Yes it’s one of the most popular ways to train, but it could well be doing you more harm than good…
For those of you who don’t know, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is exactly what you think it is – a workout made up of short intervals at a brutal intensity coupled with relatively short “active rest”.
Now I want to say straight off the bat that there are benefits to this type of training. However, as with most things in the health and fitness industry, they’ve been massively overstated in order to sell it.
The idea that you could get your workout done in a third of the time with absolutely no downsides?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
But because we want to believe it, we lap it up and dive straight in.
Here is the issue though…
HIIT training hacks the body’s natural fight or flight response.
So when you start thrashing away on your peloton, your own body misinterprets this as a life or death situation, dumps a ton of cortisol into your blood and signals your brain to essentially shut down ALL non-essential tasks.
You know, stuff like digestion, and your immune system.
Nothing to see here – can’t think of any reason why you might need those…
And on top of that, most of us are already incredibly stressed with too much cortisol in our systems.
Over time, constantly being in this heightened state of stress leads to all sorts of unpleasant issues. Let me run you through a few:
- Lack of motivation
- Mood swings
- Chronic fatigue
- Constantly getting ill
Any of these sound familiar?
Look, I get it – HIIT training sounds great and fits nicely into that pernicious lie we tell ourselves that we don’t have time to exercise.
But like most shortcuts in life, in the long-term it ends up costing you more time than you saved.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t do any HIIT ever. I’m suggesting you should prioritise training which fosters better health, both in the short term and the long term.
Because without your health, you start to suck at EVERYTHING else.
So stop looking for quick fixes and shortcuts, and give it the time and attention it deserves.
Ian “I-hiit-you-not” Male
If you’d love to take the guess work out of your workouts and learn how to build out an effective programme that gets results AND foster your long term health, click here to book a free coaching call with me.