Whether or not High Intensity Training (H.I.T.) is safe & effective  ?  is one of the most frequently asked questions,which I hear universally from clients,athletes, coaches & trainers

Confusion begins with incorporating H.I.T. into their exercise routines with the common queries ?

  1. What to do 2. When to do 3. How often 4. When to rest 5. Is it safe   ?                                                                 Popularity of H.I.T. is largely due to increased publicity and the hype due to  of social media , marketing and many instructors trying to incorporate without the proper science by hiding behind the catchphrase   “Quick” results, enabling you to simply obtain your ideal body quickly and cheaply is far from the reality. However, done correctly with proper supervision by a professional  instruction, H.I.T. can be an effective method of fitness/performance training .This is NOT an overnight or “quick-fix” one-stop solution.  It is therefore crucially important to be aware of what H.I.T. is and what it is NOT.

Here are some common myths to help guide you:

Grey area  about H.I.T.

  • H.I.T. will enable you to obtain a “ripped body” quickly and safely
  • H.I.T. will enable you to push your mind and body to its maximum in a minimal amount of time.
  • H.I.T. allows you to place a low emphasis on nutrition and recovery, as long as you have the will to succeed

If you ask any Coach,Trainer, semi/professional  Tennis player, Combat athlete or a figure athlete  etc.. all of them understand that it took years to achieve the the current standards by following the below

  1. Good genetics 2. Proper periodized training 3. Periodized nutrition 4. Recovery  strategies 5. Skill level 5. Years of dedicated hard work.

When this type of training done by the sedentary or less experienced participants, under the supervision of non qualified & less experienced or self proclaimed fitness Gurus, the results on the long run will take a toll on your wallet & health.

This blog is to not to market my services, as I do have global client base,  only intention is to guide in the proper direction to reap the benefit of healthy/ fitness and  play a sports (Tennis, Athletics…) , Martial Arts, Hiking , Water sports etc.. in a injury free environment for a longer period.

H.I.T. has been an integral part of overall sports conditioning training for decades (as a means to end )  to helps athletes increase their performance. H.I.T. is a small portion of their training cycle which would be addressed in a different article.

Benefits of High Intensity Training (H.I.T.)

  • When you progress with H.I.T. at a rate appropriate to your initial level of fitness, your body’s energy systems are challenged in such a manner resulting in a post caloric burning effect up to 38 hours it is known among fitness industry as “Execess Post Oxygen Consumption” (EPOC), or “Afterburn”.
  • H.I.T. is a time efficient form of exercise and a type of highly intense physical activity which will enable you to achieve double the amount of benefits than other forms of more leisurely forms of regular exercise including a more intense excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or post work-out calorie burning effect (commonly known as “after-burn”).
  • H.I.T. is a more intelligent way to reach your fitness & performance  goals done under supervision
  • H.I.T. provides both an intense physical and mental challenge to your body and mind it will give you training benefit of overcompensation adjusting to new level of stress mentally & physically with a positive hormone effect.

However, prior to undertaking a  H.I.T., you should only do so under the supervision trainer/coach qualified , experienced & with a proven track record in your geographical location. In addition,you should only consider participating in a H.I.T. program that will encompass the following list of health and fitness protocols:

  • Health/Medical history
  • Exercise history and current Fitness level/ability
  • Movement ability & restriction 
  • Nutrition intake and planning
  • Rest and recovery strategy with your lifestyle 
  • Exercise programming and progression
  • Environmental factors (i.e. heat index, impact of exercising at different altitudes)
  • Genetics
  • Mental state 

Be comfortable in your own skin, just because you see a athlete or professional model on magazine cover that doesn’t mean you can achieve that. Train to be be “BEST YOU CAN BE”   For example, personally,love  American Football, and would love to imagine myself playing for the  Miami Dolphins since I have the right mindset and mental fortitude, as well as the agility, speed, strength and maintain proper nutrition accordingly.  However, the reality is that, I’m too short  and I don’t have the muscle size/body structure to join the NFL even for a try out , –  “IT IS WHAT IT IS”.

Instead, the best option for me would be to select a skill related sport, such as Fencing or a weight class sport like Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Then again I could spar but entering for  competition is a far askm considering the age and having a other commitments  to focus being a full time professional athlete,  however blessed to train them 🙂

Once you come to terms with your goals, challenges, and the realities of your own physical and mental limitations, you can embrace a plan of action which suits you. No matter what physical or mental challenges or limitation you may encounter, a structured and supervised H.I.T. program will still enable you to challenge yourself to give your personal best and improve your training every day regardless of your age, gender, or level of fitness!

5 MUST DO STEPS BEFORE HIT

  1. Have solid cardiovascular & respiratory foundation
  2. Be in the optimal heart rate recovery zone
  3. Improve your muscle size, strength & endurance
  4. Make sure your functional training is specific to your sports (Tennis, Martial arts etc), rehabilitation , figure competition
  5. Do you have a solid Macro & Micro nutrition plan

5 IMMEDIATE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF IMPROPER  H.I.T 

1. Decrease immunity – upper respiratory tract infections, fever, lethargy

2.  Increase your chances for the onset of injury – connective tissues, muscle & bones

3. Even if  you see a sudden improvement in few weeks due to losing of your muscle tissue and high cortisol levels eventually  lowers your metabolism

4. Lack motivation – Due to high stress in training and improper resting and recovery strategies

5. Increase in your subcutaneous fat ( shaky fat ) layer between your muscle & skin

However, conversely, if you apply H.I.T. protocols on unconditioned individuals (without adequate prior long-term exercise progression), science, application, medical evidence indicates that such highly  repetitive and intense exercises can affect your health and fitness in a negative and potentially damaging manner.

 H.I.T. Alarming effects

  • H.I.T. can raise blood pressure and heart rate to a dangerous level and contribute to the  onset of cardiovascular (CV) health risks and possible disease.
  • H.I.T.  done incorrectly can lead to the over-straining of muscles and joints  and possibly lead to further acute or chronic injury.
  • H.I.T.  can cause a possible decrease in blood glucose level and thus diminish energy level and impact quality of performance during training.
  • H.I.T. can negatively impact your endocrine system, lowering your immunity and leaving you susceptible to developing coughs, colds, fevers, and  other viral and bacterial infections due to lack of appropriate immune and hormonal functions.
  • H.I.T. can also unnecessarily cause exercise induced asthma(EIA) and exercise induced Rhabdomyolysis (i.e. when muscle protein leaks into the blood stream and causes  acute renal failure, blood clotting, abnormal heart rhythm due to elevation of blood potassium).

DO YOU FOLLOW THESE 7 STEPS?

  1. Is the exercise routine comfortable for your body to execute with proper technique?
  2. Do I have training base or is ego or social media hype the motivation ?
  3. Consult a trained fitness professional at each level of fitness progression to help you gauge the appropriate pace and level of progression suited to your fitness level as you advance.
  4. If you do consult a coach/ trainer, ensure that he or she possesses the appropriate credentials, background, and experience, in addition to a proven track record of success.
  5. Ask you local Trainer/coach clarification on any exercises, etc  and inform him /her if you experience any pain while exercising.
  6. No easy way out , plan a healthy and adequate eating patterns & a supervised progressive plan to aid your performance
  7.  Do not fall for  “free” or quick fix exercises or diets that promise you instant results, or simply look “cool”

As Global reader do not depend on social media or internet to replace good quality hands-onn instructions and  invest in a good trainer/coach whichever part of the world you live .

Wish you the best for sports competition and personal fitness/ health goals.