Are YOU ready to tackle a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class???
With HIIT classes being all the rage over the last few years and many people touting their benefits (from increased cardio exercise efficiency to enhanced fat loss), you might have asked yourself, “Am I ready to tackle a HIIT Class?”
While HIIT principles have been integrated into many venues from boutique studios to full-service athletic clubs like CAC, the things you need to know to be prepared for such an approach are myriad. Now more than ever, HIIT classes are beginning to win the popular vote of avid class participants in these facilities.
The benefits expected from HIIT protocols range from enhanced aerobic capacity to improved metabolism to escalated fat loss. The challenges facing most exercisers contemplating HIIT go to physical, biochemical and psychological/emotional readiness as true HIIT protocols will challenge you on ALL these levels.
The premise of most HIIT Protocols is work intervals approaching, at or exceeding one’s lactate threshold/anaerobic threshold. Lactate threshold is the point at which our energy demand exceeds ability to provide oxygen. This can mean challenged respiration (can’t catch your breath) and accumulation of lactic acid in our muscle (that nasty burn you feel in your muscles when you’ve done something too vigorously). If you’ve had “the coach/trainer from Hell” somewhere along the line, you may already understand lactate burn, lactate threshold and insufficient oxygen delivery. If you are familiar with those sensations and you are okay with it, you’ll have an advantage heading into HIIT protocols.
If you aren’t comfortable the notion of exercising until your legs and lungs burn, you might want to do a bit more prep before venturing into your first HIIT Class. Additionally, if you have an underlying heart (hypertension to A-fib), lung (asthma, COPD) or orthopedic (joint injuries/replacements) issues, you should seek medical advice and/or prior recommendations from your Club trainer prior to entering a path toward HIIT. If you’ve overcome some of these issues with exercise and have a strong foundation in place, HIIT can still offer benefits though you may want to take a more relaxed approach.
For more information on this topic, look for our next blog entry: HIIT Part Two (one of a 3 part series)!
Written by CAC’s Personal Trainer, Small Group Training Coach, and Programming Director, Bruce Coolidge.