Technically strength training is interval training; but I am assuming she is talking about cardiovascular interval training?
Regardless of age, I believe that both constant state aerobic exercise and cardiovascular interval training are beneficial for heart health. If you only do one form or the other, your body will adapt to that type of training stimulus and plateaus will result, so I recommend a mix of both forms of cardiovascular exercise. I also recommend both as anyone with an active lifestyle is bound to do both types of activities outside of structured workouts, thus they are both functional an applicable to such real-life activities.
Of course, it goes without saying that the frequency, intensity and duration of the training should be based on the abilities and fitness level of your client.
John, many studies are showing that interval training (as Jonathan pointed out; aerobic) can have great health benefits for seniors. That does not negate steady state, both are great components of a fitness program. With any high risk client I would get doctor permission first. These are some studies that talk about HIIT with high risk populations that I like to show hesitant doctors:
Bartlett, J.D. et al. (2011). High-intensity interval running is perceived to be more enjoyable than moderate-intensity continuous exercise: implications for exercise adherence. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29, 6, 547-553.
Guiraud, T. et al. (2012). High-intensity interval training in cardiac rehabilitation. Sports Medicine, 42, 7, 587-605.
Kessler, H., Sisson, S. and Short, K. (2012). The potential for high-intensity interval training to reduce cardiometabolic disease risk. Sports Medicine, 42, 6, 489-509.
Tjonnas, A.E., Lee SJ, Rogonmo O et al. (2008). Aerobic interval training vs. cContinuous moderate exercise as a treatment for the metabolic sy├¡ndrome: Aa pilot study. Circulation, 2008;doi:10.116/circulationaha.108.772822
I personally have my clients do at least 2 months of steady state before I throw in intervals. Then I do so extremely slowly; starting with 10 seconds of high intensity and 2 minutes of recovery, with only 3 intervals at first. (For my high risk clients). Then I very gradually (and only one at a time) increase the high intensity interval and decrease the recovery. They only do this 2 days a week, with strength and steady state training on other days. My clients have had great health results (decreased blood sugar and blood pressure as well as weight loss) with such a program.
Hello John Phillips,
I am not sure there is a “best” for anything. Studies are always being done and the results are always being tweaked. The options are endless when it comes to training programs.
That is why cross training, like the others mention, is a good way to go.
Mix up the interval training days with steady state training days.
The best type of training just may be whatever the client is willing to do and maintain, for their heart health.
NAPS 2 B Fit
Best way to approach his is to do a fitness assessment on your client and from that you should be able to figure out if this type if training is for her. This is not for everyone, especially when it comes to seniors. Some can perform HIIT with no problems while others have health issues and limitations that will make it very difficult for them to get engaged in this type of training. The other professionals here have given you some great sources of information, but the final step is up to you and your client.