Why is HIIT overrated?
“You can get virtually all the same benefits from doing low-intensity exercise,” Michael Fredericson, a sports medicine physician at Stanford Health Care, tells me. It’ll just take longer. Plus, all those high-intensity movements can exact a toll on your body.
HIIT Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction
High Intensity Interval Training, commonly known as HIIT, has become increasingly popular over the years as an effective way to burn fat and improve physical fitness. Despite its popularity, there are still many misconceptions about HIIT and its associated benefits, making it difficult to decide which information to believe. To help you out, here are some myths about HIIT debunked, so you can make an informed decision about your fitness routine.
Myth #1: HIIT is only for trained athletes.
This could not be further from the truth. HIIT has actually been found to be more beneficial and accessible for beginners than steady-state cardio exercises. Rather than relying on higher periods of intensity, HIIT sessions can use very short increments of 25-30 seconds of high intensity activity alternating with moderate intensity rests. This allows any beginner to partake in HIIT workouts, slowly building up their training intensity as they become more comfortable with the movements.
Myth #2: HIIT will give you bulging muscles
HIIT workouts can be tailored to achieve multiple goals, such as achieving large muscles or lean muscles. However, HIIT is not ideal for bulking up. HIIT’s exercises target muscle toning and definition rather than muscle growth. It is much more likely to help you create incremented gains in muscle definition than enormous amounts of muscle.
Myth #3: HIIT should not be used for weight loss
This is altogether false. HIIT’s high intensity interval bout, followed by interval rest periods is proven to help burn calories faster, far quicker than just doing steady-state cardio. This intense and short exercise routine, when completed regularly, can burn off large amounts of fat and make your body work more efficiently, ultimately leading to weight loss.
Myth #4: HIIT is unsafe
On the contrary, HIIT is known to increase heart rate, build endurance and improve stability. Its short bouts of high intensity activities coupled with rest periods are designed to reduce the chance of injury, with no long-term effects. Just like running or strengthening exercises, HIIT routines need to be performed in a controlled manner, with proper form and technique, to avoid injury.
Myth #5: HIIT can be done on its own
It is important to keep in mind that HIIT is just one piece of the larger fitness puzzle. To maximize its benefits, HIIT should be combined with a balanced diet and regular strength training. This will help you achieve your long-term fitness goals faster, without adversely impacting your overall health.
Overall, there is much to learn and understand about HIIT, but it is key to separate fact from fiction. By understanding what HIIT is and what it isn’t, you will be more prepared to decide if HIIT is the right fitness routine for you. With the correct information, HIIT can be an incredible tool to help you reach your fitness goals.