Kinesiologist’s column a HIT in Globe and Mail


Martin Gibala, professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology, has been tapped to talk about exercise for a new feature in the Globe and Mail.

Gibala’s first column is on high-intensity interval training and answers the question: Is it really the holy grail of exercise?

High-intensity interval training refers to short bursts of intense effort, followed by a few minutes of recovery.

Gibala made headlines in 2005 when he published research that showed just a few minutes of high-intensity exercise could be as effective as an hour of moderate activity.

His Globe and Mail column is below:

High intensity interval training (HIT) is hot. In fact, it was recently crowned the top fitness trend for 2014, based on an annual worldwide survey conducted by the influential health and fitness organization, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

High intensity interval training refers to the basic concept of alternating brief periods of vigorous exercise with short periods of recovery. Serious endurance athletes have long appreciated its powerful performance benefits, but what is the scientific evidence to support claims that HIT will improve your health?

When describing the current state of interval training research, I often use an analogy borrowed from the pharmaceutical industry. Current physical activity guidelines, which generally call for at least 150 minutes of moderate– to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, represent the well-established drug of choice and are based on a rich body of scientific evidence.

Read the full column in the Globe and Mail

Front page photo by Ed Yourdon.