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Helpful resources from the Macquarie Physiotherapy Team

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

In this blog we are going to shed some light on the supramaximal Eurofit method (our favourite type of HIIT) with the help of Dr Josh Secomb.

Supramaximal Eurofit method?

Developed by French researchers, it involves calculating a person’s 100% Maximal Aerobic Speed (MAS) and then performing intervals of work at intensities greater than this (typical 110-130% of this MAS).

Whoa! What is Maximal Aerobic Speed?

MAS is the minimum speed needed to reach maximal oxygen consumption, which is commonly referred to as VO2Max.

We like to keep things simple when it comes to calculating MAS, so we used the 5-minute run method. Simply put, you run as fast and far as you can for 5 minutes.

Once you have this distance in meters you divide it by 300 (number of seconds in 5 minutes) to calculate your speed in meters per second (m/s).

If you can’t accurately record your distance travelled you can also run a known distance that would take roughly 5-minutes (1200m or 1600m), record your time and convert to m/s with the formula noted above.

Using either of the methods will provide you with your 100% MAS. For example, if you ran 1200m in 5-minutes, your 100% MAS will be 4m/s (1200m/300s). This makes it very easy to calculate and prescribe intervals at a variety of supramaximal intensities, as you just need to multiply the 100% MAS (in m/s) by the intensity.

If we had decided to perform our high-intensity intervals at 120% MAS, we simply multiply our 100% MAS by 1.2. So, in this example our 120% MAS would be 4.8m/s (4m/s x 1.2).

Let’s get back to it!

Now you have your 120% MAS it’s down to the business of putting one foot in front of the other.

We like to use a 15 second 1:1 work:rest ratio. This means you run for 15 seconds followed by a 15 second rest. As our calculated 120% MAS from the example above was 4.8m/s, this means that in the 15 second work period we must cover 72m (4.8 x 15). This rest period can be either active (light jogging) or passive (standing still). It’s our recommendation that you begin with a static rest period. The work:rest process is then performed for 1-2 sets of 5-minute repetitions (building up to 8-10 minutes).

After 3-4 weeks the intensity can then be increased to 125 or 130% MAS. However, it’s important to note that your 100% MAS may have improved over this 3-4 week period and as such should be re-calculated to get the most out of your program. It is also important to note that if you are new to this style of training you may want to consider using 110% MAS for your intervals initially.

Final things to remember!

As with any type of aerobic exercise, it’s important that you perform an appropriate warm up prior to starting and cool down at the end of your workout. Most importantly of all is to make sure you seek proper medical advice before beginning this program (or any other physical activity) to ensure that it is appropriate for you.

Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Science (University of Newcastle)
PhD in Sport Science (Strength and Conditioning)
Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Honours)
Accredited Level 3 Strength and Conditioning Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach (Newcastle Northstars)

Partner at Macquarie Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Stay Fit Movement Advisor

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