HIIT is, beyond doubt, a very effective workout but to get results, it needs to be done correctly. Most people are not used to pushing themselves as hard as necessary for HIIT especially for a workout that is as short as 7- 10 minutes because it is extremely uncomfortable.
That is why many people often start making mistakes during their workouts which can easily sabotage their efforts and diminish their results. Here is a look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid when doing HIIT.
Opting For Longer Workouts
Essentially, a HIIT session can last anywhere from four to twenty minutes, or thirty minutes if stretched to the maximum. If someone is able to push it beyond that, then that is not an achievement.
It is a common error to go for longer sessions during HIIT. The whole point is to push your body to the maximum limit during high intensity periods. This will automatically make your sessions shorter as the body will be too exhausted to work anymore.
Not Warming Up
HIIT training can be tough and strenuous, especially for beginners who are not yet ready to use their body’s maximum potential during their workout sessions. Even those who are physically fit and active need to warm up before they start with their HIIT training.
It is a common mistake to directly hit the gym and get going with the session. This will reduce the effects that you are trying to achieve. Without a warm up, the body will not be able to give it’s all during the high intensity intervals.
Choosing Complex And Complicated Movements
Experts say that with subsequent sessions of workouts, the body can get too tired to perform a complex movement. During your first session, a complicated movement might not seem that bad at all. But after repeated movements, the body and brain could be overstrained, increasing the chances of an injury such as sprains or falls.
Instead, it is advised to choose movements for HIIT workouts that are easier to perform, without having to put too much thought into which body part goes where and which muscle to stretch more than the other.
Apart from choosing complex movements, another common mistake is not perform the easy ones correctly. As simple as a movement might be, unless you are performing it right, it is not going to be effective.
It is always good to give your mind and body a chance to master a movement first before you start training faster.
Not Paying Attention To ‘Recovery’ Intervals
This is one of the most common mistakes during HIIT to reduce the resting or recovery intervals in an attempt to make it ‘tougher’. This is the wrong idea.
The recovery period is as important as the high intensity interval, if not more. This is the period where the muscles pay off what is called an ‘oxygen debt’. They receive the oxygen that they were deprived off as the workout proceeded and led up to their fatigue. Once they get the oxygen back, they can work just as hard in the next high intensity period. If ample recovery time is not taken, then muscles are only partially ready for the next hard work.
Not Being ‘Intense’ Enough
By high intensity during HIIT training, it is meant that you should be extremely breathless, the heart thumping loudly against your chest and your body and brain both screaming that you cannot push any further. If this does not happen to you during your high intensity intervals, you are making the same mistake as many others: not going hard enough.
You need to push yourself to the point where you physically and mentally reach a point beyond which you know you cannot go on. Only then will your HIIT workout be a success.
Most HIIT training sessions involve movements and exercises that are natural and easy. They make the workout more effective and also reduce the chances of an injury. Lifting weights can also be a part of high interval sessions but these weights should not be too heavy. The easier they are to lift, the better.
Diet And Clothing Matter
As good as it might look, wearing clothes that are too tight are only going to bother you during the workout. It is important to invest in proper gym clothes that are made of a breathable material, do not trap sweat against your skin and leave you itchy. It is also necessary to wear proper trainers for your sessions.
In terms of nutrition, first and foremost is to stay hydrated! Drink ample water well before your workout session starts because it’s about to get sweaty!
There are many protein shakes available, which can be used. Otherwise a good fibre and lean protein meal works just as fine. Having said that, it is best to be done eating at least an hour before your session. It is a common error to eat right before working out and not pay attention to what you eat either. Fruits and vegetables just before working out are not going to be very helpful.
Not Staying Determined Enough
The last thing your body needs to hear is ‘You can’t do it!’ Yet it hears this a lot during HIIT training. HIIT can be very tough and demanding. It can make the body feel more exhausted than ever.
So it is common to give up. It will feel hard and impossible, and the negative thinking will only make it worse. But sticking to it will allow you to reap some great benefits.
Doing HIIT Too Often
Boasted by the great outcome and result of HIIT training can lead to the mistake of over doing it such as, trying to do it every day. This is not good for the muscles at all. The maximum frequency of a HIIT session should not be more than twice or thrice a week. This is to allow ample recovery time to the body so that it is all set for the next round.
This is primarily why many people have begun to prefer this over long everyday sessions of low intensity workouts. It does not demand too much time from their busy routines.
Choosing The Wrong Timing
Randomly choosing half an hour in the week for HIIT workout is a big mistake. The sessions need to be timed properly. Having a session right after you eat or just before bed is a bad idea.
In fact, the sooner in the day you train, the better. Taking a good but light breakfast early in the morning, an hour before the HIIT session is the best way to go about it. This way your fat reserves will be targeted better. It will also prepare your body to burn the calories you will be munching up throughout the day.
As a matter of fact, working out early and before going to work will also maximize your performance there, as the concentration and productivity will be at its best.