Better Brain Function with HIIT
Boost processing speeds and perform better at any sport with a single dose of high-intensity interval training.
The research continues to pile up on the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – defined as alternating between short periods of high-intensity movement (ie, sprinting) and recovery (full rest or light activity like walking).
We were already familiar with a number of the positives of regular HIIT workouts:
- Maximized fat-burning (as compared to low-intensity steady-state cardio)
- Enhanced performance in virtually all sports
- Improved cardiovascular health
But now, we have another benefit to add to the list: faster reaction times via increased brain processing speeds.
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that male and female subjects, ages 18 to 40, who did HIIT workouts immediately prior to a reaction-time test had reaction times that were 12% faster than subjects who merely rested quietly before the test.
Dr. Jim Stoppani explains the research in greater detail in the below video.
How and When to Do HIIT
The aforementioned study points to an immediate effect of HIIT workouts and the practical applications this could present, with the authors coming to this conclusion: “These findings suggest that tasks dependent on central processing may benefit from an acute bout of exercise.”
Think about when you might want a boost in the brain’s “central processing.” When participating in a sport that requires fast reaction times (basketball, soccer, boxing, MMA, the list goes on); for a major exam at school; or perhaps when giving an important presentation at work. You can never have too much brain power for these activities.
That said, consider a bout of HIIT before any and all of these endeavors – anywhere from a 10-20-minute session consisting of 30-60 seconds of all-out effort on a bodyweight or resistance training exercise alternated with 30-60 seconds of rest. Or an even shorter duration, like a 4-minute Tabata workout (eight rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off).
If you’re doing this for sport, work the HIIT into your warm-up before the game or training session. If doing it for improved school or work performance, consider a 20-minute early morning HIIT session before heading to campus or the office.
Just one brief yet intense training session can give you a significant brain boost… in addition to the fat-burning and cardiovascular benefits. HIIT wins again!
HIIT + Pre JYM X: A Perfect Pairing
For an even greater brain and performance boost, sip on Pre JYM X before and during your HIIT workout. Pre JYM X’s nootropics, including methylliberine (as Dynamine®) and theanine, can enhance energy, focus, and mood.