BOOK REVIEW: MARCH 2016

Title: The HIIT Advantage: High-Intensity Workouts for Women
Author: Irene Lewis-McCormick
Publisher: Human Kinetics Australia, ISBN-13: 9781492503064
Details: Paperback, 200pp
RRP: $32.95 OR $24.72 for Network Members who have joined the Human Kinetics Rewards program HERE and use the promo code NETWORK16 at checkout.

Review by Tony Boutagy, PhD, AEP

Finding exercise methods that deliver the most benefit with the least investment of time is the holy grail of trainers and fitness enthusiasts. Given ‘lack of time’ is the most cited reason for people not engaging in regular exercise, there has been renewed interest in ‘time-effective’ exercise sessions, which is essentially another name personal trainers use for ‘high-intensity’ training. Squeezing more into less is a skill most personal trainers must learn as they work with the ‘time poor’ clientele. And time efficiency isn’t the only benefit of high-intensity exercise: it is also thought to offer unique and potent stimuli to many systems of the body, including muscle, bone, metabolism and cardiovascular.

Targeted at females (especially busy mothers and working mothers), Irene Lewis-McCormick has written an extremely valuable resource for personal trainers: an entire book on high-intensity workouts. The text begins with a historical overview of the origins of HIIT and the science underpinning our current knowledge of intense exercise. Chapters then follow on the role of recovery in minimising injury risk and maximising performance, an exploration of the numerous HIIT methods available to the trainer and a fascinating chapter on using portable equipment for the traveling client, home training or outdoor sessions.

Part two of the book includes four detailed chapters describing exercises for the entire body suitable for use at high-intensity. This is an extremely useful resource for personal trainers, where the phrase HIIT is normally synonymous with cardiovascular modes, such as stationary cycling or rowing and not traditional strength-based exercises. Lewis-McCormick has done a tremendous job at collating an impressive number of exercises with very user-friendly descriptions for optimal use (many of which can be used with minimal equipment, such as at home or outdoors).

The text concludes with two chapters on the planning of workouts, including 16 full workouts, ranging from 20-45 minutes. There are many excellent program ideas here and personal trainers will have much to add to their ‘tool box’ of programming ideas.

My concluding thoughts: so many excellent programming ideas using HIIT that this reviewer hopes the author’s next book is for men, otherwise there could be an outcry!