Each HIIT workout consists of three key components, without which it cannot be classified as HIIT training. These are:
Each of these components plays an important role in HIIT exercises. We’ll take a closer look to see why they’re important and what role each plays in a typical HIIT routine.
A warm-up means preparing your muscles for any upcoming exercise, like running or exercising. Ideally, a warm-up session should mimic actual exercise, but at a lower intensity. Warm-up sessions are especially important in a HIIT workout due to the high intensity of the workout.
Warm-up sessions have several benefits. Basically, they increase the circulation of oxygen and blood through the body and “warm up” the muscles. This is because cold muscles are more prone to injury, as they cannot absorb shock as well as hot muscles. Therefore, warm-up sessions tend to last longer in colder climates.
With a HIIT session, the intensity of the exercises is much higher than with a normal exercise routine. As a result, the risk also increases. In such a situation, a warm-up session becomes even more important for the athlete to avoid serious injury to the body.
Every HIIT routine must be preceded by a good and adequate warm-up routine that exercises all the muscles of the body. Keep in mind that stretching is not a warm-up exercise.
HIIT exercises, unlike normal workouts, incorporate both anaerobic and aerobic periods into the session. High intensity periods are usually anaerobic exercise sessions. They force the body to work intensively in a short period of time, causing the anaerobic system to provide energy to the body.
Anaerobic activity also causes lactic acid to build up in the muscles, leading to fatigue, pain, and a burning sensation. Performing HIIT increases the lactic threshold, allowing the athlete to use the anaerobic system for longer periods of time.
Most workouts use steady state exercise, which generally keeps you in the aerobic zone for the entire training session. HIIT, on the other hand, incorporates anaerobic exercise through its intense work periods as well. The intensity of these sessions forces the athlete to push their anaerobic threshold and develop it over a period of time. It is these anaerobic sessions that result in COPD, which aids in the fat burning and weight loss associated with HIIT.
Recovery periods in HIIT routines also play a role. Recovery periods are the aerobic part of the HIIT session. These rest intervals allow the body to recover the heart rate to a state that allows you to enjoy another high intensity session. They also remove the lactic acid formed during the anaerobic session and circulate oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, they play an important role in the prolongation of training.
In addition, as they are aerobic intervals, they also help in the development of the individual’s aerobic system. Therefore, HIIT exercises allow the individual to develop the aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time.