High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has grown massively in popularity over the last few years, especially with time-poor fitness enthusiasts who want to burn calories fast! HIIT consists of exerting maximal physical effort for an exercise set or period of time (typically less than two minutes) followed by a period of active recovery, for an overall workout period of anywhere between 15-45 minutes. HIIT workouts produce excellent results because they target lots of muscles & burn calories both during AND after the actual exercise.
While HIIT workouts are a great option for fast weight loss & time efficiency, they’re not for everyone. The question is - to HIIT or not to HIIT? Is it right for you?
Who Should Participate in HIIT?
HIIT is a great option for people of all ages who are physically healthy. As long as someone doesn’t have an injury or medical reason to abstain from exercise, they can do HIIT.
Most of the time when people think of HIIT, it conjures up thoughts of doing box jumps, burpees &squat jumps - but a HIIT workout may look very different for a 55 yr old woman who is working with a trainer to get her heart rate up & down. She may power walk on a treadmill incline for the high-intensity portion & then do slow hip bridges lying on a mat for active recovery. A guy in in his 20's may be more suited to lunge jumps with dumbbells for the high-intensity portion followed by ab crunches for active recovery. The exercises making up your HIIT training are subjective!
A tough level of exercise for one person may be an easy level for someone else - HIIT can be modified for an individual’s personal level of fitness.
Who Should AVOID HIIT?
Despite the advantages of a time effective, high intensity workout, HIIT isn't great for everyone. If you overly exert yourself to the point where you risk injury, you're doing it wrong.
If you fall into any of the following categories, you should probably avoid HIIT workouts - at least until your health improves:
- People who are injured in any way
- Women who are pregnant
- Women who are in the first 3-6 months postpartum
- People with low immune system health
- People who have a heart condition or have recently undergone cardiac surgery
- People suffering from osteopenia or osteoporosis
- People with any form of incontinence, prolapse or pelvic floor weakness
- People with no foundation of knowledge for how to perform exercise basics in proper form (ex: squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, etc.)
People who are out of shape or new to exercise can greatly benefit from HIIT programs. The challenge is that a lot of people will embark on HIIT workout programs that are overly gruelling & unsustainable for the long-term. HIIT workouts must be done responsibly to avoid burnout & over-training. Unfortunately, too many people over-do it, then suffer negative consequences & get turned off from exercise.
Just remember: Exercises done the wrong way break down your body. Exercises done the right way build it up.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about HIIT, our team would love to help.
Have a beautiful 2021 from the Hybrid Supps family!