Important Facts About HIIT Training
What should you know about HIIT before trying it?
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is now being used in almost every country in the world to enhance conventional sports conditioning and to speed up weight loss in overweight/obese individuals.
There are plenty of resources on the Internet about HIIT and you can actually start on a HIIT workout today if you wanted to.
However, if you are not completely familiar with HIIT and what it entails, I recommend that you read today’s special discussion in full so that you know exactly what this training method is all about.
Is HIIT a safe training method for everyone?
HIIT can place a large strain on your cardiorespiratory system because it alternates steady-state and high intensity movements from beginning to end.
If you have been diagnosed with sensitive health conditions such as high blood pressure or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), you must consult with your physician first before trying HIIT, or any other exercise for that matter.
Individuals who are obese and have never tried exercise before should also be wary of high intensity workouts as these can place an unnecessary amount of strain on the heart.
If you can’t manage HIIT at the present time, there are countless other exercises systems available that make use of low to moderate intensity workouts to burn calories.
How can you improve your fitness level?
A person’s base fitness level can be measured in a variety of ways: speed tests, strength tests, VO2 max tests, etc. You can visit a sports clinic or fitness center and ask about these tests if you want very precise measurements of how your body responds to exercise.
If you want to improve your base fitness level, you need to start exercising as soon as possible.
Do you have to go the gym to improve your base fitness level?
You don’t have to go the gym to exercise!
There are plenty of full body workouts that you can perform at home. I recommend at least 20 minutes of regular exercise per day, starting with low-impact movements in the first 1 or 2 weeks.
After the 2nd week you can gradually add moderately intense workouts like weighted squats and weighted lunges.
60 minutes is your absolute limit for exercise if you are just starting out. I know that you can probably work out for 2 hours straight but that would be too strenuous on the body. Give your body the rest that it deserves and exercise moderately to produce good results.
What happens to your other workouts, like walking or yoga?
Low to moderate intensity workouts are still an integral part of your exercise regimen. I highly recommend continuing with your previous workouts and physical activities like before, even after you’ve started using HIIT to improve your fitness level.
Also, due to the nature of HIIT workouts, many people are unable to manage daily HIIT sessions.
Pure HIIT should be performed only a few times a week. 2 to 3 pure HIIT sessions is ideal in the beginning as you will have long recovery periods from high intensity workouts throughout the week.
Preferably, you should do a short HIIT workout and proceed with your routine exercises to keep your body guessing. This will allow it to burn a lot of calories consistently.
If you enjoy sports like tennis, you will benefit from both low intensity and high intensity workouts.
Low intensity workouts are often used for injury prevention and conditioning of the muscle and joints. HIIT can burn more calories, but it does not replace other workout methods.
How hard are HIIT workouts?
The difficulty level of HIIT exercises is also considered its main tradeoff: it can be very challenging! The advantage of HIIT is that it makes use of nearly all available muscle groups and it requires speed, agility and strength while maintaining proper form.
According to the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion, many HIIT workouts have a PE level of 15-18. 18 is the final Borg rating for activities that a person can maintain for a period of time even if the exertion level is categorized as “very hard.”
So if you sign up for an HIIT workout class or any other fitness class that makes use of high intensity exercises (like lifting Russian kettlebells), expect a lot of fast, intense exercises that will test your endurance, strength and stamina. Most of all, these classes will test your motivation to lose weight.
On a lighter note, you can always slow down or stop if you can’t manage a particular movement or if you’ve had enough of an “HIIT circuit” as fitness trainers call them.