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ANDREW MARR – HIIT, Miss, or Don’t Believe the Hype

We all love a juicy headline & exercise (like all things) is vulnerable to sensationalist stories. Unfortunately these stories sway the majority of people’s daily decisions and overall lifestyle choices & as a nation facing an obesity epidemic, any negative health and fitness stories have an impact!

One such story is the tale of Andrew Marr who was himself swayed by a headline story that everyone should do high intensity training, which he did. Unfortunately Mr Marr then went on to suffer a stroke a few months ago which he subsequently blamed on overdoing it on a rowing machine experimenting with HIIT. This is an awful event and we sincerely wish him a speedy recovery.

The Mail wrote a great follow up article that went into the whys, woes and background. Unfortunately the only hang over left from the media hype is the headline associated with this story:

“HIIT causes strokes and is unsafe for the over 50’s.”

It is prudent to research all new exercise modalities prior to commencing a new program & I think it is very sensible to consider if HIIT is appropriate as an exercise choice for a beginner at any age.

But what is HIIT?

Repeated bouts of high intensity exertions followed by rest periods…
Wow – hold on a minute…..sounds a bit like a game of squash or tennis, walking up four flights of stairs or kids running around in a playground & how many over 50’s do you think undertake these activities without prior training or adequate fitness levels?

There are lots of strenuous repetitive movements in life, as there are also a lot of factors related to strokes.

This is why before embarking on any program @KX_life we look into family history, medical history, medication, testing for genetic variation SNPs (singular nucleartide polymorphisms) & looking into a client’s diet and exercise history before we finally assess their fitness and function to perform.

So, shouldn’t common sense prevail here………Exercise is all about applying stress, and stress has a bell shaped curve: it is about applying enough stress to get positive adaptations (result) without overstressing and causing harm! (This is an art and science in itself)

With this in mind applying gradual progressive periodised (planned) programs that build exercise, health and fitness levels up, seems like a smart move?

Of course in our current quick fix consumer existence, where we want the beach body tomorrow, or get fit quick, smart and gradual don’t cut it!

Hear lays the real story: A cautionary tale that all exercises programs should be as individual as a person’s finger print and that the one size fits all programs doesn’t work for everybody.

Above all there should be a resounding positive message, so our new headline is:


We all need to MOVE more, BUT please make it appropriate and enlist the help of fitness professionals rather than being guided by or reacting too – Media hype or Sensational Headlines!

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