High Intensity Interval Training: Where Should You Get it Done?

Good morning

My goodness, today we say goodbye to June! Crazy…

Speaking of crazy. Things are getting crazy busy at NFLF! This week alone multiple reached out for help with their fitness or running and in two cases, both. We are investing in an online scheduling program which will help us manage our schedule, offer online signup for sessions and allow for people to know our availability. Most definitely some days/times are getting more difficult to offer than others, but we will always do our best to work with people’s schedules. Adding another trainer is going to have to be in the future for sure.

This past week my daughter Jennifer came over from Concord to workout and brought my granddaughter Eloise with her. While it was challenging to work with Jen while keeping an eye on the ever-active Ellie, it was a lot of fun. Truly a blessing to have times like those.

I chat a lot about high intensity interval training (HIIT), and not just because I believe in it, but more so, because science has supported the immense value in this type of workout. Cross-Fit, Orange Theory, and 9-Rounds are a few of the more popular franchises who embrace HIIT as the focus of their workouts. Without once again explaining the science, essentially the concept is centered around maintaining an elevated heart rate (minimal rest), while tasking your body. Running intervals, Spinning, and programs like P90X, all fall in the category of HIIT as well.

A couple questions people ask (and very important ones) about the various HIIT workouts are, which one is best for me and are they all equally as effective? Based on my education, reading (science and studies) and experience, I have come up with a list of some considerations when deciding on how and where to HIIT train.

  • Class size: A large class (more than 4-5 participants per instructor/trainer) means minimal instruction on proper form and execution. This is one of my greatest angst, as it has shown to increase the likelihood of injury by upwards 80 percent! (Ugh)
  • Education and Commitment of the Instructor/Trainer: Does the trainer/group instructor understand “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” and implement training in a way which will be safe, effective and beneficial long-term to the participant? This one much like class size often gets lost in the lure of business profit over individual importance.
  • Which Workout is Best For Me: First of all, not every HIIT workout is appropriate for an individual. The only way to be sure a workout is right for you, is to be evaluated by a fitness professional before beginning a program. It really makes no sense to start stressing your body with a high level of intensity without first knowing your body’s ability and physical limitations. Frustration or worse, injury is highly likely when a participant begins a workout without being evaluated.
  • Form is King!: Accomplishment, amount of resistance, endorphins, number of reps, sweat and other such motivational factors, are not nearly as important as the correct form!!! Unfortunately left to our own, we get caught up in one of the above motivations and we sacrifice form. Numerous people come to us who have been working out for a while at well-known gyms and they are either injured or have no idea what the exercise means to them. Form is important for actual success and to prevent injury. It really blew my mind when a woman could not explain what a simple over-head squat meant to her. All that mattered was keeping up with the instructor and the participants around her!

I have to cut my list a bit short as I have gone on longer than I should. The bottom line is, HIIT is a wonderful tool for improved fitness and health, but it can be dangerous and not a good long-term workout if not approached and executed the right way. I really enjoy doing free consultations/orientations, because I know I am giving the individual the right information they need to consider before starting. Then we provide safe and effective training for what each individual need. I strongly recommend a good long conversation with a qualified fitness professional before starting a workout program. It will benefit your goals and protect you from injury.

By all means, contact us and set up an appointment to chat at no cost and we can help you workout in a safe and appropriate way!

Time to get along. Have a great Sunday and even better week!

God Bless!