It’s no big surprise that high Intensity Training (HIIT) continues to be popular with its promise of quick and effective weight loss and lean muscle building. However, despite its beneficial effects people often make mistakes, which means they do not achieve the results they are promised or expect.
So here are 5 of the biggest mistakes that are made:
1: Incorrect Work/Rest Ratio
If you do not perform HIIT exercises with the correct intensity ratios you are simply performing another form of exercise, and this will not yield the dramatic results HIIT training promises. HIIT training should be performed with at least a 1 to 2 work/rest ratio. In most cases it should be performed with a 1 to 3 or even 1 to 4 work/rest ratio. This means for everyone second you are performing the exercise; you have two, three, four or five times that resting. For example, a 1 to 3 work/rest ratio would mean performing the exercise for 10 seconds and resting for 30 seconds.
2: Using the Wrong Equipment
It is a mistake to believe that you can apply high intensity training to every form of exercise or piece of equipment. Due to the need for such intensity during the effort, exercises such as medicine ball routines, step ups, sprinting on the spot, press ups or other body weight movements, although are great in their own right, simply do not constitute true cardio HIIT training and therefore, will not elicit the promised results.
The main pieces of equipment to use are:
-Running based sprints or hill sprints
3: Not Addressing Your Diet
Like any other form of exercise, if one of your goals is weight loss then you must also address your diet to achieve the desired results.
4: Not Performing HIIT Consistently
As with most things in life, including exercise and diet, the key to success is ‘consistency’. Unless you perform HIIT training at least twice a week you will not see long term adaptations. Your body requires a continuous amount of stimulus and considering this form of exercise only takes 10 to 15 minutes of your day there really is no excuse!
5: Training Too Often
If you have completed a HIIT session correctly you need at least one complete day’s rest between each session and only a maximum of 4 sessions per week should be completed. If this exercise is done correctly, your body needs to recover, this will also enable you to avoid injury.