Your Guide to Effective HIIT
This is largely due to the studies that keep coming out and concluding the same results, HIIT is superior for fat loss over LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio. So basically, if you did intervals of sprint type movements for 15 minutes the results were better for fat loss over doing a steady jog for twice as long (30 minutes).
This style of training is great for a lot of individuals, however, walking into gyms these days and seeing the different ways it is completed, there is some very simple common mistakes that the vast majority of athletes seem to have in common.
These mistakes are super simple to correct and almost self explanatory when identified. Fixing up these mistakes could multiply your great results!
We all know that the first 2 letters of HIIT stand for ‘HIGH INTENSITY’, although the intensity is very important its seems to have become the sole focus. Exercise selection, order, repetition tempo and even repetition ranges become an after that at best. At worst sometimes these become non-important factors at all.
The exercises you pick matter SO MUCH.
They are just as important or maybe even MORE IMPORTANT than the intensity you apply. Pick the wrong exercises and you may find yourself building and sculpting a physique that not only doesn’t look quite right but it may not even be burning fat as effectively as you might like.
Imagine losing all that body fat you wanted to and then not looking as good as you imagined. Even worse you may find yourself putting your body under too much stress in certain joints and adapting to bad movement patterns leading to pain and discomfort later on down the track.
Even though you can do almost any exercise intensely and it can make you sweat you need to remember that not all exercises are created equal. Although this may sound obvious, you would be surprised how many people disregard this important factor!
Mixing burpees with jump squats and skipping because it will ‘kick your ass!’ with zero thought of how those exercises might train and develop the body isn’t always the greatest…
The right exercise selection, combination, order of application and rep tempo will make a HUGE difference in both your experiences and your results, just like they do for any other type of training. It can develop those muscles you are specifically looking to see improvement in when you get lean. It can literally cut the time it takes to get lean!
It’s not all about sweating and training incredibly hard. What you do matters just as much as how hard you do it.
Spend time carefully selecting your exercises to put together, think about your desired results and create your selection around those ideas.
Or even hire a good trainer to do that for you, a trainer with great knowledge and great results, not the trainer with the most instagram followers or the trainer with a lot of clients but all seem to have mediocre results.
Even try and find some time tested HIIT programs from online sources, yes sometimes there is some great resources online.
Common Mistake #2: Zero Mobility Programming
The #1 reason I see people that have stopped their HIIT training is due to joint pain, muscle dysfunction and injury.
From my experiences I would even say that injury rates are higher in HIIT training versus other forms of training, yes even powerlifting and strength training because we all know that lifting ‘too heavy’ is ‘bad for your joints’. Part of this has to do with the intensity applied but the vast majority is due to just the ignorance to MOBILITY training.
Almost no HIIT programs pay any attention to mobility and stability, generally NONE AT ALL.
Now is this because everyone is meant to just have general knowledge of mobility and stability or is this because it is just over looked, I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is a huge mistake.
How your body moves is controlled by your muscles and how they ‘recruit’. Good muscle recruitment patterns will give you good ranges of motion (think flexibility) with good stability and control (think being strong in those flexible ranges), stability when changing directions and the ability to apply intensity confidently, without the fear of losing control. All of these are paramount when it come to HIIT because the general nature of HIIT is to train hard and to use different movements. If you have poor mobility like most people do, then going from exercise to exercise and training with a hard intensity is a great recipe for injury. Poor mobility limits how hard you can train and it limits what exercises you can pick from. In this case, your body is limited, so realistically your results are also limited..
Super simple solution to this. Try and spend a good amount of time working on mobility.
If you make mobility a part of your training priorities you will avoid the most common pitfall that accompanies this style of training.
Spending more time on mobility will aid in getting those fat loss goals effectively and efficiently with less time spent in the gym. Not to mention it could save you money from the therapies you may need if you were to get an injury.
Common Mistake #3: Training for too long each session
The reason HIIT came around was to have better results than LISS training in a shorter duration of time. HIIT also has the ability to build muscle depending on your exercise selection.
The other common thing we find in the gyms today is trainees training in a HIIT type style but for long durations (anything above 30-60 minutes). HIIT is very taxing on the bodies muscles and can be optimised to burn fat and even possibly build muscle, this however does not happen when we do HIIT for extended time periods.
Sometimes because the movements are so taxing on our muscles and joints (think sprinting and jumping) we can actually do more damage than good.
If you ever have the chance to ask a professional athlete from lets say sprinting, they all have one thing in common, they often train very intensely (sprints @ 100% of their efforts), however they do not keep this up for extended time periods, especially with little to no rest in between sets.
If you intend to keep the intensity very high then try narrow it down to shorter sessions (10-30 mins max), your body will highly benefit from being able to do short sessions but much more consistent rather than longer sessions once in a blue moon.
The idea of training is to not make yourself incredibly sore where you feel as if you can’t do anything for a number of days.
If you’re able to train at that intensity once every couple of days you will greatly improve the ability to sculpt the body you’re after. For a BONUS, you’re much less likely to run into any injuries with shorter smarter sessions.
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