Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are bringing you one exercise topic, talking about it for two minutes, and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now, this week we are talking to those of you who love HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training. What things do you have to keep in mind if you are going to exercise in this manner?
1) You Must Include Rest Periods
Tip number one – because your exercise is high intensity, you must include rest periods. You need to figure out the frequency in which you can participate in HIIT and not wear out your body. This might be every other day. It might be every third day. It might be once a week.
Action Step: If you are feeling beat up, achy, or sore after your HIIT exercise sessions, you need to include more rest time before your next HIIT workout. Our recommendation is to not exercise with HIIT unless you can match your output from your last workout. This means if you rest two days and then workout, but you cannot do the workout as well as you did the previous time, you need to rest longer before your next workout.
2) Be Mindful Of Time Intervals
Tip number two – be mindful of the time intervals you are using while you are working out. A lot of time HIIT can be incorporated into large group workouts or group fitness classes. But here’s the thing – you have to exercise in a manner that is appropriate for your body, so if the time intervals that are being used are too much for you, feel free to back off of them. The same goes for when you are working out on your own. If doing 30 seconds of all-out sprints is too much, back off.
Action Step: Don’t let yourself be pressured into trying to do more than what is appropriate for your body. Cut the suggested working time in half if it feels too difficult. Remember, exercising is about improving your health, not about competing against others. Listen to your body and back off when you need to.
3) Do HIIT With Slow Movements
Tip number three – do HIIT with slow movements. For some reason, when people think about a HIIT workout or a high-intensity workout, they often think that the workout must be done at a high speed. That actually does not have to be the case. You can do HIIT with slow, controlled, but intense movements. So, if the speed isn’t working for you, you are in luck. You can still do your HIIT, just pick exercises that you are able to use heavier weights while keeping your control, and you don’t have to have the speed.
Action Step: The next time you want to do a HIIT workout, try doing heavy isometric exercises. Instead of moving fast and sprinting, think about loading up a machine with a ton of weight and just push as hard as you can for 15-60 seconds. You can put more weight on than you can move—that’s the point—but make sure to do this only with a machine or cables as free weights may lead to injury if you use too much weight without a spotter. For example, load a chest press machine up heavy and try to push as hard as you can for 30 seconds. If you can’t move it, awesome! But keep pushing and trying to move it as hard as you can.
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