HIIT Advantages and Disadvantages (THERE ARE A FEW)

HIIT which stands for "high-intensity interval training" is a form of cardiovascular exercise. It has become one of the most popular workout trends in recent years.

HIIT is a great way to burn calories in a short amount of time, but there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before you start this type of workout routine.

In this article, we'll go through the advantages and disadvantages of HIIT and the question "Are high-intensity workouts good for you?"

What Is HIIT?

HIIT is a bit different from normal exercises. You basically pack in as much exercise in a very short space of time in quick short bursts.

These bursts last on average from 15 seconds to a minute, with the rest period in between being about double that time. The average HIIT workout would last for around 30 minutes.

The good news is that you don't have to be superfit to start HIIT. In fact, it can be great for people who are just starting their fitness journey as it helps you ease into things.

Advantages of Doing HIIT

HIIT workouts are great for burning calories

If you are looking to burn as many calories as possible in a short amount of time, HIIT is definitely the workout for you.

Studies have shown that HIIT can help you burn up to 30% more calories than other types of workouts such as running or cycling.

HIIT is also great if you are short on time. As we mentioned before, HIIT workouts can be as short as 30 minutes.

This makes it a great option for busy people who don't have hours to spend at the gym.

HIIT can improve your cardiovascular health

HIIT has also been shown to be good for your heart health. One study showed that HIIT improved the cardiovascular health of obese adults.

The study found that HIIT helped to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

HIIT workouts help you build muscle

Depending on the exercise you do, HIIT can also help you build muscle. For example, if you do HIIT workouts on a rowing machine, you will not only burn calories but also build muscle in your arms and legs.

HIIT workouts increase your metabolism

As you continue to do more and more HIIT workouts, you will find that your metabolism starts to increase. HIIT helps to increase the production of mitochondria in your cells.

Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy in your cells, so the more mitochondria you have, the higher your metabolism will be.

HIIT workouts improve your insulin sensitivity

If you are either borderline diabetic or suffer from type 2 diabetes, HIIT can be a great way to improve your insulin sensitivity. One study showed that HIIT improved the insulin sensitivity of obese adults.

HIIT workouts are great for your mental health

The sudden rush of endorphins that you get from HIIT can also be great for your mental health.

Endorphins are known as the "feel-good" hormones and they can help to improve your mood and reduce stress levels.

HIIT workouts don't require a lot of time commitment

The fact that the average HIIT session is just 30 minutes also means that you don't have to commit a lot of time to this type of workout.

This is great if you are someone who struggles to find the time to go to the gym or go for a run.

HIIT workouts can be done anywhere

The fact that you can do HIIT workouts anywhere also makes them very convenient. For example, if you are traveling, you can do a HIIT workout in your hotel room without having to go to the gym.

As you can see, there are a ton of advantages to HIIT workouts. However, there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of before you start this type of workout routine.

Disadvantages of Doing HIIT

HIIT can be tough on your body

The fact that HIIT is a high-intensity workout means that it can be tough on your body, especially if you are not used to exercising at this level.

This is why it's important to ease into HIIT and not try to do too much too soon.

You could also hurt yourself if you push yourself too hard during a HIIT workout. This is because HIIT puts a lot of strain on your muscles and joints.

If you don't warm up properly or if you try to do too much, you could end up pulling a muscle or hurting your joints.

HIIT can be tough on your heart

Another disadvantage of HIIT is that it can be tough on your heart. This is because HIIT is a very strenuous workout and it can raise your heart rate to levels that are not safe for people with certain heart conditions.

If you have a history of heart problems, it's important to talk to your doctor before starting a HIIT workout routine.

HIIT can be hard to stick with

The fact that HIIT workouts are so intense also means that they can be hard to stick with in the long term.

This is because it's easy to get burnt out when you are constantly pushing yourself to your limits.

What Are Some High-Intensity Workouts?

Burpees

Burpees is a two-part exercise that first starts off with a squat and then is followed by a jump. The beauty of this exercise is that it works your whole body, giving you a great cardio workout.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a classic aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up while also toning your legs, arms, and core.

High Knees

High knees is a simple yet effective HIIT move that targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. All you need to do is run in place and lift your knees up as high as you can with each step.

Tabata training

Tabata training is a fantastic example of interval training. It is a type of HIIT that alternates between 20 seconds of all-out effort and 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times. This makes for a very intense 4-minute workout.

