August 13, 2008

High Intensity Intervals For the Rest of Us

[By Crabby]

Exciting Announcement: A Revolutionary New Exercise Program from Cranky Fitness!

Have you been hearing about all the incredible health benefits of High Intensity Interval Training?

Benefits like:
  • Raising your Resting Metabolic Rate;
  • Increasing Your Strength;
  • Burning More Fat;
  • Increasing Endurance;
  • Adding more Mitochondria to Muscles;
  • Building Lactic Acid tolerance;
  • Increasing the Release of Human Growth Hormone;
  • Raising your VO2 Max;
  • Sounding Really Cool when you Throw Around Terms Like "Resting Metabolic Rate" and "VO2 Max";
  • Getting Your Workout Done in Under Twenty Minutes So You Can Watch More TV Devote More Time to Saving the Planet.

All these benefits simply from incorporating a few bouts of extreme torture high-intensity exercise into your workout? It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

But you may have looked into H.I.I.T. before and thought to yourself: "Gosh, that sounds great! But sprinting like hell until you can't breathe and want to die, then repeating that cycle over and over again until you want to puke? Thanks, but ... Are You F*cking Nuts?"

Yes, actually, quite bonkers--but we do understand. Very few people wants to feel like puking on a regular basis, least of all us.

So that's why we invented an alternative, the H.I.I.T. that's for everyone! Our brand new patented* program:

"Somewhat High Intensity Interval Training!®"

Yes, you too can join the fitness revolution and do some great S.H.I.I.T® for your health!

So what's this S.H.I.I.T® all about?

It's quite simple: Almost everyone agrees H.I.I.T. works, but it's hard. And no one really seems to "own" it, so there's no money to be made off of it consensus about how to do it.

Some folks say sprint for 8 seconds and walk for twelve seconds and do it over and over again for twenty minutes. Other folks say sprint for 30 seconds. Or 45 seconds. Or several minutes. And accordingly, rest longer in between.

Some say do dozens of cycles per workout. Others say do 4-8 cycles. Do the whole thing once a week . Do it every single workout. It's so confusing!

But with S.H.I.I.T® we say: do whatever the heck you want! Just set aside a workout every now and then to focus, in what ever way you want to, on pumping it UP! And then resting. And then pumping it UP!

But this is crucial: if you're absolutely miserable and traumatized, then TURN IT DOWN A NOTCH, DOOFUS! Doing one or two Incredibly Kick-Ass Invigorating Interval Workouts, then never ever doing them again because they suck, will get you surprisingly limited health benefits.

How Do I know if I'm doing this S.H.I.I.T® right?

If you've tried to do H.I.I.T., you may have noticed that there's no "right" way to do it. Whatever you are doing, someone will tell you it is wrong.

Try one approach you've read about in a magazine somewhere, and then read something totally different in another magazine, then go visit fitness bloggers and find out that they're all totally kicking your ass by doing ten times whatever you were doing.

Who needs that aggravation?

With a S.H.I.I.T® program, you know you're doing it right. Because if you're trying-- then you're doing it right. By definition! It's our program, and we get to define our own S.H.I.I.T®

How Do I Stay Motivated to Keep Doing S.H.I.I.T® For the Long Haul?

Mix it up! Some days, do your S.H.I.I.T® on an elliptical. Do S.H.I.I.T® running up hills. Try 8 second intervals; two minute intervals; longer rest periods; shorter rest periods, whatever. The more you mess around, the more you may find that S.H.I.I.T® happens!

To Learn More About How Fit
S.H.I.I.T® Into Your Healthy Lifestyle:

Just ask us! After all, Cranky Fitness is your expert resource--because we're proud to say we totally made this S.H.I.I.T® up!

*Patent Pending. (Pending our getting off our asses and patenting it)


  1. I'm just FULL of S.H.I.I.T right now.

    Love this post.

    Doing it all again tonight.

    TA x

  2. I approve of this S.H.I.I.T..

  3. I love this post.
    I could do S.H.I.I.T.

  4. I've been doing a lot of S.H.I.T.T. lately and didn't even know it!!

    Crabby that may be the funniest post I've ever read EVAH!!!!

    Love that S.H.I.T.T.

