The Disadvantages of High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

High-intensity interval training or HIIT refers to a type of workout program that incorporates short intervals of cardio, resistance and strength training exercise into one regimen. These exercises are performed alternately into a single session to increase endurance, stamina as well as to achieve definition. HIIT is extremely popular among those who want to improve their stamina, coordination, speed, and agility.

While HIIT is definitely a great workout, it’s not perfect. Because this exercise program demands a certain level of power and coordination, not everyone is fit for HIIT. And in today’s post, we are listing down the drawbacks of high-intensity interval training:

Greater Risk of Injury

Because HIIT requires the completion of a series of exercises in one upbeat tempo, there is a higher risk of sustaining injuries, especially for beginners. You see, HIIT is meant to push the body against its limits. The body goes through incredible level of pressure just to perform a single session. You can always warm up before and after a session but because maintaining the right form is harder in HIIT, there is still a good chance that you will pull a muscle.

It’s not for Beginners

HIIT is one of those workouts that require a certain level of fitness to perform. This regimen is definitely not for the beginners. That’s because the sets are extremely challenging. They should be performed at a fast pace while achieving the right form every time. The complex exercises in HIIT prove to be too much for those who are still adjusting to working out.

It’s not Targeted

Unlike weight training or strength training, HIIT will not target a specific muscle, group. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. HIIT is best for those who want to build stamina, but it won’t be enough to others who want to improve strength or achieve defined muscles. HIIT will not develop any specific skills that other fitness programs do. To hone the body through HIIT, you’ll still need to incorporate targeted workouts and that will certainly eat more of your time in the gym.

Longer Recovery Times

You need to be at your physical peak to complete an HIIT program. And even when you are at your peak, you are not impervious to the long recovery times you have to endure after every session.

HIIT puts a lot of stress on the muscles, organs and joints. The more pressure you put yourself through, the longer the recovery period. To illustrate, a 30-minute HIIT session will require 3 days of recovery. A normal 1-hour workout requires no less than 2 days of rest to recuperate.

Health Risks

In severe cases of muscle stress, this regimen can cause rhabdomyolysis. This condition occurs when the muscle fibers start breaking down and leaks into the bloodstream. The contaminated blood enters the kidneys, causing kidney damage. Before signing up for this program, consult your doctor first. Also, it’s imperative to get a lot of rest in between sessions to minimize the risk of rhabdomyolysis.

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