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Separating HIIT Fact from Fiction

It's easy to get lost in the hype around new workout devices or protocols that promise maximal results in minimal time. To help set the record straight, the marketing director for a device called CAR.O.L, Rahul Bernath, joined the Get-Fit Guy for a friendly debate. 

By
Brock Armstrong
Episode #465
Data image taken from the CAR.O.L website
The Quick And Dirty
  • There is a difference between cardiovascular fitness and full-body physical fitness. Ideally, we want to have both.
  • HIIT can be a great way to get started on your fitness journey—and then an excellent way to augment it.
  • When you are considering purchasing home exercise equipment, it's important to do some realistic soul-searching so you don't end up with a treadmill-shaped clothes rack.
  • The artifical intelligence in the CAR.O.L device helps to ensure that users get the same HIIT results that scientists saw in the lab. 

Rahul Bernath is the Sales and Marketing Director for the home fitness bike called CAR.O.L at carolfitai.com. Before joining CAR.O.L, Rahul graduated from the University College London with a First Class Degree and worked with some of the UK’s most valuable consumer brands in marketing and sales.

The name of this rather innocuous-looking stationary bike stands for CARdiovascular Optimization Logic. CAR.O.L is an AI-powered, interactive exercise bike with self-learning algorithms that took more than four years to develop. The big selling point of CAR.O.L is that it automates each HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout and guides you through perfect execution of each workout using biofeedback, a touchscreen, and audio prompts.

I had the opportunity to try out a CAR.O.L bike in person, and although I enjoyed a good workout and was intrigued by the device, I walked away with some mixed feelings. Those mixed feelings mostly focussed around the claims that so many devices like these seem to elicit. Claims such as "CAR.O.L is clinically proven to give you the same cardio benefits of a 45-minute jog in under 9 minutes, with only 40 seconds of hard work." So, instead of griping about these negative feelings in private, I decided to have Rahul on the podcast to discuss it openly. So civilized, right?

See also: 3 Problems with High-Intensity Interval Training

In our conversation, which I highly encourage you to listen to in the audio podcast player at the top of this page, Rahul and I discuss the following topics. 

  • The difference between cardiovascular or biological fitness and full-body physical fitness.
  • How devices like CAR.O.L and HIIT can be a positive "gateway drug" for previously unfit individuals to progress toward a more robust movement filled life.
  • The many benefits of having a healthy and strong heart, which is one of the biggest boosts from a HIIT style workout.
  • How a once a previously-sedentary Rahul achieved a level of cardiovascular fitness using the CAR.O.L and then started doing more involved exercise programs.
  • The motivation that can be found in seeing the quick results from workouts like HIIT or weightlifting versus the slow results you get from longer, slower cardio. (Spoiler: Seeing quick results keeps you coming back for more.)
  • Why the AI aspect of CAR.O.L helps to execute HIIT the "correct" way that it's done in the highly controlled environment of a sports science lab. For more info on that, check out my article called 3 Problems with High-Intensity Interval Training
  • The criteria that Rahul suggests we use when purchasing a home workout device:
    • What benefit are you trying to achieve (ie. train for a marathon, put on muscle or simply build a strong heart)?
    • What amount of time are you willing to commit to using the device?
    • What type of workout do you actually enjoy (don't buy a treadmill if you find running boring)?
    • How much money are you willing to spend?
  • How HIIT fits into an otherwise active lifestyle. For example, Rahul uses the CAR.O.L a few times per week but also does military style boot camps.
  • Ultimately, the most important thing in fitness is finding something that you can actually stick to.

Go to shop.carolfitai.com and use the code: GETFIT150 for $150 off a CAR.O.L bike. Neither Quick and Dirty Tips nor I receive any monetary compensation if you use the code, it is simply a gift to you readers who have been inspired to invest in your cardiovascular health. 

About the Author

Brock Armstrong

Brock Armstrong is a certified AFLCA Group Fitness Leader with a designation in Portable Equipment, NCCP and CAC Triathlon Coach, and a TnT certified run coach. He is also on the board of advisors for the Primal Health Coach Institute and a guest faculty member of the Human Potential Institute. Do you have a fitness question? Leave a message on the Get-Fit Guy listener line. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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