  5. This is definitely some S.H.I.I.T. I can get into.

    Does chasing a 4 year old count?

  6. Nice, I can say I do S.H.I.I.T. for workouts.


  7. Finally, I've been doing S.H.I.I.T. right! Woohoo.

  8. I <3 you, Crabby.

  9. s.h.i.i.t.? i love it. i'll do it ... when i'm not in an airport and have access to a gym again.

  10. I had a unique "cardio" experience a few days ago! I just missed stepping on a 5 foot rattlesnake in the high grass on the side of the road I was running along! As he coiled up, I had a very brief HIIT that even you would have been proud of :-)

    If I wasn't scared Shiit-less, I might have said the word!

  11. I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

    Let's get this S.H.I.I.T. started!

  12. I think I tried this a few weeks ago when I got off the bike to answer a phone call that might have been from my insurance agent, only to find that it was a [probable] telebegger who didn't wait for my answering machine to pick up. Got back on the bike and bettered my (pitiful) speed record by about four mph for the next five minutes.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  13. You could get CafePress to print S.H.I.I.T. on the backsides of gym shorts.

    I'd buy a pair. I wouldn't wear them outside my house. But I'd buy them.

  14. This is why I love Cranky Fitness so very much.

  15. S.H.I.I.T!!! My new fave workout. Oh the google hits you are going to get from this one;)

    PS> I love my intervals. Absolutely dread doing them but love the feeling afterwards and the effects! I find it helps to have a buddy to do them with. You know, share the pain.

  16. YES YES YES. S.H.I.T. My new workout plan. I love it.

    What delightful S.H.I.T!

  17. Funny, but I liked that part about "if you're trying, you're doing it right", it was kind of inspirational.

  18. I am all about doing S.H.I.I.T. And to think I can S.H.I.I.T anywhere.


  19. hah! I think all the S.H.I.I.T. jokes were taken before I got here but I just wanted to say that I, too, can get into this S.H.I.I.T.

    (and I'd buy the shorts or t-shirt too)

  20. *snort* Sounds like the perfect workout tailor made just for ME! Let me know when you make a bumper sticker...

  21. I love this S.H.I.I.T! I too would rather not puke my guts out due to exercise (though those 100 pushups are sure getting me near there...)

    --start hijack--
    So not quite H.I.I.T, but I teach a boot camp class twice a week which has high impact cardio intervals (2 min at a time) and weight lifting stations. I just did a special Olympic boot camp. I need some help with more brainstorms! I have a post today on my blog.
    --/end hijack--

  22. Awesome!! I laughed so much reading this I think it was actually my first S.H.I.T.T workout. I know I burned a lot of calories in a very short amount of time. Thanks

  23. I can't stop laughing long enough to leave a thoughtful comment. Oh gosh. :p

  24. Great post! I want to try this S.H.I.I.T right away.

  25. Thank you guys!!!

    Seriously, I haven't quite figured out how to "monetize" cranky fitness yet... perhaps a custom t-shirt, water bottle or something else cheap and sporty may be in order?


    ("Not Actually Dying, Just Doing My S.H.I.I.T*** on the front, with a ***Somewhat High Intensity Interval Training on the back? And a cute little logo and a small somewhere so that I could get a few more visitors?).

    I'm sure you guys could do better.

    Any, um, graphic designers/slick marketeers in the crowd? I'll cut ya in!

    And, um, I don't even think I'm joking.

  26. that is one of the best blog posts I've read in a long time.

    awesome. Unfortunately, I can't do S.H.I.I.T. at this time, but am looking forward to it in the future.

  27. Best Cranky Fitness article ever?
    No S.H.I.I.T!!!

  28. Cupcakes! I want the cupcakes on a tshirt doing S.H.I.I.T. on the front, and an exhausted cupcake with its icing dripping off on the back. Sorry I can't draw.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  29. Delurking...

    How about **S.H.I.I.T** "If you're trying you're doing it right." on the front? I'm with Tricia on finding that rather inspirational.

  30. Hilarious. Love this S.H.I.I.T.

  31. Love these suggestions! Must incorporate cupcakes Mary Anne. And yes, stlwtr, I think that's the perfect slogan. I think you guys actually picked out the point behind all the silliness.

