Thinking of Getting Started with HIIT? Read This First!
HIIT, also known as high intensity interval training is of those terms that’s heavily tossed around in the fitness industry.
Want to lose weight fast? HIIT!
Want to get shredded? HIIT!
Want to boost your metabolism? HIIT!
The effectiveness of high-intensity training cannot be overstated… but… and there’s a big but here… BUT it’s not for everyone.
If you’re overweight or morbidly obese, you really don’t want to start off with HIIT. There are several reasons for this.
For starters, you’ll be carrying a lot of weight which will place immense stress on your joints. If you’re overweight and doing jumping lunges and skater hops, you might injure your knees.
Over and above that, people who are overweight usually are that way because of a sedentary lifestyle. They’re not used to exercise and it’s not a habit for them.
If you adopt HIIT as your training protocol from the get-go, you’re going to suffer. The workouts will be insanely hard and for someone not used to exercise, it will feel torturous. You’ll start dreading your workouts.
Guess what happens after that?
Your mind will start cooking up excuses to prevent you from training. This is your mind’s self-preservation mechanism. It knows that the workouts are Herculean and you’re just going to hate it. So, it does its best to convince you not to train.
The end result is that you start skipping your workouts… and soon you stop exercising totally. Now you’re back to square one and no better off.
The key to succeeding with HIIT is to first develop the habit of exercise. Go to the gym 5 times a week. If you can’t even do this, you’ll not have the discipline to stay true to a HIIT regimen.
Walk for an hour daily. This will be enough to get your body to burn calories and cause fat loss. Remember to eat at a caloric deficit. You’ll need discipline to tailor your diet accordingly. As you can see, these initial steps are necessary to build your self-discipline.
During this process, you’ll start losing weight and the pressure and impact on your joints will diminish. Keep at it until you notice that your results are starting to taper off. That means your body is adapting and becoming more efficient.
By now, you’d have some strength, more stamina and less fat. You can slowly ease into HIIT by doing it once or twice a week. It’s all baby steps here. Increase the intensity till you’re mildly uncomfortable.
You’ll still be sweating, panting and your heart rate will be higher. It will be more than what you’re accustomed to. This is how you ‘season’ your body and get it ready for the actual high intensity training.
Always remember that you can’t out train a bad diet. So, make sure your diet is on point and you’re eating clean. When you’re expending more calories than you consume, you’ll shed the fat and your HIIT workouts will improve.
It’ll be less of a struggle to move fast. Slowly increase the number of sessions till you’re doing 3 HIIT sessions a week. On the other 3 days, you can do resistance training. Take a day to rest.
The goal is to make continued progress and keep getting faster and raising the intensity. In 2 to 3 months, you’d have improved so much that you won’t be able to believe it.
Now you’re ready to go all out and exercise at maximum intensity. You’ll be leaner, have the self-discipline to stick to your training schedule and you’ll be a lot fitter. That’s how you do it.