Running

Running is normally where people start when they want to get into HIIT. You can do this by either sprinting for a certain distance and then walking for a recovery period or by interval training on a treadmill where you alternate between periods of high and low intensity.

Cycling

Similar to running, you can do HIIT on a bike by either going all out for a certain distance and then pedaling at a slower pace to recover or by interval training on a stationary bike.

Swimming

Swimming is another great cardio workout that can be turned into HIIT. You can swim at a moderate pace for a certain distance and then swim as fast as you can for a shorter distance before returning to your moderate pace.

Speed walking

Speed walking is great for people who want a less intense HIIT workout. You can start by walking at a moderate pace and then pick up the pace for short bursts before returning to your moderate pace.

Hillwalking

Hillwalking and mountain climbing are both excellent HIIT workouts. They are great for building strength and endurance while also getting your heart rate up.

Climbing stairs

If you are short of time or don't want to buy expensive equipment, then you can always do HIIT by climbing stairs. This is a great workout for your legs, glutes, and core.

Jump roping

Also called skipping, jump roping is a great HIIT workout that you can do anywhere. It is also a great way to improve your coordination. You can start off slow and then increase the speed as you get more comfortable.

Boxing

Boxing is a great way to relieve stress while also getting a full-body HIIT workout. You can either punch a heavy bag or do some shadow boxing.

Air Squats

This might sound easy, but air squats are a great way to get your heart rate up while also working your legs and glutes. You can start off slow and then increase the pace as you get more comfortable.

Reverse Pull-Ups

Reverse pull-ups are exactly what they say on the tin. They are a great way to work your back and biceps while also getting your heart rate up.

Push-Ups

Out of the exercises listed here, this is one of the easiest to get started with. You can start off by doing them on your knees and then progress to doing them on your toes when you get stronger.

Bodyweight Lunges

Lunges are a great way to work your legs, glutes, and core. You can start off by doing them with your body weight and then progress to holding dumbbells or kettlebells as you get stronger.

Plank

The plank is a great way to work your core while also getting your heart rate up. You can start off by holding the position for 30 seconds and then increase the time as you get stronger.

Side Plank

The side plank is similar to the regular plank except that you are lying on your side. This is a great way to work your obliques while also getting your heart rate up.

Abdominal Crunches

Crunches are a great way to work your abs while also getting your heart rate up. You can start off by doing them with your body weight and then progress to holding dumbbells or kettlebells as you get stronger.

Jump Squats

Jump squats are a great way to work your legs and glutes while also getting your heart rate up. You can start off by doing them with your body weight and then progress

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Circuit Training

Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobics.

It targets strength building or muscular endurance. An advantage of circuit training is that it provides a total body workout.

But, a disadvantage is that the same muscle groups are taxed repeatedly before getting a chance to recover, which can lead to overtraining.

Another potential disadvantage is that if you increase the weight or number of repetitions too quickly, you may put yourself at risk for injury.

Why High-Intensity Interval Training Is The Best

If you are looking to get the most out of your workout, high-intensity interval training is the way to go. HIIT is a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest or low-intensity activity.

HIIT has been shown to be more effective than other types of exercise for fat loss, as it helps you burn more calories both during and after your workout.

HIIT workouts are also very versatile and can be done with any type of exercise, from running and swimming to lifting weights and playing sports. And because HIIT workouts are typically shorter than other types of workouts, they are perfect for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to exercise.

FAQs

What's high-intensity cardio?

Any form of exercise that boosts your heart rate above 75% of your maximum heart rate for 10 minutes or more counts as high-intensity cardio.

Is HIIT safe for everyone?

No. HIIT is not recommended for people with heart conditions or other health problems. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before starting a HIIT program.

What are the best exercises for HIIT?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best exercises for HIIT depend on your fitness level and goals. However, some popular exercises for HIIT include running, cycling, rowing, and jumping rope.

How long should a HIIT workout be?

A HIIT workout can be as short as 10 minutes, or as long as 30 minutes. This is really down to each individual’s fitness levels and how much time they have available.

Is HIIT better than regular cardio?

Yes, HIIT is more effective than regular cardio for fat loss. This is because HIIT helps you burn more calories both during and after your workout.

Can I do HIIT every day?

No, you should not do HIIT every day. HIIT is a high-intensity form of exercise, and your body needs time to recover from intense workouts. For most people, doing HIIT 2-3 times per week is sufficient.

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