Workout classes and programs are nothing new, but they still can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t accustomed to those types of exercises. Yoga classes may only run through the poses without the instructor taking the time to help improve your posture or form. And boot camp training can make you feel self-conscious about your cardio level. Despite the fear of not performing on par with the pros in these classes, the interval training aspect is beneficial for myriad reasons.
HIIT workouts can be done almost anywhere without the need of gym equipment. In fact, most HIIT workouts focus on bodyweight exercises to maximize core strength, increase cardiovascular performance, and tone muscles. These exercise circuits pay off by alternating between anaerobic periods and less intense recovery periods. For the sake of sweat, push your body and you’ll begin seeing the results you desire.
Where To Start:
Not everyone starts out at the same fitness level, so how will you tackle your first HIIT training session? The level of intensity will vary for each person, but it is still important to push your body to get the most out of your interval training. Don’t push yourself to the brink of exhaustion, but go through the exercises as best you can. Some people might start with burpees and wall sits, while others begin with jumping jacks and squats. No matter which HIIT circuit you end up choosing, here are a few tips that can help anybody conquer the workout.
Always Warm Up:
No matter what type of workout you engage in, stretching and warming up is standard protocol. Because of the high-intensity nature of interval training, these first steps are especially important. The body will be pushed to its potential, which means that your muscles need to be loose and limber. Try to partake in a dynamic warm up that slowly increases your heart rate, while simultaneously getting your muscles moving.
Make Sure To Fuel Up:
Eating the right foods before you exercise is equally as important as hydrating, yet the two are often overlooked. Loading up on the proper nutrients before a gives your body energy to burn. Don’t enter into a HIIT circuit on an empty tank; rather, eat some healthy carbs like oats, brown rice, or rice cakes and raw almond butter. These foods work to store glycogen in your muscles for optimal performance.
While we’re on the topic of eating, we might as well stress the importance of hydrating before a workout. Since you will undoubtedly sweat during interval training, make sure the body is sufficiently hydrated prior to starting your workout. Additionally, drink water periodically during the workout to supply your muscles with electrolytes.
Know Your Limits:
HIIT workouts will push your body and they can be difficult, but don’t exert yourself beyond your physical limits. You will experience accelerated heart rate and lactic acid fatigue during a HIIT workout. While this is par for the course, it can intimidate first timers. Various trainers agree that you should not go all out during your first set because you want to be able to recover during rest periods.
Modify When Necessary:
In the same vein as knowing your limits, you should also modify exercises that seem too difficult for your level of fitness. Good instructors will demonstrate modifications of the various exercises for all levels of fitness. Just as you shouldn’t contort your body to attempt a yoga pose that isn’t feasible, you should not do an exercise that is uncomfortable for the body. Almost every exercise can be modified, so be mindful of your limits make fitness work for you.
After completing your HIIT workouts, make sure that you take the proper recovery steps. You took the time to warm up, right? Allow your body recovery time between various HIIT sessions in order for the body to perform optimally.