High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Benefits And Risks

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Benefits And Risks

Discover the strengths and weaknesses of the HIIT, a training form full of advantages but not recommended for beginners.

 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Benefits And Risks

HIIT is a type of workout that combines short intervals of cardio, resistance exercises and strength exercises in one program. The combination of exercises (in short sessions) is alternated during a single sports session.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) describes any training that alternates between intense bursts of activity (physical exertion is very important) and fixed periods of less intense activity (recovery) or even complete rest.

For example, a good warm up is to run as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this interval of 3 minutes five times for 15 minutes, this will give you a fat destructive workout. It sounds too simple to be really effective, but science does not stretch the truth. Continue reading to see the proven benefits of this type of training, which exceed its risks.

> Advantages and benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training)

1) It is very effective when you do not have much time to do sports
The HIIT is super efficient , it’s the ideal training for a busy schedule, whether you want to workout during your lunch break or if you want to get back into shape for a nearby event, for example.

Research shows that you can progress as much with 15 minutes of high intensity split training (performed three times a week), as a person who runs on the treadmill for an hour.

And according to a 2011 study presented at the annual meeting of the American University of Sports Medicine, only 2 weeks of HIIT improve your breathing capacities as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

It’s not even the best part! Using the Tabata method, you can complete an effective HIIT workout in just 4 minutes!

2) It burns more fat
In addition to burning more calories during high intensity split workouts, the effects of all these intense efforts will make the repair cycle of your body hyperactive. This means that you burn more fat and calories within 24 hours after the HIIT session than you burn after a regular running.

3) It builds a healthier heart and improves endurance
Most people are not used to pushing their anaerobic (this awesome moment when you can not breathe and you feel like your heart wants to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. A 2006 study found that after 8 weeks of HIIT practice, subjects could cycle twice as long (with the same intensity).

The next time you have trouble running long, instead do a 60 second HIIT session efficiently. One study found that a single minute of high intensity split work instead of a soft sports session can boost your stamina and overall health. This can be seen through measures like improved blood pressure and higher numbers of mitochondria (which help feed your body and your brain). And this progression of endurance will be observable in your other exercises with moderate intensity (like the running, the bike, etc.).

4) There is no need for equipment
Running, cycling, jumping rope, rowing, etc. All work very well for the HIIT, but you do not need any sports equipment to do so. Climbing knees, not fast, and everything that is aerobic (like the jump exercises) work just as well to increase your heart rate.Indeed, some equipment like dumbbells can make high intensity split training less effective because you need to focus on pushing your heart to the fullest, not on your biceps.

5) You lose weight, not muscle
All those who have diet know that it is difficult not to lose muscle mass at the same time as fat. While steady-state cardio training can cause muscle loss, studies show that weight training and HIIT workouts allow those who diet to preserve their hard-earned muscles at the same time as making sure that the majority Of the lost weight comes from fat stores. It’s a win-win!

6) You will increase your metabolism
In addition to fat burning and muscle preservation, high intensity interval training stimulates the production of your Growth Hormones (GH) up to 450% during the 24 hours after the end of your workout.This is very good news since GH is not only responsible for the increase in calorie burning but also for the reduction of aging, making you younger indoors as well as outdoors!

7) You can make it everywhere
You can do HIIT on a boat or walking your dog. You can do it here or there, you can do it everywhere (a bit like the stomach vacuum )! Since this is a simple concept (maximize effort over a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat), you can adapt it to suit your time and space as you wish.

8) You can choose your own workouts
You do not have to limit yourself to running or cycling with the HIIT. In fact, you can select any cardio workout and get it back into the “Interval” mode.

For example, you can cycle one day at maximum speed for 30 seconds, and take rest for 45 seconds, and so on. And the next day you can switch to jogging or aerobics.

9) It’s really demanding and you will not have time to find it annoying
High intensity interval training is not a sporting activity that you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friends. It’s so short that you’re going to have to work hard all along.The advantage of this format offers seasonal practitioners a new challenge and new practitioners a quick way to see results, which is very motivating. You may be suffering, you may be brewing wind but you will not get bored (unlike other sports that can tire in the long run)!

10) It can boost your VO2 max
You might think that a simple workout may not bring much, but if you do HIIT, know that if it does! A study was carried out on people with type 2 diabetes. It divided people into two groups: the first had to walk continuously at medium intensity, the second had to walk at intervals (low and high intensity).

