While it is one of the most effective means of building fitness, HIIT training is not for the faint of heart. It is enormously demanding on the body, which is why it works so well. Although, because of this, HIIT training does come with a risk of injury. This especially when approached with little care and knowledge. Being able to stay active and keep on training means avoiding those risks, which means that there are some things you should keep in mind when exercising.
Important tips for working out
There is Always Time to Warm Up
This precaution is part-and-parcel of any approach to fitness and personal training but that makes it no less important. Warming up is an important first step to any exercise, no matter how fit you are. Not only will a solid warm-up increase your performance and your recovery but it will also protect you from the risk of pulling a tendon or a muscle.
Because of the high-intensive nature of HIIT workouts, the heart too is put under stress. This makes a thorough warm-up even more important for those with heart conditions. (Interested in learning about the anatomical structure of the hear? Read our article, entitled How is the heart structured?, to find out.) Even if HIIT workouts appeal to you because they take up so little time in comparison to other workouts, warming up will only add a hand-full of minutes to the routine; and so there really is no excuse for not doing it.
Ease into your HIIT training
If you are starting out, or have been out of action for a while, it is important to resist the temptation to jump right into HIIT training without a care for your fitness levels. HIIT’s intensive nature makes it a difficult exercise to start off with. This means that a better approach is to build up your fitness levels before you dive straight into HIIT training. On top of that, starting with HIIT training may increase the risk of sustaining injuries during the routine. A far better approach is to begin with low-intensity, aerobic exercises, and work your way to HIIT from there.
Hydration and nutrients
Bodily performance is largely dependent on the nutrients it receives. This means that eating right is an essential part of high-intensity training. Having a meal with moderate to high levels of carbs and protein a couple of hours before a workout is a good idea. (Read this article to find out about other pre-workout foods.) Staying hydrated is equally, if not more important. Water beats any sugary energy drink out there for such short-duration routines.
Set the right schedule
Because of the high-intensive nature of HIIT training, you won’t be doing it every day (or at least you shouldn’t). This is especially true for those who are starting out. It is best to schedule this type of training for two to three sessions a week. Make time for HIIT alongside other routines such as jogging, yoga or weight-lifting for a more varied routine. Remember that your body does need some time to recover as well so be sure to include some downtime into your training routine.
Form always beats speed
With any type of exercise, form is crucial to not only getting results but also to increasing performance and for lowering the risk of sustaining an injury. However, with HIIT the temptation is always there to squeeze more into your allotted intervals, often forsaking form as a result.
Improper form is widely regarded as one of the main reasons why workout-related injuries occur, which complicates things because one of the points of interval training is that one should maintain a pace even when they start to feel exhausted. As the pace picks up during a workout, this becomes even more difficult to keep in mind. A lot of it comes down to focus and concentration although those who struggle to maintain both pace and form may benefit from alternative movements that are less physically demanding.
The need for safe and effective guidance through these types of exercises is one of the reasons why personal trainers have come in such high demand in today’s health industry.
If you would like to know more about obtaining an internationally accredited personal training certificate, contact a representative from the Trifocus Fitness Academy today, or browse our website to take a look at our courses and specialisations.