochondrial growth in all body cells. this is the reason why i also do pure saturated fat fasts on keto one or two days a week to also boost mitochondrial growth in cells that are not part of this exercise to boost my metabolism.
    i do SIT on my old kettler stationary bike. i warm up at 25-50 watt for one or two minutes and then i switch to maximum power, which is 400 watt on my bike and do the interval as long as i can go. usually i do three intervals with a break that is long enough for the heart rate to go down until i feel fit enough for the next intervall.
    with a SIT every now and then (i am not a huge sports guy) within two months i improved from 20 seconds to 52 seconds. i love mitochondrial growth πŸ™‚

  8. Great overview. Thanks. Could you do a video on how to eat for these specific categories? Especially: What kind of training is possible/advisable on a ketogenic diet? Maybe even a targeted ketogenic diet (for building muscle, instead of losing fat)? Thanks.

  9. so for a healthy 50 year old: HIIT for about 30 seconds, then one minute pause and how many repetitions do you recommend?

  10. Question: Does napping after strenuous exercise have more or less recovery benefit than ordinary sleep? Or does it make no difference?

  11. Dr Ekberg, YOU ARE GOD-SENT! Invaluable information!! I am planning to make an appointment this year, coming from the southernmost, neighboring state. All your videos are exceptionally well-explained! No words can express the gratitude! Ella-

  12. Hi Dr. Sten, I love how informative your videos are. I am learning so much, and have got my A1C from 9.5 to 5.8 since January. Was wondering, Do you have a video that explains why blood sugar is higher after workout?

  13. How to time the workout with IF. I have to eat something a hour or two before workout, and I can only workout after work in the evening time. Thank you.

  14. Thanks, Dr. Sten! I dropped my HR to less than 130, got a better time on my cycling with less work. Also, I avoided the hard climb, but added HIIT to my routine. It also didn't spike my appetite, as my prior rides had done.

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