HIIT is the craze, touted for its crazy fat burning process & impressive results, it's here to stay like it or not. Everyone's in, but at the same time, everyone is out of it. Find out why HIIT may be doing you more harm than good.
What is HIIT?
A short acronym for High-Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) is also known and High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise(HIIE). Before HIIT became full blown like how it is now, there was HIT(high-intensity training). HIT was popularised by Arthur Jones in 1970s, who is the founder of Nautilus. HIT is a form of strength training done with the focus of quality repetitions to the point of muscular fatigue/ failure. HIT is based on the principles of doing the exercises brief, infrequent and intense to "shock" them into growth.
There are various kinds of HIIT, & one of the more known one is Tabata! There really isn't a definite formula for HIIT, but as long as you are doing a form of intervals which has these components below, you are doing a HIIT session(*or some sort of):
HIIT can also include an upper body, lower body, a full body workout.
How to do HIIT correctly
More & more people are getting injured doing HIIT & the two highest fault lies in the inability of working at sub/ supra maximal effort whilst keeping the form consistent for most people. HIIT is done with the intent of moving with close to maximal effort for the amount prescribed in the session, & allow the rest time in between to recover & get oxygen flowing. When you do interval at a high intensity level, you produce a lot of lactic acid in your system to the working muscle making it severely hard to move them in the form that you desire to constantly throughout time, thus, working gradually is highly suggested instead of jumping into a HIIT session not having to do ONE proper HIIT session to work towards a longer duration. You leave your body sore for the next few days and experience DOMS(delayed onset muscles soreness) which if you're not mindful during the session & go beyond your capable work output, you may be injuring yourself & the soreness may last up to a week or so, leaving you hobbling wherever you go!
Top 3 things to look out for when doing HIIT
Progression is key to doing HIIT, never jump into a session that allows you to get to know what capacity your "engine" is. Always start with something that leaves you slightly exhausted but metabolically, you feel alive after the session, never drained or exhausted. This allows your mind(mental), body(muscles, cardiovascular system etc), & your brain(nervous system) to adapt for higher work output for extended period of time each session.
HIIT without form causes injury, period. Going through the time based movement(s) just for the sake of trying to burn more calories will do you more than those calories you wanted to burn. Sacrificing form for doing any type of high intensity work with complex movement(s) is never a good idea in any way. Your body will over compensate & have you work the wrong muscles, which will eventually lead to you having strained a muscle, even worse tear something. The injuries sustained by many is real in the context of a sports medicine centre seeing people with injuries walking in from other HIIT sessions. Unfortunately, not all HIIT session facilitators are made the same, but you can always gauge by how much correction(s), regression of movement(modifications), & how they make you flow through to have you go through progression as mentioned above to make it a great HIIT session with only benefits to follow.
3. Movement capacity
Movement capacity refers to you being able to move freely without pain or restriction(s). This is, if not, the most important factor to you successfully doing any HIIT without accumulating any injuries. A few movement to self-test yourself is doing an:
The benefits of HIIT
RBMR(resting basal metabolic rate)
The demands of a HIIT session will add strength to your cardiovascular(heart) health. Just like working out the muscles that you can physically see on the external value of your body, your heart will be stronger, pumping blood in & out with lesser effort.
The maximum amount(volume) of oxygen you are able to use whilst exercising. This increase will help you go for longer durations/ bouts of HIIT session or endurance work because more oxygen means less lactic acid buildup!
Mental clarity & awareness
Your new programme
Don't know where to start with HIIT programming? You can try this & work the duration up to 30 minutes before changing/ adding a new move into it to become a complex HIIT session.
HIIT is not done regularly as it taxes your whole body system(nervous system, bones, muscles, tendons etc) too much, especially if you do it without enough recovery. Do them 2-3 times at max & always seek for full recovery before attempting the next one. It's also done periodically to shock the body's metabolic system into a full automation of metabolic rise up to about 48hours post your HIIT session!
What are you doing for HIIT, & do you have any injuries that you sustained whilst doing HIIT? Let us know in the comments section below!