How Often Should I do HIIT training?
HIIT training is a common mode of training, but how much of it should we include in our fitness programs? Or for our holiday HITT challenge on myzone, the question could be termed how can I accumulate MEPs in the yellow and red zones safely?
Consider your experience and current fitness level. Have you been going to the gym for a long time or just for a couple of months? Do the acronyms AMRAP or EMOM mean anything to you? Have you ever done a giant set, circuit training, Tabata protocol? If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably have done a lot of HIIT before and can get away with doing a fair amount in a week. If these are new terms to you, then you should start off slow and ease your way in as you learn more and as your body adapts. While there are a lot of benefits to HIIT training, it also adds a lot of stress to your muscles, joints, and even nervous system. So, if you do more than your body is ready for, you are setting yourself up for burnout or possible injury. So, start with 1-2 short HITT workouts a week aiming to reach the yellow zone at first. As your conditioning increases, you can make those sessions a little longer, start doing 2-3 a week or start shooting to get a little time in the red zone. Just take it one step at a time and celebrate those small victories as you improve.
Now for those of you who have done a lot of HIIT before, remember that you’re not invincible. Research shows that 30-40 minutes above 90% your maximum heart rate (Red zone) is the maximum recommended to avoid overtraining and seeing a decrease in your progress, even in highly trained individuals. That still gives some wiggle room to rack up some MEPs in the yellow zone during the challenge, but it will be essential to listen to your body to know if you are taking it to far. Here are 7 symptoms of overtraining to look out for:
1. Loss of appetite
2. Trouble sleeping
3. Moodiness, or getting easily agitated
4. Nagging aches and pains
5. Decreased performance in your workouts (I can’t do as much as I used to)
6. Increased perceived effort during workouts (I was doing this easy a couple of weeks ago, why am I struggling?)
7. Inability to recover, excessive or prolonged fatigue
If you start to see these symptoms in yourself consider taking a step back, more isn’t always better. If you have any questions or would like some help with planning HIIT into your workouts always feel free to reach out to any of the Personal Trainers. We wish you the best of luck with this Holiday HIIT challenge and are excited for you to see yourselves improve, and to do so safely.