For the past five years, H.I.I.T has become exceedingly popular, and this year ranks 3 on American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) list of 2019 trends. H.I.I.T stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. At first glance, HIIT can seem a bit intimidating so we put together a few tips for H.I.I.T newcomers.
H.I.I.T is a form of interval training that alternates periods of exercise with less-intense recovery periods. H.I.I.T is based on being able to push yourself to a high intensity followed by rest so that you can repeat that intensity again. Not only is interval training a great way to torch calories quickly, but it also helps you to continue burning more calories after the workout than a regular cardio workout. The variety of movements also keeps many people challenged and engaged.
When you’re trying a new type of class, we always recommend finding a studio with small classes to make sure you’re receiving the proper attention from the coaches. Small class sizes mean that you’re not getting lost in the crowd and the instructor has the ability to correct your form throughout the workout. Reach out to the studio to learn more about their class size. At TS, our group fitness classes have no more than 8 participants, which assures that you have the attention you need.
You can also ask additional questions regarding their warm-up, how long the session lasts, the general format, and the cool down.
This will not only help you mentally prepare but will also let your instructor know that you’re new and to keep an eye out for you during a session.
Most H.I.I.T classes incorporate standard bodyweight exercises or primary movements—such as squats, planks, rowing moves, and pushups. These exercises also serve as the base of more complex movements that you may encounter. If you are unfamiliar with these movements, we suggest scheduling some time with a personal trainer or show up to class a few minutes early to speak to the instructor who will gladly demonstrate these exercises.
We advise that when you’re just starting out with H.I.I.T to go at your own pace. Don't try to keep up with others, just focus on you. You can increase the intensity as you get more comfortable with the movements and the studio.
Ask yourself: 'What's the reason why I'm here? To increase my endurance? Because I have a lot of stress and I want to release it? Because I want to lose weight? Just to become a better you? Whatever your goal is, think about that and not how hard you’re working out.
We also recommend that you give your body some time to recover before hopping right back into another H.I.I.T class. When you’re just starting out, you should probably limit yourself to one or two sessions per week. Incorporate steady-state cardio like jogging on a treadmill or yoga to give your body a break as it recovers.
Proper eating habits can be the difference between seeing and feeling significant results. It can often be overlooked by some athletes as they pack their gym bags in the morning or race to a class after work. In some cases, if you don’t have time to eat or hydrate before working out, it can leave you fatigued, hurting your ability to maximize your exercise session.
It is critical to be fully hydrated before a workout. We suggest drinking at least 16 oz of water in the two hours leading up to your workout. If you are exercising in the morning, try to consume a glass of water right after you wake up. Working out dehydrated can leave you with low energy and at risk for muscle spasms.
As for what to eat before a workout, check out our previous blog post on fueling.
If you want to hear more about how we do things at TS or learn more about how we help people reach their fitness goals with our TS Fitness Train Strong Trial, book a FREE consultation.