I love doing some HIIT or Tabata type training at least twice a week. It gives me a real buzz and I feel great for days after. Plus it is a good change from pumping iron.
If you have been exercising or going to the gym for a while I am sure by now you probably have some reason to believe (either rightly or wrongly) some of the myths and misconceptions that exist about various forms of exercise; but some of the worst seem to exist about HIIT.
Yes, it is a form of exercise you don’t attempt to do if you are just starting out, haven’t exercised for a year or two or have an injury or suffer from some lifestyle disease.
You may have even hesitated to begin an exercise program because you’re confused about what the different workout routines can do for you and how difficult they are (or should I say how difficult they appear to be).
So to help clear things a little bit for you here are some myths and misconceptions that exist about high and low intensity exercise programs:
1. Only hard-driving cardio workouts will burn fat:
It’s true that cardio workouts burn fat, but it doesn’t produce results for muscle gain (which also burns fat, even when you aren’t exercising). Studies have found that a low/high intensity exercise routine such as HIIT does more to burn fat and build muscle.
2. Exercising at a lower rate of intensity for a long period of time will burn more fat:
You can burn the most amounts of fat when you’re exercising faster and for a shorter amount of time. The way that HIIT works to burn more fat is to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise so that the intervals of rest work with the high intensity portion of the workout to produce better results – much faster.
3. Diet isn’t important if you’re working out every day:
Not so. You certainly won’t get your dream body if you gorge on Maccas before or after your workout. If part of your fitness goal is to lose weight, you should make healthy choices throughout the day and eat smaller portions so your diet will actually help burn calories.
4. You can get in shape fast by doing your favourite exercise every day:
The key to fitness and how fast you achieve your goals is to add variety to your workout routine. Rather than walking or jogging every day, combine other types of workouts such as weight training. This method will also help if you’ve reached a plateau on your weight loss.
5. Morning workouts are best to keep your metabolism working all day:
You should exercise when it’s convenient to you and not get hung up on a particular time of day. The only exception to this is if you have a propensity for high blood pressure. Studies indicate that your blood pressure stays low for many hours after an intense workout, so exercise during the morning hours can be best.
6. You’re too old:
This is my favourite.
What a load of rubbish!
This is one of the worst myths floating around about exercising. The older you get the more you need to be doing some exercise. You can reap enormous benefits by beginning to exercise at any age. You’ll lessen the risk of muscle, bone and other lifestyle diseases and lead a much more active life as you age.
If you haven’t started an exercise program or are performing exercises without getting the results you need then something is wrong on both counts.
So get yourself motivated and get going.
If you don’t know where to start and still have some doubts, then firstly, see your family doctor to determine if a particular type of exercise is right for you then find yourself a good personal trainer to set up an exercise program tailored to suit your own specific needs.
And just remember this; “The only way you can hurt the body is not use it.” – Jack LaLanne
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Coach and Activist.
P.S. Help a friend get fit……..like and share.