HIIT – getting started!

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HIIT – getting started!

BOOM!

You signed up. Committed to a HIIT program and you are ready to become fitter than ever before. But now what?

To make things a bit easier, we’ve crafted a starting list with some insider tips, a couple of cheats & tricks as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid in your path to becoming a true athlete.

Why HIIT again?

High Intensity Interval Training sessions are designed to force your body to maximum use and push past your own mental barriers. It’s a training method renown for its potential to increase fat burn, build cardiovascular strength and pure muscle all at once. Because it’s short, intense and varied, it’s also a great way of training without getting bored 🙂

However, there is a BUT too all this goodness. And that is that HIIT asks a lot from your body and mind, which makes it particularly important to train the right way and be smart about it. Luckily, Beat45 crew prepared some great tips and tricks for you that will set you up for success.

The 3 golden rules for a successful HIIT routine!

  1. FUEL

What most people don’t know is that working out essentially comes down to damaging your body, allowing it to repair and rebuild itself stronger afterwards. And for your body to repair and rebuild, it needs fuel. Proper fuel, to be more precise!.

A one size fits all approach doesn’t exist. You might have asked yourself many times what, when and how to eat. Unfortunately there is no golden rule that you can apply and this is due to the differences in body types, metabolism and training times.

The good old saying of “garbage in = garbage out” definitely applies when it comes to working out. So our recommendation is to try eating plenty of veggies as often as you can and mix different good sources of fats and carbs. Think of fat fish, nuts, avocado, whole grain pasta, rice or couscous and lean meats (if you’re not vegetarian, of course).

Avoid sugar. They are not only unhealthy but also tend to mess up your energy levels throughout the day, which is not going to help you feel good or do well on your workout.

Protein. Don’t skip on getting your post-workout protein in. One expert recommends consuming about 20 grams of protein, or about one scoop of protein powder right after a workout. We’ve seen that’s about right for most people.   

Don’t stop eating! If you diet too much and your calorie intake becomes too low, all that hard work to get ripped and build lean muscle will be a waste of time. Make sure that you’re consuming enough to meet your energy needs.

Drink, drink, drink! And we don’t mean vodka or cocktails! Try to drink between 2-3 liters of water a day. That may sound like a lot but when you drink more regularly in smaller quantities it isn’t that difficult to meet this goal. The “avoid sugar” mantra also applies here. Soft drinks just don’t do it. And while alcohol isn’t good for your body and definitely won’t make your morning after workout easier either, we know where you’re coming from.

Plan ahead. If you don’t plan ahead your meals, you’re 10 times more likely to end up eating crap food at the wrong time in the wrong quantity. Try to eat small quantities often, before you get too hungry and get tempted when you drive by that fast food place with a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. An easy way of doing this is to carry some easy healthy snacks with you wherever you go and make a habit out of eating something small even when you’re not hungry. Oh, and don’t overeat right before training, it can make you feel horrible and really ruin your workout.

  1. REST

Never underestimate the importance of rest. Like we said, working out is just one phase of getting fitter. You have to allow your body time to recover after heavy workouts and that’s why it’s important to listen to your body.

Sleep! Try to get 8 hours of sleep regularly, and when you can, put in a bit more. With busy lives, we know this can be even more  challenging to achieve than getting to the gym in the first place, but it pays off if you can make it work.

The art of doing nothing. Working out hard and giving it your all can be physically and mentally exhausting. Try to build in a block of at least 30 mins of doing nothing at all every day. That’s right. Just lay on the couch, stare at the stars or meditate. If you’re too hyper for this, try reading something or listening to some music. The idea here is that clearing your mind for a short period everyday greatly helps feeling rested and getting ready for your next workout!

  1. COMMITMENT

Now that you’re set up to eat the right things at the right times in the right quantities, let’s look at the mental aspect of following HIIT training routines. Because let’s be honest, it isn’t always easy to get out of bed early to work out or to make it to the studio after a long and tiring working day. But you can make things a lot easier on yourself and stay committed in the long run by following some simple, practical steps.

Train with a friend. Training together is always more fun. But it also makes it a lot less likely to skip a workout when you know your friend will be waiting for you at your class! But there is a pitfall here: try to steer clear from becoming each other’s excuse. Which is why we recommend not texting each other on workout days with the regulars like “are you going today?” or “do you feel like working out today?” only to hear that your training buddy is also keen on finding an excuse to not go. Instead, assume you’ll always both be there for your training unless there’s an emergency. Show up for your training buddy and know your training partner will do the same. Believe us, it works! Oh and we’ve created an awesome referral program that allows you to bring your friends along and earn free classes. You can read all the details here.

Reward yourself with progress. Making progress feels good. It makes you feel you’re not putting in all that hard work for nothing and it helps you stay motivated and hungry for more. And if you start doing HIIT, progress is guaranteed. All you have to do is find something that you can monitor and improve on with every class you take. It could be your speed while running the mill, the weights you use or the speed of the punches you throw. Or in the beginning, maybe it’s just not stopping halfway through the exercise! No matter what it is, try to make a mental note every time you workout and monitor your progress. It will provide you with some well deserved satisfaction!

Share on social. Make your friends and followers proud and allow them to motivate you after your workouts by posting your progress and checking in regularly. It will also help make you feel more accountable and may just give you that little extra push you need to get your butt to the studio! When training at Beat45, sharing your classes on your social media profile is as easy. All you have to do is to go to ‘my classes’ and hit the share button next to your workout!

These are all simple tips. Nothing fancy, no shock therapy or magic medicine involved. Yet we have seen that these basic things can mean the difference between achieving long lasting fitness or not. So trust us on this one and give them a try. See what you think and let us know how this works for you!

Ioana Vega

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