HIT and Insulin Sensitivity

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  shawfield 10 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Research has shown that the fast diet has a beneficial effect on insulin sensititiy. In the video series, Dr. Mosley talked about how it in part goes back to our evolution from hunter gathering, e.g., when we fast the body starts to prepare for famine in part by improving insulin sensitivity. I suspect that the positive changes in insulin sensitivity as a result of HIT can be traced to what we used to refer to “Fight or Flight” responses of the body to physical stress. HIT is a high level of physical stress not unlike the running for our lives we did in prehistoric times. The body senses that the world is harsh out there and it needs to be ready to either defend ourselves or run and run fast . Either requires being able to quickly crank up our metabolism, pour energy into our muscles, and burn it rapidly. It may very well be that HIT pushes us back to our stone age selves.

    It sounds like you know something about High Intensity Interval Training and I’m interested. I watched the Panorama program Michael made Yesterday after coming across it on this site. He was experimenting with 3 20second intervals of intense bike riding and doing this 3 times a week. He found for 85% of the population this made a significant difference to their insulin sensitivity and fitness, if I’ve got it right though I find it hard to believe. Anyway I’ve been on a plateau on 5:2 so I decided to try it.
    Yesterday I did 3 20 second bursts as fast as I could on the bike and left 20 seconds between bursts. Afterwards I did my normal 40 lap swim on a Fast Day. I realized there may be more details I’m missing. Today I tried again at the end of my 20 minutes bike ride in the gym before I lifted some weights.
    What I need to know is what interval between 20 second bursts and how much I should warm up and cool down before I start and when I finish.
    I know Panorama is a UK program and I live in a small village in Australia so I may have missed some news of this. Any sites I should look at.
    I should add I’m 60 and do moderate exercise , like swimming, Pilates and a modified gym session.

    hi Beavergong, thankyou for responding to my post. It seems you are really serious about getting results. I did watch the Panarama programme and that is what really inspired me so armed with the books and after a lot of prograstination i am now one week in. I feel a little better, a little more motivated. I am waiting to join a pilates class I need some encouragement from a teacher doing it on my own to videos is ok but i think i need a class.
    with regards to the HIT i have heard about this but got worried when i heard that you have to be in good shape to start with or you may cause some neurological damage to yourself. Apparently a journalist Andrew Marr thinks his HIT was a contributory factor in him having a stroke (TIA)
    I havent been swimming for a couple of years now I feel too big, silly really, as this would help and I enjoy it. Our local pool has closed do to cutbacks in local government so i would need to travel to my next town.
    I guess i need to stop procratinating and get on with it.
    the next challenge will be to give up wine!! this will help i’m sure.
    thankyou and keep up the good work

    Take my tip I swim at a heated pool at a retirement village. No young fit bikinis in sight. We’re all big and nobody seems to worry about us in swimmers.. I find it a great exercise on fast days too. As to Pilates classes My husband and I do a class with 6 others at the Old people’s gym too.

    The body is enormously self-regulating. And that should be apparent from Michael’s show. If you’re not in great shape to start you’re maximum effort is going to be less than that of someone who is in great shape. The mind will just shut down your effort. But as you get more fit, you’ll be able to perform better.

    As to HIIT causing neurological damage, I think the journalist was casting about for any kind of explanation. Did a piece of placque break off because of the turbulence in the vessels during exercise and give him the stroke? It’s possible. But you don’t stop exercising. You do what you can to reduce the placque. You consider a more vegetarian routine which seems to have benefits in this area.

    Andrew Marr’s TIA may have any number of causes, I tried HIT last year following Micheal’s program and found it really worked for me.I used a pulse monitor tho which set off an alarm if my BPM went too high 😉 Went from 210lbs to 180 at a rate of approx’2lbs per week. Unfortunately i had to stop for completely unrelated reasons and now really miss it. Just started the 5:2 diet having seen both friends and family making real headway with it and looking forward to restarting the HIT at the end of the month on my fast days when the opportunity arises again. I was just wondering if there was anything I need to be aware of regards HIT whilst on the 5:2 diet ???

    I’m not a 5:2 dieter, but am interested in the whole insulin sensitivity thing.

    Three years ago I gave up ‘added sugar’ products ( well, do my best to avoid is a better description ) after a few years of my running being badly affected by a feeling of being ‘wiped-out’ if I did really hard work-outs.

    That diet really helped ( 7lbs weight loss over 5 months & that’s remained stable for 3 years ) but didnt resolve things completely. I have now found that my own version of HIT is the final piece in the jigsaw. Being an experienced 59 yr old runner ( been running since I was 18 ) I know a bit about interval training & stumbled upon the fact that I can resolve any lingering feelings of bad fatigue, by getting up early ( 5-7am ) & doing a shorter than usual interval running session ( either 3 x 1minute hard running uphill or fast 1 minute efforts over the course of a 3k run ).

    For some reason this seems to kick-start my body into feeling ‘ready to train’ & I usually train normally without fatigue in the evening after doing the early morning thing. I’ve also found that biking to work ( riding hard ) early in the morning keeps the fatigue at bay.

    I’m curious to know why this might be ? I was told by an endochronologist recently that there are chemicals in the body that are at their lowest levels early in the morning & they can be stimulated by exercise.

    Any thoughts ?

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