  32. I did S.H.I.I.T. this morning! Who knew I was onto something?

    This has got to be one of my fav posts ever!

  33. Whoa - that's too funny. I've been doing the S.H.I.I.T plan for a while now and it works! ha ha.

  34. Curious, I've been practicing this program for awhile under the similarly titled S.H.I.T. moniker. I'm not so specific to the intervals. I will now defer to S.H.I.I.T. for fear of copyright infringement.

  35. Viper--oh dear, I thought I just invented it! Didn't mean to steal S.H.I.I.T. from anyone.

  36. Sign me up, I want to do S.H.I.I.T. !
    Thanks for the laugh today :)

  37. LMAO. I love it.

    And uh, to be perfectly honest, my "jogging" pretty much qualifies as HIIT. 2 minutes of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking gets me just about recovered enough to jog for another 2 minutes. It's possible that I'm doing it wrong, since I'm not sure that my heart rate is supposed to get up to 198 with just 2 minutes of jogging, but I'll keep going since I've never felt like I was ACTUALLY going to die...

  38. So, I'm thinking this isn't an original piece and I don't think it should be claimed as such.

  39. Crabby, you crack me up -- as usual -- with all your S.H.I.I.T.

    Too funny!

  40. Anonymous--

    Well, S.H.I.I.T.!

    I came up with it on my own. But I did suspect that since it makes such a handy acronym, others might have beat me to it. I actually googled "shiit" and "S.H.I.I.T" and didn't see anything in the first 5 or 10 pages. (Believe me, those results are not something you want to keep looking for for page after page.)

    So I never saw that site. All I can say is that "great minds think alike," or shiity minds, whatever.

  41. Great Minds Think Alike - But Fools Seldom Differ

    (That's what my dad always says)

  42. And anon, to further defend myself, now that I've read the post, that site uses an acronym 'S.h.i.t.' to describe "Super High Intensity Training."

    Cranky Fitness is so not about Super High Intensity Anything!

  43. lol

    which is why I read CrankyFitness. I stick to what I know. And that's bitching about S.H.I.T.

    (in case you're wondering why I'm all chatty-commenty-commenterson, it's because I'm in a lovely hostel in Galway avoiding human contact via free wifi)

  44. Christine, I highly recommend the internet over random hostel (or hostile) conversation! But then I'm an introverted neurotic, so probably not the best person to advise.

  45. High fives for introverted neuroticism!

    Hells yes.

  46. Actually, in truth I score quite low in Neuroticism in that OCEAN theory of personality :(

    Sorry, I'm a fraud.

  47. Oh, Crabby. I love you so much right now. That was awesome.

  48. The sour pusses who tried to rain on your parade clearly didn't read your post or pay attention to your acronym and what it stood for so don't think you got out of making shirts that easily!

  49. I love it! I want a t-shirt, melting cupcakes and slogans and all.

    "S.H.I.I.T. it's good for you?"

  50. I loved, it was great. But you know that HIIT it's not for beginners, you have to have some endurance and have been training for sometime.

  51. This is just brilliant, Crabby. B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T.

  52. stlwtr, so glad you delurked!

    And thanks everyone!

    Alex, good reminder not to start straight off with intervals if your just starting off in an exercise program. I always forget that there are actually people who get overenthusiastic and try to do more than they're ready for. (Not a problem I've ever had).

  53. This is awesome, and I definitely want a S.H.I.I.R.T.!

  54. I LOVE THIS POST! and I need to go get some S.H.I.I.T done today. :)

  55. Hmm - note to self ... do not read Cranky Fitness when I'm in the office - laughing out loud when i'm supposedly working on spreadsheets was a dead give away .... no accountant likes to hear laughter when you're inputting their budget calculations

  56. I haven't been doing s-h-i-t OR s-h-i-i-t!! I think i will start with some easy s-h-i-t and work my way up!!!

  57. Okay I'm all for S.H.I.I.T.. But is it just me or does H.I.I.T. look just like random hill training on cardio machines?

    Haven't we all been doing this for years? Gotta love the repackage, though.

