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Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training

Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training


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    The popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists primarily of repeated bursts of high-intensity exercise, continues to soar because its effectiveness and efficiency have been proven in use by both elite athletes and general fitness enthusiasts. Surprisingly, few resources have attempted to explain both the science behind the HIIT movement and its sport-specific application to athlete training. That’s why Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training is a must-have resource for sport coaches, strength and conditioning professionals, personal trainers, and exercise physiologists, as well as for researchers and sport scientists who study high-intensity interval training.

    Authors Paul Laursen and Martin Buchheit—both well-known, expert-level HIIT researchers as well as practitioners and endurance athletes—do a masterful job of blending science-based concepts of HIIT with practical application strategies. Laursen, Buchheit, and a team of highly qualified contributors—who bring hundreds of years of combined HIIT science and application experience from across all sports—have written Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training to provide practitioners and athletes an understanding of the foundational principles of HIIT programming. Chapters in the first section describe five types of training, how to manipulate HIIT variables to maximize improvements in physical performance, and how to incorporate HIIT into a general training program. Readers will also learn the influence HIIT can have on fatigue, stress, and an athlete’s overall health.

    The final 20 chapters each focus on a different sport and are written by leading coaches or practitioners who have successfully applied HIIT principles at an elite level in their respective sport. These chapters describe specific ways to incorporate HIIT into a training regimen for everything from combat sports to endurance events to the most popular U.S. and international individual and team sports. Each chapter also contains sport-specific preparation and competition phases, an overall one-year training program, and a brief story of how the coach or practitioner who authored the chapter used HIIT to successfully prepare an athlete for a competition.

    Knowing the proper ways to incorporate high-intensity interval training into a fitness or conditioning program is of vital importance: Not following proper protocols can lead to excessive and prolonged fatigue, illness, or injury. Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training is an essential guide for those who want to incorporate HIIT into their own training or their athletes’ programming.

    CE exam available! For certified professionals, a companion continuing education exam can be completed after reading this book. The Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training Online CE Exam may be purchased separately or as part of the Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training With CE Exam package that includes both the book and the exam.


    Applied reference book for sport coaches, strength and conditioning professionals, personal trainers, and exercise physiologists; reference manual for researchers and sport scientists who study high-intensity interval training.

    Table of Contents

    Part I. Understanding High-Intensity Interval Training

    Chapter 1. History and Evolution of High-Intensity Interval Training

    with contributions from Jean Claude Vollmer

    Chapter 2. Traditional Methods of HIIT Programming

    Chapter 3. Physiological Targets of HIIT

    Chapter 4. Manipulating HIIT Variables

    Chapter 5. Using HIIT Weapons

    Chapter 6. Incorporating HIIT Into a Concurrent Training Program

    with Jackson Fyfe

    Chapter 7. HIIT and Its Influence on Stress, Fatigue, and Athlete Health

    with Philip Maffetone

    Chapter 8. Quantifying Training Load

    Chapter 9. Response to Load

    with Jamie Stanley, Daniel Plews, Hani Al Haddad, Mathieu Lacome, Ben Simpson, and Anna Saw

    Chapter 10. Putting It All Together

    Part II. Sport-Specific Application of High-Intensity Interval Training

    Chapter 11. Combat Sports

    Duncan French

    Chapter 12. Cross-Country Skiing

    Øyvind Sandbakk

    Chapter 13. Middle-Distance Running

    Jean Claude Vollmer and Martin Buchheit

    Chapter 14. Road Running

    Jamie Stanley and Carlos Alberto Cavalheiro

    Chapter 15. Road Cycling

    Marc Quod

    Chapter 16. Rowing

    Daniel Plews

    Chapter 17. Swimming

    Tom Vandenbogaerde, Wim Derave, and Philippe Hellard

    Chapter 18. Tennis

    Jamie Fernandez-Fernandez

    Chapter 19. Triathlon

    Daniel Plews and Paul Laursen

    Chapter 20. American Football

    Moses Cabrera and Johann Bilsborough

    Chapter 21. Australian Football

    Aaron Coutts, Joel Hocking, and Johann Bilsborough

    Chapter 22. Baseball

    Robert Butler and Matt Leonard

    Chapter 23. Basketball

    Xavi Schelling and Lorena Torres-Ronda

    Chapter 24. Cricket

    Carl Petersen and Aaron Kellett

    Chapter 25. Field Hockey

    David Hamilton

    Chapter 26. Ice Hockey

    Matt Nichol

    Chapter 27. Handball

    Martin Buchheit

    Chapter 28. Rugby Union

    Nick Gill and Martyn Beaven

    Chapter 29. Rugby Sevens

    Nick Poulos

    Chapter 30. Soccer

    Martin Buchheit, Mathieu Lacome, and Ben Simpson

    About the Author

    Paul B. Laursen, PhD, is an endurance coach, a sport scientist, and an adjunct professor for Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. He earned his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Queensland, was formerly the physiology manager for High Performance Sport New Zealand, and now resides in British Columbia, Canada.

    Laursen is well known throughout the international sport and strength and conditioning communities for his knowledge and research of high-intensity interval training. His other interests include health, longevity, heart rate variability, thermoregulation, and artificial intelligence application to training. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts in exercise and sport science journals; his publications with coauthor Martin Buchheit are among the most cited. He is an active endurance athlete, having completed 18 Ironman triathlons.

    Martin Buchheit, PhD, is a sport scientist, a strength and conditioning coach, and the head of performance for the Paris Saint-Germain Football (Soccer) Club. He is also an adjunct associate professor of exercise science for Victoria University in Australia. He previously worked as an exercise physiologist for ASPIRE Academy in Qatar, and he has served as a lecturer, consultant, and strength and conditioning coach for various organizations.

    Buchheit received his doctorate in physiology from the University of Strasbourg in France. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts, with much of his research focusing on high-intensity interval training. The training tools he has developed include the 30-15 intermittent fitness test, used to program high-intensity training, and the 5-5 running test, used to monitor training status using heart rate variability. Buchheit also has experience with match analysis and talent development and identification. He is an endurance athlete who has a personal best time of 2:54 in the marathon.


    “The mix of science and practical experience in Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training makes it the definitive guide to getting the most out of your interval training.”

    Alex Hutchinson—Author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Performance

    Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, written by world-class scientists and practitioners, is an authoritative guide to both the evidence and the delivery of conditioning programs. It will become one of the most dog-eared books on my shelf.”

    David Joyce—Head of Athletic Performance for the GWS Giants Football Club and Editor of High-Performance Training for Sports

    “With Science and Application of High-Intensity Interval Training, Paul Laursen and Martin Buchheit provide the definitive training guide for athletes and coaches of all levels.”

    Steve Magness—Head Coach for the University of Houston Cross Country Team and Author of The Science of Running

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 1 review

    Excelent book, covers many sports