Updated: Jan 26, 2021
HIIT or MetCon (metabolic conditioning) are often used interchangeably for heart rate based interval training. Yes, one is more specific to cardio & the other incorporates strength training. But the general concept is the same- varying intensity with one or both to bring your heart rate up past comfort levels. Intervals are often touted as “the best for fat loss”, but there are other uses that may be less well known.
Challenging focus: In physical therapy, most exercises are performed while coaching mental focus & body position control. But what happens to form when 100% of your mental focus isn’t available? The normal mental/physical fatigue at higher heart rates is definitely distracting, making positional awareness more difficult & can be used as a way to practice focus & control under multiple conditions. Rehearsing movement patterns in this controlled but more intense environment can make good form more automatic, reinforcing the natural the coordination that can prevent re-injury. Digging in & learning to mentally lean on solid form is skill- and with any skill, it gets better w practice.
What makes the intervals so useful in rehab is that the rest breaks allow mental focus to return as the heart rate lowers. You can use an easier exercise as a rest break, or review exercise execution as the heart rate lowers. While a true HIIT/MetCon brings the heart rate up to >80% max, I like to work on form retention in the 65-70% range. I find this is where clients are still be able to register verbal coaching & can self correct.
⭐️ Having good form with less attention is not just for sports. It’s useful when you’re spent in the middle of your fitness class, but also when you have to lift bags out of your trunk at the end of the day. It’s useful when you’re on the phone & emptying the dishwasher, or when you’re climbing subway stairs at rush hour. Body control under distraction is a skill that’s necessary for everybody.... And if you end up improving body composition at the same time, lucky you. . . . #fitforlife #sportsrehab #physicaltherapy#hiit #hiitworkout #HIITtraining #metcon#intervals #fitness #training #gym#fitness #exercise #PTtips #rehab