March 2, 2020 – Fitness Advice and Tips for HIIT – Is it safe to check in with everyone? 😁 How are the new year’s resolutions going? Are they still going? Did the prior Fitness Advice and Tips help at all? What prior Fitness Advice and Tips you ask? It’s okay… statistically speaking, if you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon by now, you’re pretty much normal – again, statistically speaking. The important thing is, do not just quit! If you missed the last few days, start again tomorrow. If you missed the last couple of weeks, put a plan together to start again next week. Some exercise is better than no exercise at all!
This week, it’s all about HIIT…
- HIIT and your nutrition
- HIIT and the time in your week
- HIIT and the rest your body needs
Fitness and Advice Tips for HIIT – Nutrition
High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short) has been the rage for a number of year now. And why not? In theory, the promise of putting in quick, short, relatively intense bursts of exercise to burn the pounds and fat off looks really good. Unfortunately, there are quite a few variables to take into consideration. In my experience, the biggest variable to throw everyone a curve is nutrition.
Participating in HIIT does not automatically mean you can eat whatever you want whenever you want. In fact, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself if you find you’re hesitating about pizza, ice cream, mimosa, or a cocktail, especially if you’re in a HIIT class to get in better shape.
#1 – WHAT EXACTLY? am I eating/drinking
#2 – WHY EXACTLY? (celebration/just because/sad/happy/stressed) am I eating/drinking whatever it is
#3 – HOW FREQUENTLY? (days per week or month) am I eating/drinking whatever it is
#4 – HOW MUCH? (servings, glasses, quantity) of whatever it is am I eating/drinking
#4 – WHEN? (morning/noon/afternoon/evening/middle of the night) are you eating/drinking whatever it is
#5 – HOW DOES WHATEVER IT IS I’M EATING/DRINKING FIT IN WITH MY GOALS?
Nowhere above does anything say whether what you’re eating is good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, beneficial, or detrimental. You cannot change the properties of whatever food or beverage you are thinking about consuming. You CAN, however, change the thought process which leads you to consume (or not consume) it. Asking yourself some or all of those questions increases your awareness of what you’re eating and drinking as well as encouraging you (OR discouraging you) from realigning yourself with your goals, if even for a moment.
Whatever you do, avoid alienating your food! You’re smarter than the food, trust me! Now be smart about HOW you eat!
Fitness and Advice Tips for HIIT – Time
Having covered the nutrition aspect of things leads to the next item on the list… what you do with all of your hours in a week. Sure, HIIT is promising when it comes to burning fat and losing weight, but class is twice weekly, sometimes three times. What happens in the other 165 hours of your week?
- You work 40 hours in a week. (40 total)
- You drop off/pickup the kids and commute up to 10 hours in a week. (50 total)
- You sit at the dinner table up to 10 hours in a week. (60 total)
- You sleep (hopefully 8 hours a night) 56 hours in a week. (116 total)
- You wake up, get ready for work and at night, the reverse or up to 14 hours in a week. (130 total)
Give or take, that still leaves 35 hours. What are you doing with the rest of your time? Drinking? Eating more? Lounging? Even if you get 3 – 1 hour workouts in (aside from HIIT) and say, take walks totaling about 2 hours, you STILL have 30 hours left to do all of those things and more!
Keep in mind that this time accounting may be too conservative for some and quite generous for others. The important thing to remember is that there IS time available in your week, you just have to look for it, account for it, and then be thoughtfully productive with it.
Fitness and Advice Tips for HIIT – Rest, Recover, and Repair
I can’t tell you the number of times some people tell me they go to
Orangetheory or Barry’s or F45 or Hardcore Fitness 5, 6, or even 7 days weekly. Hey, to each his or her own, right? Just do you, right? Everyone has their reasons, right? So what’s yours?
If it turns out you’re not as intense as those mentioned above (and have no desire to be), then the current recommendations are HIIT twice weekly with at least 48 hours of rest between classes. Why? Your body needs to rest, recover, and repair – just like these 2 cats of mine (but don’t do it all day like they do!) Giving yourself at least 48 hours between HIIT classes helps to ensure your body can do those things and it also allows you to avoid potential repetitive motion injuries.
Repetitive motion injuries are no joke, quite painful, and can sideline you when you don’t learn when to give yourself a break. I know – I’m guilty and I don’t recommend it to anyone! Put together a varied, well-rounded workout routine that incorporates the major muscle groups of your entire body every week with the proper amount of rest and you’ll be amazed at the results.
HIIT requires thoughtful consideration and planning. If you’re able to ask yourself the right nutrition questions, if you’re able to account for the time in your week, and if you’re able to give yourself adequate time to rest, I would venture to say you’re going to do very well.
Level One Training and Fitness offers an Afterburn class at Balboa Park several days each week and is set to return in April. Schedule yourself for a preview or contact us for more information. Remember, our advice is always free (at least until you hire us!) so if you join our email list, we’ll send you our 4-part Guide to Better Health!