The results were very clear: VO2max increased in the second group who walked at intervals (but no change was observed in the first group who walked continuously at moderate intensity). Body weight and body fat decreased in the second group only, and it also had better glycemic control. HIIT can therefore reduce blood sugar in diabetics even with a single workout.

> Disadvantages and risks of HIIT

Although high intensity interval training is a very good sporting session, and although it is very popular (because it improves endurance, agility, coordination and power) is not perfect. Here are the negatives of this type of training:

1) Difficult to keep fit
Proper physical fitness is crucial in any type of exercise. But, you will find it difficult to maintain good shape during the HIIT because the movements involve several joints, are complex and carried out with rapid succession.

A false move and you can hurt yourself. The HIIT consists of performing all the right movements as quickly as possible. And many people are not able to maintain the pace of this program because of complex movements.2) It’s not safe for everyone
Do not make mistakes, high intensity interval training is extremely demanding physically speaking. The program can be fatal if you suffer from arterial or cardiac diseases. This training is not ideal for seniors and sufferers of chronic diseases among others (those who suffer from arthritis or diabetes should abstain). HIIT is mostly reserved for healthy people between 18 and 40 years of age.

If you are healthy, you will need to condition your body before practicing HIIT. You will need to start gently with low intensity cardio exercises before making the transition to any type of exercise physically experiencing. This will minimize the occurrence of wounds and breakdowns. Whatever happens, you should consult your doctor before starting an HIIT program.

3) Risk of sprains
Many fitness athletes add high intensity interval workout to their overall workout routine. They warm up, cool down, prepare themselves carefully and maintain good technique along the training. However, not all beginners are equally applied, and by taking a thorough lead in the HIIT session without precautions, many of them may suffer a sprain in the days following the session.

Recall that a sprain is the traumatic lesion of a joint due to stretching or ligament rupture. Also read our tips for decreasing the frequency of body aches after your sports sessions.

4) You may stop exercising because of an injury
Lack of motivation or confidence, especially when we injure ourselves by playing sports, may cause us to say that “any sport is bad for me”. But, this is not always the case, you may just suffer from an elongation. Or you just need to adjust and reduce the intensity of the efforts (otherwise, long exercises and low intensity can already boost the slimming quite properly).Do not use HIIT if you suffer from overtraining symptoms (such as muscle or joint pain).

5) You may feel overwhelmed
Those who train in the room are afraid of high-intensity interval training rather than feeling happy about going to the gym. Why ? Because unless you are committed to 200% to improve your fitness, this training requires monstrous effort and patience.

Let us not forget that the HIIT is initially conceived for the athletes and not for the beginners (the 2: 1 protocol of Dr. Izumi Tabata, 2 minutes of effort followed by 1 minute rest, was designed for example with Olympic athletes on your mind). For regular athletes (without being athletes), a ratio of 2: 3 should be used instead. Finally, for beginners, it is recommended to adopt a 1: 3 ratio (1 minute of effort and 3 minutes of rest).

It’s easy to get through a barely split high intensity training session because it will drain all your energy (which you can re-energize very quickly with a few tricks). Of course, the HIIT is a very dynamic training, but since it is very physical, there are few people who can overcome all the challenges that this training presents. This creates difficulty in maintaining a high intensity split workout routine over a long period of time.

6) It will tire you enormously
The HIIT stimulates your survival instinct (combat-leak response). The time to finish your workout, the adrenaline will pop up in your veins and make you go back longer. This increases the level of stress in the brain and causes different symptoms of anxiety such as palpitations, loss of concentration, nervousness and sweaty hands. But when the adrenaline falls, you feel emptied of all energy, soft and exhausted.

7) It’s not an exceptional cardiovascular workout
Many sports experts point out that high-intensity split training is very beneficial, but that it can not by itself constitute your sport program. According to these specialists, despite the steady rhythm and energy transitions between the workouts, this program does not develop heart, lungs and muscles as well as classic cardio activities over the long term.So if you think you can completely avoid any other cardiovascular activity because you are already practicing HIIT, think again. To complete a full HIIT session, you must have good lungs and a good heart. Otherwise you will spend the rest of your workout catching your breath especially if you are newbies. Also consider alternating HIIT with other sports activities.

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