How to do High Intensity Interval Training – Quickly Improve Resilience

Hello everyone Floyd Meyer here I am a Physician Assistant with a Master’s in public health, a degree in molecular biology, and I am currently working in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Today we are continuing our series on Resilience which is the ability to remain well, recover, or even thrive in the face of adversity.

This week we will be continuing with our theme of physical resilience discussing High Intensity Interval Training.

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT can give you the stimulus that you need to increase physical resilience, in as little as 10 minutes! Consistently engaging in HIIT will ensure a robust cardiovascular and nervous system making you better able to deal with stress no matter where it is coming from.

Many people spend hours on the treadmill, jogging or briskly walking, without seeing any significant improvements in their fitness levels. Which does not mean that this form of exercise is bad. As we discussed last week engaging in moderate intensity activity can provide significant health benefits. Any level of physical activity is better than nothing, but unfortunately for many people, it will not provide the strong stimulus that our bodies need in order to activate the hormetic pathways that will quickly increase our cardiovascular fitness.

Why is HIIT so effective then?

Because it allows you to exercise at a higher intensity than you would normally be able to achieve. In other words, you can really push the intensity of the exercise that you are doing because you are only going to do it for 20 seconds to 1 minute at a time.

Then you recover until you are ready for the next round.

This sequential strong stimulus will cause your body to respond in numerous beneficial ways. As your body adapts to these sequential stressful bouts of exercise you become more resilient.

What I mean by more resilient is that over time your heart and nervous system will become better at dealing with high-stress situations and be better at bringing you back down to baseline when you are at rest.

In a review article looking at the role of physical fitness, health and resilience they state that, “Whereas acute exposure to a psychological or physical (e.g. exercise) stressor might induce a transient stress response (increased HPA, SNS and inflammatory responses), repeated, intermittent exposure to that stressor, with enough time to recover in between, can lead to physiological ‘stress training’ or ‘toughening’”. “This protective physiological profile appears to be associated with improved performance during challenging/stressful situations, increased tolerance to stressors (i.e. reduced behavioral suppression/depression), increased emotional stability (i.e. reduced anxiety/freezing), and improved immune function.” (Silverman et al., 2014)

You need to be able to do both.

You need to be able to ramp it up when you are in a high-pressure situation and then bring it back down to baseline once the stressful event ends.

I recommend thinking of HIIT not as an exact workout plan, but as a way of exercising.

You can add HIIT training to weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, running, walking, biking, or swimming, whatever it is that you like to do. 

This will guarantee you the strong stimulus you need in order to maximize the benefits of exercise.

But please remember as we discussed last week, the best form of exercise is the one you will actually do!

If you enjoy riding your bike do that. If you like to lift weights, by all means, keep doing it.

Find what you enjoy and stick to it.

That is what is going to keep you physically resilient and able to remain well, recover, and thrive in the face of adversity.

If you are interested in learning more about HIIT and want me to show you exactly how to implement it today including what apps I use, how long to set the intervals for, plus a bunch of bonus content make sure to sign up for my Free HIIT Masterclass on my website. I’ll be detailing all of the benefits of HIIT and how to get started NOW so you can stop wasting your time and start getting real results. Check it out by clicking the link below or going to

I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below. If this resonated with you please share with your friends and family and subscribe and follow for more of this content. The time for action is now. Again this is Floyd Meyer. Have a great day!


Gebel, K., Ding, D., Chey, T., Stamatakis, E., Brown, W. J., & Bauman, A. E. (2015). Effect of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity on All-Cause Mortality in Middle-aged and Older Australians. JAMA Internal Medicine,175(6), 970. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0541

Gibala, M. J. (2007). High-intensity interval training: A time-efficient strategy for health promotion? Current Sports Medicine Reports, 6(4), 211-213. doi:10.1007/s11932-007-0033-8

Karlsen, T., Aamot, I., Haykowsky, M., & Rognmo, Ø. (2017). High Intensity Interval Training for Maximizing Health Outcomes. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. doi:10.1016/j.pcad.2017.03.006

Kessler, H. S., Sisson, S. B., & Short, K. R. (2012). The Potential for High-Intensity Interval Training to Reduce Cardiometabolic Disease Risk. Sports Medicine, 42(6), 489-509. doi:10.2165/11630910-000000000-00000

Silverman, M. N., & Deuster, P. A. (2014). Biological mechanisms underlying the role of physical fitness in health and resilience. Interface Focus, 4(5), 20140040–20140040. doi:10.1098/rsfs.2014.0040 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s