HIIT - and what you should absolutely pay attention to
Many of you have probably heard about high intensity interval training (HIIT). It's a workout that alternates short bursts of intensity followed by short recovery periods. HIIT is a quick way to improve fitness even further - it improves strength and endurance and appeals to most because it's very entertaining workouts. In addition to professional athletes, of course, amateur athletes also benefit from a HIIT workout. HIIT offers can be found in course programs in fitness studios, in videos on YouTube and also in the media this form of training is touted as a fast way to fitness success.
Where a HIIT workout can be very efficient and definitely beneficial to fitness, it can also have a negative effect very quickly and lead to injuries, exhaustion and sports burnout. Therefore, the following should be taken into account when doing HIIT:
- Prioritize recovery: as the name suggests, HIIT training is very intense and requires appropriate recovery. Fatigue and muscle soreness can still be noticeable a few days after the workout. Therefore, it is important to listen to your body, to take the recovery phases seriously and not to train again too quickly out of false ambition.
- Make sure there's variety: one mistake many people make is to fill their personal training program with only HIIT. As tempting as "fast and efficient" training sounds. That's the road to overtraining, which can easily be equated with physical burnout. In general, only 20 percent of your sessions should consist of HIIT workouts and 10 percent of your time should be in such intense ranges. After all, the workouts are only effective if they hit a good base. Otherwise they will burn you out.
- Finding the "right" high intensity: HIIT training thrives on high intensity and the workout should push you to your limits - but importantly, not beyond. In terms of numbers, this means that intervals should be performed at up to 93 percent of your maximum heart rate on average. Studies have shown that beyond that there is no added value, but the body is unnecessarily stressed.
Subjectively, the first third of the interval should feel easy, the second third hard but doable, while the last third already requires willpower. After that comes the break where you move loosely and then you're off again. Breathing should remain controlled for the most part, deep, accelerated also through the mouth. Panting is allowed especially in the last third of the workout, but it shows that you are already moving at the limit. Always pay attention to a correct execution of movement until the end of the training to avoid injuries.
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