Why You’re Probably Doing HIIT Cardio Wrong (and How to Fix It)


High-intensity interval training is one of those training techniques that can give you a lot of benefits in less time. But only if you know how to do it properly. Below you will find out why you’re probably doing HIIT cardio wrong and how to fix it.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. The name, in theory, says all you need to know about it. It is an all-out intensity cardiovascular exercise that is aimed at elevating your heart rate in a short amount of time

However, there is a big chance you’re probably doing HIIT cardio wrong. At least that is what Thomas DeLauer is saying.

Thomas DeLauer is a celebrity trainer and health author. His YouTube Channel has 3 million subscribers and he has been on the cover of numerous international magazines.

Burpees are incredibly tough to do as a HIIT exercise.

Below you will figure out what you could possibly be doing wrong and, thus, not getting the benefits that you usually get from HIIT. Check it out.

Why You’re Probably Doing HIIT Cardio Wrong (and How to Fix It)

Many people view HIIT as a series of one-minute intense exercises followed by one-minute rest intervals. While this structure may gamify the process, it doesn’t always yield the best metabolic and body composition outcomes. The key to effective HIIT lies in understanding the anaerobic system activation and treating it akin to weight training.

Just as weight training works within specific rep ranges, HIIT operates metabolically in a similar fashion. Both activities utilize carbohydrates as the primary fuel source. For optimal results in HIIT, one must push to the maximum intensity and allow sufficient recovery time—varying from individual to individual—before the next bout of maximum effort.

Effective HIIT Duration:

HIIT sessions should involve maximum effort for about 15 to 20 seconds, utilizing the stored energy in the body to perform at 90 to 100 per cent capacity. Longer durations may indicate suboptimal intensity, reducing the metabolic response required for desired outcomes.

Top shoulder exercisesSource: Stevie D Photography
You can do kettlebell swings as your HIIT exercise.

10 Awesome Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners

HIIT and Fasting:

When practising intermittent fasting, the body shifts from utilizing carbohydrates to ketones for energy during the fasted state. Contrary to common belief, HIIT doesn’t accelerate the transition to a fasted state. The body adapts quickly to fasting, storing glycogen for later use without necessitating complete glycogen depletion before fat burning begins.

Choosing Cardio for Fasting:

For those seeking fat loss during fasting, steady-state cardio at 60 to 70 per cent of the maximum heart rate may be more effective than HIIT. This approach optimizes fat oxidation while maximizing the use of ketone bodies. However, if HIIT aligns with personal preferences and feels good, it can still be incorporated.

Timing Cardio in Fasted State:

Cardio can be performed either in a fasted state or after breaking the fast. The choice depends on individual goals—whether to burn more fat or gain mental benefits. Adjusting the timing based on personal responses can optimize the effectiveness of HIIT within the context of fasting.

In conclusion, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is not a one-size-fits-all solution, especially when considering its interaction with intermittent fasting. It’s crucial for individuals to move beyond the common misconception that HIIT is merely a calorie-burning workout and delve into the intricacies of its metabolic impact.

It’s not about mindlessly following a predetermined interval pattern but understanding the body’s anaerobic system activation and pushing it to the maximum intensity. By doing so, one can elicit the desired metabolic and body composition responses.

Ultimately, the synergy between HIIT and fasting can be a powerful combination when approached with knowledge and customization. The journey to fitness is not a rigid path but a dynamic process that evolves with understanding one’s body and tailoring strategies accordingly. So, whether you choose HIIT, steady-state cardio, or a combination of both, the key is to stay informed, listen to your body, and adapt your approach to achieve sustainable and meaningful fitness outcomes.

You can get more information from the video below.

10 HIIT Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and Love Handles Faster

When people decide they want to lose weight, the word “cardio” comes into play to burn more calories and, in the end, achieve a caloric deficit. Some coaches will advocate for HIIT while others believe LISS to be more sustainable. We have actually covered which is best in this article previously.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and LISS is low-intensity steady-state:

  • HIIT – all-out intensity of cardiovascular exercise
  • LISS – cardio you can do for long periods of time without difficulty

However, if you don’t mind what kind of cardio you do, know that a combination of HIIT and LISS is the best approach you can do to lose fat faster

Read it in the article below.

How to Combine HIIT and LISS to Lose Fat Faster

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High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) offers a multitude of benefits, making it a popular and effective workout choice for many individuals. Here are some key advantages of incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine:

  1. Efficient Calorie Burn:
    • HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. This cycle of high intensity and rest increases the overall calorie burn during and after the workout, known as the afterburn or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
  2. Time Efficiency:
    • HIIT sessions are typically shorter than traditional steady-state cardio workouts while providing comparable or even greater benefits. This time efficiency makes it easier for people with busy schedules to maintain a consistent exercise routine.
  3. Improved Cardiovascular Health:
    • HIIT has been shown to improve cardiovascular health by enhancing heart function, lowering blood pressure, and improving blood vessel elasticity. The intense bursts of activity challenge the cardiovascular system, leading to improved overall heart health.
  4. Fat Loss and Weight Management:
    • The combination of high-intensity efforts and EPOC contributes to increased fat oxidation, making HIIT an effective tool for fat loss and weight management. It helps preserve muscle mass while promoting fat loss, making it particularly valuable for those aiming to improve body composition.
  5. Metabolic Benefits:
    • HIIT can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation, making it beneficial for individuals with or at risk of type 2 diabetes. The intense intervals challenge the body’s energy systems, leading to improved metabolic adaptations over time.
  6. Preservation of Lean Muscle Mass:
    • Unlike some traditional forms of cardio that may lead to muscle loss over time, HIIT has been shown to preserve lean muscle mass. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism and achieving a toned physique.
  7. Adaptability:
    • HIIT workouts can be adapted to various fitness levels and preferences. Whether you prefer running, cycling, bodyweight exercises, or a combination, HIIT can be customized to suit your individual needs and goals.
  8. Increased Endurance and Stamina:
    • Regular participation in HIIT can lead to improvements in overall endurance and stamina. The alternating intensity levels challenge the body to adapt and become more efficient in oxygen utilization, enhancing overall fitness.
  9. Variety and Reduced Boredom:
    • The versatility of HIIT allows for a wide range of exercises and formats, preventing workout boredom. Mixing up exercises and intervals keeps the routine fresh and engaging, promoting long-term adherence to a fitness program.
  10. Mental Health Benefits:
    • HIIT can provide a mental boost by releasing endorphins, reducing stress levels, and improving mood. The short, intense nature of HIIT can also enhance focus and mental resilience.

It’s important to note that while HIIT offers numerous benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain health conditions or those new to exercise should consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert before incorporating HIIT into their routine.

Read More: How to Lose Weight Fast and Transform Your Body

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