The Potential Risks Of High- Intensity Interval Training

HIIT has a lot of dedicated followers; but are they aware of some potential health issues caused by it?
HIIT and potential health risk

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique that requires you to perform quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns greater fat in less time. 

“A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates a shortage, thus causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery. This after burn is the reason why HIIT helps burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.”

Increased Risk Of Injury

Most people sit at a desk for eight to ten hours per day and hit the gym before or after work. Also, it’s common for gym goers to jump right into an intense workout, without an adequate warm-up that includes activation of the muscle groups. 

Because HIIT is so convenient and popular, people often want to try it when they're new to (or just getting back to) exercise. Undertrained individuals who are just getting back into fitness should first acclimatize themselves to a baseline level of both cardio and strength training prior to jumping into an HIIT programme. Failure to do so can increase the chance of injury. In fact, this is the mother of all reasons why people get injured, and is especially true for newer exercisers. The inexperienced will fail to focus on proper form and technique, which results in injuries that could have otherwise been avoided.

What's more, while form issues can happen with any type of workout, the nature of HIIT makes it more likely. These new HIIT workouts often focus on speed and numbers, which takes emphasis away from doing something properly first.

No Scope For Downgrading

More experienced exercisers aren't immune to this concern, mainly because of the way HIIT workouts are structured. Certain HIIT workouts don't typically offer a regression of the exercise or movement pattern once the participant's form has broken down In other words, there are no options provided for when your body starts to get tired as the workout requires you to keep moving. The person is hence forced to continue with the same load of exercise, cranking out the remainder reps with sloppy form in this extremely fatigued state. Yet again, the risk of injury is increased.

While HIIT does have its share of benefits as a fitness regime, it’s important to do it in moderation and under the guidance of an expert in order to prevent extreme fatigue, muscle breakdown and injury.

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