HIIT has recently gained a lot of popularity amongst fitness lovers and for good reasons too.
It is fast, efficient and convenient specially for those individuals who have to manage long office hours or those who want to stay fit but are unable to spare an hour’s time for a regular trip to the gym.
HIIT hardly takes 10- 20 minutes and torches as many calories as an hour’s workout in the gym.
In fact, HIIT is considered better as it burns calories, hours after the workout has finished!
How awesome is that!
With its popularity at peak, it is no surprise that a number of myths and misconceptions have risen about this wonderful workout and we are here to debunk those and put your mind at rest!
1. HIIT and Cardio Go Hand in Hand!
Generally, HIIT and cardio are considered a single entity. However, this is not completely true.
HIIT is a workout that is associated with an increased intensity of workout where you push yourself to the maximum, for a short period of time. This is followed by a rest period, where you perform the same move at a lower intensity.
This is known as the resting period.
It is not a hard and fast rule to incorporate cardio in HIIT. Bodyweight workouts, Pylometrics, regular weight-lifting sessions and even sports-centric workouts can also be performed during HIIT.
The key is to push yourself to the maximum for a short period of time, followed by a resting interval. The cycle is repeated again and again for the next 10-20 minutes.
2. HIIT is for Everyone!
HIIT is very enticing for individuals who want to get fit, but don’t have enough time to spare! It may seem easy but when it comes to fitness, slow and steady is the rule!
If you are new to the fitness arena, it is better to ease into the workout instead of going full steam ahead on your first day. It not increases your chances of muscle injury but also puts your cardiovascular system at a health risk.
Once you get used to a low-intensity workout for at least 30 minutes, you can work yourself into a 20-minute HIIT workout.
3. HIIT is Magic!
HIIT is considered a magic pill when it comes to losing weight. However, it is far from the truth.
Yes, you can burn a lot of calories and fat when you are doing HIIT on a regular basis but always remember, a healthy diet and regular strength training sessions are just as important when it comes to losing weight and maintaining it in the long run.
To lose weight, you not only need to burn more calories but you need a calorie-deficit as well. The best way to do that is to keep a food and exercise journal and log into it on a regular basis.
4. HIIT is a Good Substitute for a Regular Cardio Workout
Though HIIT is considered an awesome workout for those who are too busy to spare 30-60 minutes for a regular workout, remember that this workout does not build endurance in the long run.
Yes, it can burn calories effectively and efficiently, it does not have any effect on increasing your stamina and endurance.
To increase your stamina and endurance, a low-intensity workout of a longer duration is considered more effective.
So if your aim is to increase your stamina and endurance, it is better for you to stick to a low-intensity workout of at least 30 minutes. Once you build your endurance, move on to HIIT to challenge your body.
5. HIIT is Best if it is Body-Part Specificca
One of the misconceptions surrounding HIIT is that it can be incorporated into a body-part specific exercise. However, that is not true.
If you jump into HIIT thinking that, then you are definitely wasting your time. HIIT is effective if it works your entire body at the same time.
If you are not interested in combining cardio and HIIT, go for exercises such as burpees, squat jumps and kettlebell swings that work your entire body at the same time with maximum efficiency!
6. HIIT Bulks You Up
This misconception is one of the reasons that women tend to shy away from HIIT.
HIIT is just like any other cardio workout except for the fact that you alter the intensity of your workout at regular intervals. It is more challenging but remember, it does not bulk up your muscles.
Rather, it helps you in maintaining lean muscle mass while burning fat. This helps in giving tone and definition to your muscles, without bulking them up!
HIIT is an Effective Workout that Helps In Preserving Lean Muscle Mass, While Burning Fat Effectively!
Always Combine HIIT with Strength-training and A Healthy Diet to Ensure You Get Maximum Results!
A doctor, nutritionist and wellness coach, Dr. Maria Hugdes takes pride in crafting well-researched, insightful and actionable content on health, wellness, fitness, diet, lifestyle, spirituality, how-to and self-help since last 7 years.