High‐Intensity interval training reduces transcriptomic age: A randomized controlled trial

This randomized controlled trial finds that one month of high-intensity interval training can reduce an mRNA-based measure of biological age in sedentary adults ages 40–65 compared with a no-exercise control group. Additional hypothesis-generation bioinformatic analyses suggest that this process might be mediated by changes to autophagy, neurotrophin signaling, and cancer pathways.

Full Paper (open access):



High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT Training) is the way to go. Push the body to it’s limit for about 30 seconds, recover for a minute and a half, then repeat 3 to 5 times. If you do it right 30 seconds will be your limit. Imagine you’re running away from a tiger in the forest.

Sprints with running and swimming are my techniques two to three times a week. I don’t see anyone else in my age group doing it and it’s possible that they just think I’m a crazy old man! But, my point of view is you get one life, give it all you’ve got. It may be helpful. For people who don’t run or swim there’s the stationary bicycle, the elliptical machine, stair climber, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, etc. You start slowly and gradually increase over a period of weeks and months, not that I’m trying to convince anyone to do it.


Are you basing your protocol on studies? The 30 seconds vs some other time?

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KarlT, I’ve been doing this for several years, gradually at first as I weaned away from distance jogging to reduce joint wear and tear. I’ve forgotten where I first heard about it and I have adapted my routine (30 seconds high intensity, 90 seconds rest) to match what I am capable of still doing without suffering some type of joint damage or a possible stroke or heart attack. I’m not precise with the times. I just do what feels right and it varies from one time to the next. I did not check with my doctor first, but I think that’s probably a very good idea. I also do this in a gym where several people are trained for CPR and the use of a defibrillator.

I did some checking and apparently there are variations of this idea. The one that most closely matches what I currently do is here: Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective - PMC under the topic 2.2. Sprint Interval Training.

My transition to this was necessary in order to delay possible joint replacements and I was happy to find that I could do it although I would have preferred to continue jogging. If I have to transition again it will probably be to water aerobics or some combination of the other activities I mentioned. My technique with the other activities which I also do each week is a bit different, though.


Thanks. Interesting article. You think you are doing HIIT or SIT? I heard Attia talk about 4 min on then 4 min off but I think that was biking.

This study evaluated the use of shorter duration sprints (15 to 20s), and made the following findings:

It has been consistently shown that a single 30-s Wingate sprint can reduce muscle glycogen stores in the vastus lateralis by 20%-30%[61,69-72]. What is intriguing, however, is that glycogenolysis is only activated during the first 15 s of the sprint and is then strongly attenuated during the final 15 s[72]. Moreover, activation of glycogenolysis is inhibited in subsequent repeated sprints[72]. This suggests that the classic SIT (4-6 repeated 30-s Wingate sprints) may be unnecessarily strenuous, as similar glycogen depletion may be achieved with 1–2 sprints of a shorter duration (15-20 s)[61,73,74]. In turn, this would make the training sessions more time efficient, less strenuous, and more applicable to the sedentary general population. Hazell et al[75] directly compared the impact of reducing the sprint duration in the classic SIT protocol from 30 s to 10 s, and reported similar increases in VO2max with the 10-s protocol. Similarly, Zelt et al[76] reported no significant difference in the VO2max response to the classic SIT protocol with 30-s sprints (4%) and a modified protocol with 15-s sprints (8%).

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KarlT, According to the article I’ll go with Spring Interval Training, but the exact name may vary depending upon which expert is talking.

There are multiple variations of HIIT. There’s a book called The One Minute Workout, by Shulgan, that has 10 different variations with the research behind each one.

I do mine on a Schwinn Airdyne. I do two sets of 15 seconds activity with 10 seconds of rest in between and 2 minutes between the two sets.

I like to get on the bike multiple times in a week so I watch the wattage, and I only do what feels like 70 to 80% two or three times a week, then 90% once a week. I was trying to do 90% multiple times but my body just didn’t recover based on my HRV scores. Now that I’ve been doing the easier one more times my HRV scores and thus my recovery is much better.

The book is really good in that it gives you a whole bunch of choices and you can find the one that works for your body, your energy level, your joints, etc. The best exercise, as always, is the one you’ll do consistently. I’m 71 and this has worked for me for about 3 years.