HIIT Workouts: Are They Really the Best Way To Burn Fat and Exercise?
hiit workouts

HIIT Workouts have been around for a few years now and is just as popular as ever, if not more. It can be done with bodyweight or weighted exercises based on time or repetitions.

Some examples of HIIT workouts include timed circuits, Tabata, and every minute on the minute (EMOM), with various other ways to boost your heart rate and burn more fat.



How HIIT Workouts Actually Work

There’s no doubt that if you exercise, you’ve done HIIT workouts at some point. I include it in my program for my students, and I even used to offer it twice a week at the gym I owned. I was in love with HIIT workouts, and so were my students!

But over the years, it seems HIIT workouts have amounted to high-impact and high-intensity exercises with no clear benefit. I noticed this when I started incorporating hard sprints into my training twice a week. I was having serious issues with my IT bands and determined it must be from sprinting. But I was lifting/sprinting at least 5 days a week!

These days, it’s common to see people doing high-impact weighted exercises, either timed or with a certain number of reps. Some do this every day (similar to most CrossFit style workouts)!

This type of workout is sometimes really hard on the body, and if you don’t allow yourself more time to rest and recover, you’re just limiting yourself.


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Reevaluate Your HIIT Workouts

Take a step back and look at your current training schedule, then ask yourself two questions:

  1. “How often do I lift weights?”
  2. “How often am I circuit training?”

Whether you lift, do circuits, or a combination of both, you’re primarily working just one of the two energy systems in your body. If you’re only working the anaerobic system, you need to give your body more time to recover. Ever heard of EPOC?

Bottom line: Unless you’re sleeping and your nutrition is spot on, you won’t fully recover.



Why the Aerobic System Matters

Over the years, I came to realize I was missing an important aspect of fitness: the aerobic energy system. I thought that since I didn’t run long distance, I didn’t need to bother with it.

That was a mistake.

After dealing with nagging injuries and not seeing results from all the hard work I was putting in, I realized it was time for a change. From two days of hard, high-intensity cardiovascular training, I switched to inclined walking on a treadmill and other low- or non-impact exercises like cycling, all while paying more attention to my heart rate.

Not only are you working in the fat-burning zone of your heart rate, which burns more fat in your body, but the low impact helps your muscles recover as well. I believe it’s a win-win when you maximize your results with a system overlooked by most people who exercise!



How to Rebalance Your Training

Maybe you already lift and go to the gym at least five days a week, or maybe you’re just starting and figuring out how to implement strength training into your fitness routine. However you work out, remember that the best way to achieve harmony in your fitness is to balance your training.

How balanced is your training?

  • Do you only lift?
  • Do you only run?
  • Can you improve your cardio and conditioning?
  • Can you improve your strength?

Think about these questions as you settle on an exercise routine. Strike a balance between HIIT workouts and low-impact exercises and you’ll be another step closer to a stronger and healthier you!

What are your thoughts on high-intensity interval training? Are HIIT workouts the best thing ever, or is there a less painful way to maximize results? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have friends who would like to know more about HIIT workouts, be sure to share this article with them!

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About the Author Kali Coaching

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