HIIT and its common mistakes to avoid
We have been talking about HIIT workouts for surfing and how good it is to practice HIIT workouts to increase your heart rate, boosting your metabolism and stimulate a surf session or surf heat in competitions.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is excellent for fat loss and boosting your stamina. If your objective is to increase the oxidative capacity of your muscles and get shredded, you can’t go wrong with HIIT.
Or can you?
In this article we’ll look at 9 of the most common mistakes people make when engaging in high intensity workouts. Be mindful of them and steer clear of these pitfalls. This will allow you to get the best rewards from all that sweaty effort and exhaustion. We just want to make sure that you are not doing anything wrong that you might get hurt doing
1- Not enough effort
HIIT workouts are tough. There’s no denying that. The good news is that they’re not long workouts. Ideally, you should not train for more than 30 minutes. But the best time is 20 mins. Beyond that and diminishing returns will set in.
During the 20-30 minutes you’re training, you must work with maximum intensity. You absolutely must not hold back. Give it your best. It’s normal to gasp and pant and groan. That’s just how it is. Not expending maximum effort will diminish the effectiveness of your workout.
HIIT is all about performing at the best intensity with maximum effort at each rep. This is how your heart rate goes up so much and fast. This is how you get the best results and will be boosting your cardio and muscle endurance.
2- Training too long
As mentioned earlier, try to stick to 30 minutes or less. The Tabata Protocol, which is considered as one of the most effective HIIT workouts lasts for only 4 minutes. And we recommend doing 4 sets of a series of exercises to workout for 15 minutes total.
You can’t train at a high intensity for an hour. Hardly anybody can and you don’t need to. Short, intense sessions are the key to getting lean and fit.
Even though, there is this myth that the more and longer you train, the more you will get results. It is actually NOT true at all! It is all about high intensity workouts that are faster that will keep you lean and ready to go!
3- Training too often
When you’re starting out, you can do HIIT twice a week. We actually just recommend starting with once a week but if you want more of a challenge go for twice a week! As you get fitter, you may go up to 3 or 4 times a week. Always try to have a one-day break between each HIIT sessions. Spreading them out is better than doing them consecutively.
Many beginners try to do them daily and end up exhausted and drained. The workouts become dreary and there will be a tendency to skip workouts and finally quit. So, take a break.
4- Insufficient recovery time/too much recovery time
You need sufficient rest intervals between each exercise. Ideally, a 15 to 30 second break will do before you move on to the next exercise in your set. If you go from exercise to exercise with no rest, you’ll be too tired to give your best. When first starting out 45-60 seconds is a good way to start as well.
The rest is meant for your heart to slow down a little so that you can give your maximum effort in the next round. On the flip side of the coin, don’t have a 2-minute interval between each exercise. That’s too much time for the workout to be effective.
5- Not prioritizing the workouts
The biggest mistake of all is not working out. Prioritize your HIIT workouts over your TV time, social media, etc. All you need is 15-30 minutes. That’s just 1 percent of your day. Everybody has time for a quick HIIT session.
There is no excuse for you not to get your workout in as it requires minimal time! It is something that we tell everybody! No excuses at all!
6- Using weights that are too heavy
HIIT is about speed. If your weights are too heavy, you’ll be struggling to move the weights around and at a faster pace. So, pick a weight that will allow you to do about 15 reps in quick succession during your training phase. HIIT is not the same as training for hypertrophy.
But make sure that the weight is not super light either. It should give you some challenge but shouldn’t be too heavy like when you are strength training.
7- Not warming up
Spend 2 minutes walking on the treadmill or cycling on the stationary bike. Get your heart pumping a little. Doing a HIIT workout with cold muscles is not a good idea.
Another good warm up are some jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jump rope. Anything that gets your heart rate going and ready to go for the rest of the workout.
8- Training on an empty stomach
HIIT is NOT fasted cardio. Eat a light meal about an hour prior to your workout. This will raise your blood sugar levels a little and you’ll have more energy for your workout.
Don’t worry about insulin spikes, etc. The workouts are so hard that you’ll burn through the fat stores in no time at all.
Eating a quick sandwich or eggs. Anything that is light will be fine. Don’t go and eat pancakes and then a HIIT workout, you will not feel good!
9- Poor form
Never sacrifice form for speed. Maintain good form at a high pace. Doing the exercises with poor form will make them less effective and you may get injured. Even if the pace is higher during a HIIT workout, you cannot sacrifice form for speed. If you mess up your form, you might get hurt and we don’t want that.
These 9 mistakes are to be avoided at all cost. It’s inevitable for some of them to creep up when you’re not expecting and especially poor form and too much recovery time. These occur when you’re exhausted. So, be alert and watch out for them. Use HIIT to get shredded and fit. You’ll look and feel better than you’ve ever felt in 3 to 4 weeks. Start incorporating a HIIT workout in your surf training routine and you will love it as it resembles a surf session and surf heat!