The Disadvantages of High-Intensity Interval Training

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a type of workout regimen that combines short intervals of cardio, resistance and strength training exercise into one program. The combination of exercises is alternated throughout a single session. For instance, you will do a series of lunges, then quickly move on to a two-minute sprint then followed by box jumps. This workout is popular because it improves stamina, agility, and coordination. It also builds power.

Although HIIT is a great workout, the program is not perfect. And in today’s post, we are listing down the drawbacks of this fitness regimen:

Hard to Maintain Form

Proper form is crucial in any exercise. But you will struggle to maintain the right form in HIIT because the movements are multi-jointed, complex and done in quick successions. One wrong move and you could injure yourself. HIIT is all about hitting all the correct movements as fast as you can. And many people are unable to keep up with the pace of the program because of the complex movements.

Not a Good Cardio Workout

Contrary to popular belief, HIIT is not better than traditional cardio. Despite the quick tempo and the energetic transition between workouts, this program does not develop the heart, lungs and muscles. So if you think you can skip cardio because you do HIIT, think again. To complete a HIIT session, you must have a strong set of lungs and heart. Otherwise, you’d spend the rest of your training catching your breath.

It’s Not Safe for Everyone

Make no mistake, HIIT is an extremely physically demanding workout. The routine could be fatal if you’re afflicted with arterial or heart disease. This workout is not ideal for seniors and those suffering from chronic diseases. HIIT is ideal for healthy individuals 18 to 40 years old.

If you’re healthy, you’ll have to condition your body first before performing HIIT. You want to start slow with low-intensity cardio before transitioning to any type of physically demanding exercises. This minimizes the occurrence of injuries and muscle strain.

Feeling Burned Out

Some gym-goers actually dread a HIIT workout rather than welcome the thought of exercising. Why? Because unless you are 100% committed to improving your physique, this workout demands monstrous effort and patience. It’s easy to feel burned out after a single HIIT session because it will drain your energy. Sure, HIIT is a highly dynamic workout but since it’s physically demanding, not a lot of people can overcome all the challenges this routine presents. This makes HIIT a hard routine to stick to.

It will Wind You Up

The secret behind HIIT’s success in keeping the form as powerful as possible is the stimulation of your flight or fight instinct. By the time you are done working out, adrenaline surges into the veins, keeping you winded up for longer. This boosts the stress level in the brain, causing a myriad of anxiety symptoms such as palpitations, loss of focus, nervousness and sweaty palms. And when the adrenaline level drops down, you feel drained, sluggish and worn out.

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