High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage in fitness circles.
So many people, from hardcore athletes to gym newcomers, are seeing tremendous benefits from their HIIT workout program. It’s a great way to lose fat, tone your body, and improve athletic ability.
But if you’re new to interval training, you might be intimidated. There’s a reason the first “I” stands for intensity.
Never fear. You can get the most out of your HIIT workout and stay safe while doing it. Familiarize yourself with these tips before you start training.
In no time you’ll see progress like you never have before!
Start at Your Own Pace
Getting started is often the hardest part of any new activity. Congratulations on making the commitment to getting in the best shape you can. Remember, it’s okay to be a novice; don’t try to keep up with anyone else.
Your workout is about you. When you’re beginning a new program it’s important to go at your own pace and not compare yourself to others.
Establishing good form early will help you progress faster and guard against injuries. The first few times you tackle your HIIT workout, focus exclusively on practicing good technique. Speed will come later.
If you’re brand new to working out, establish a fitness base before jumping right into interval training. Spend two to four weeks doing general conditioning. Get your body used to exercising and recovering from strenuous activity and familiarize yourself with various equipment.
Once you’ve built up good workout habits, you’ll be better equipped to blast through your HIIT program.
Adjust Your Workload as You Get Stronger
The more you workout the stronger you’ll get. Gradually increase the difficulty of your interval training to continue making gains.
You can increase the frequency of your workouts or make them longer. You can also adjust the time you spend in high intensity moves versus low intensity.
Keep challenging your body to improve. But don’t adjust all the variables of your workout at once. If you choose to add an extra day, don’t make each day more intense as well until you get comfortable with the increase in frequency.
Gradual progression will produce sustained results. But overdoing your workout puts you at risk of injury or burning out.
No matter how great your workout is, you won’t see overnight changes. So be patient with your progress.
Allow for Adequate Recovery During Your Workout
As the name suggests, a HIIT workout is intense. Make sure you build in adequate time in your workout for your body to recover.
Likewise, don’t neglect a proper warm up before you begin interval training. Begin each workout with a dynamic stretch and ease into the intensity. This will help guard against injury and assure that you actually get the most out of your routine.
For HIIT beginners, consider pairing one part high-intensity move with three or four parts of rest. Jog or run for 30 seconds, for example, then walk for two minutes to recover.
It’s important that you bring your heart rate back down below target level to help your body benefit from the type of workout you’re putting it through. Going too hard too fast or too long will negate your efforts.
And you’re more likely to be able to complete the full workout if you build your stamina up slowly. You don’t want to quit. Physically and psychologically, giving up on your workout makes it harder to tackle the next one.
Vary Your HIIT Workout to Avoid Boredom
There are so many ways you can personalize your workout and keep it interesting. You aren’t bound to do the same routine just because you’ve opted for interval training.
Working with a personal trainer is a great way to learn new moves and add variety to your workout. You can feel confident that you’ll get the intensity you need but you won’t be bored by too much repetition.
HIIT workouts can be done anywhere. If you prefer exercising outside, you can craft a program to run or jog through the park or along the beach.
If you prefer the machines at the gym, you can easily incorporate the treadmill and other equipment into your program. You’re only bound by your imagination in designing the perfect workout regimen for you.
On the go? You can modify your HIIT workout to fit your busy travel schedule as well. All you need is a small space in your hotel room, your own body weight, and the determination to keep going.
Listen to Your Body
As with any workout, it’s easy to get overly excited and do too much. Listen to your body and avoid burning out.
If you’re feeling sore, adjust your program. Consider taking an extra day off if you’ve been working out really intensely.
This is especially important for beginners. Until your body is comfortable with your new pace it will take time to catch up to your mind.
Be sure you’re eating properly and getting enough sleep and water. Your body is only as capable as how you fuel it.
After a workout be sure to cool down properly. Build recovery time into your gym routine. And be sure to replenish yourself with the proper nutrients.
A post-workout protein shake will give your body the energy it needs to rebuild muscle fibers and prepare for more intense work. As tempting as it is to push your body beyond its limits, be smart and listen to it when it says it’s time for a break.
The Best Shape of Your Life is Within Reach
You can have the body you want if you’re willing to work for it. We would love to help you achieve all your fitness goals and live the life you want to live.
Our trainers are skilled in working with people from all backgrounds and experience levels. You can feel comfortable just as you are.
We offer small group classes as well as personal training sessions so you can decide what works best for your needs and schedule. Whether you’re looking to bulk up with weightlifting, gain flexibility with pilates, or improve your tone and athleticism through a HIIT workout, we’ve got you covered.
Get to know our trainers and book your session today!