  58. S.H.I.T. happens!

  59. Hee hee. This is WAY too funny to read at the office. Ooops, too late.


  60. Maybe I should add S.H.I.I.T. to my marathon training routine............:)

  61. This blog is hilarious! Gotta forward the link to my sister.

    For a tee shirt slogan: how 'bout "Got S.H.I.I.T?" Not sure what to put on the other side or a cool logo, though.

  62. This S.H.I.I.T is hilarious! I may even try it.

  63. Good S.H.I.I.T! I love it! :-)

  64. today i tried doing H.I.I.T. but i'm pretty sure it just turned into S.H.I.I.T. since was doing one of those Turbo Jam tapes and i couldn't figure out how to do any of the moves. i'm sure i'll figure it out soon enough! hopefully, so the guy that hides in my bushes will stop laughing at me!

    (that last part was a joke, but i always wanted a stalker, it would make me feel sexy!)

  65. This is hilarious -- and well-timed. I've been trying to find a decent beginner-level interval program for the past week, and now I think I've found one.

  66. That S.H.I.I.T you're referring to, according to the American Council on Exercise, is called fitness intervals which differ from performance intervals associated with H.I.I.T.

    Sorry be serious and ruin the S.H.I.I.T.y mood 'round here because it did give me a laugh.

  67. I used these types of training quite frequently with my clients. Great to get that blood running to all parts of the body.

  68. I could get used to this S.H.I.I.T!

  69. Still catching up on your postings, but this is hilarious. And it works!

    I normally can manage a 10 minute mile, just about. Yesterday, I gobbled up the final mile of a half marathon in 8:36. No S.H.I.I.T.

  70. Great blog and I like you post on S.H.I.T.T

    However I'm going to be a "stickler" and make a correction. The truth is if you wish to maximize the results achieved from cardiovascular fitness you should conduct heart rate training.

    Simply go to the store and buy a heart rate watch. I recommend the polar brand.

    Note that cardio is not about how hard you work, its about how efficiently you do so.

    You need to do zone training. I am a personal trainer and have NASM's "cardio for fitness" certification. If you would like to learn more about heart rate training you can visit my post at:

    The password is "mike"

    For progressive heart rate training tools to apply the above post to you can visit:

    The password is also "mike"

    I protected these two pages so that only my paying clients at my gym can use them but after reading your article I felt like sharing.

    Anyhow I hope you don't mind my links.

  71. Where are the shirts? Did I miss them?

    S.H.I.I.T. It does a body good!

  72. haha what a awesome article. I love interval training. The ultimate is circuit training intervals!

    Tim Riley

  73. OMG That was the funniest SHIIT ever!!!! Thank you....just found your blog and now I am motivated to read more, much more!!!

  74. Here it is March 2011 and I'm just discovering your blog and wondering if you're still alive. Not to be too serious but there's a book titled "Smart Exercise" which describes a "sprint" or "interval training" as anything you do just a little bit faster every few minutes.

    One poster said walking on an incline on her treadmill sounded like your S.H.I.I.T concept and opined that we've been doing that all along. She's right. If you walk, just walk a little faster every few minutes. Cycling? ditto. The whole concept being to exercise smarter, not harder. The author is Covert Bailey. There may be some of his books and lectures on DVD still around. Check them out.


    Did you ever get around to making the t-shirts?

  75. Hi Nancy,

    Yep, still alive and still trying to do some strenuous S.H.I.I.T a couple times a week. No T-shirts, alas, but really appreciate you visiting and commenting! And there's a new venture coming up...stay tuned.

  76. Dear Crabby,

    My memory has been a little slow lately.
    Do they have any S.H.I.I.T for brains?

  77. I like this post and the importance of S.H.I.I.T. I think we can also achieve it through many ways including weight lifting through circuits with no rest between.

  78. Well I kind of disagree that there is no "right" way to do HIIT. You're right, VO2 max is what matters in the end. However, the point of HIIT training is to get you to push yourself so that your oxygen consumption is obscenely high after the workout. And if you spending way too long in the steady state, you are not really pushing yourself all that hard...and if you spent 2 minutes at high intensity, is it really high intensity? I know that a lot of my HIIT workouts will wear me out after ten minutes and I cannot go to 2 minutes at high intensity before resting.


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