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A beginners’ guide to high-intensity training

Written by True Topia

October 10, 2021

Did your fitness goals and dreams take a backseat hearing what people have to say about high-intensity workouts? It is intimidating, challenging, not ideal for beginners and the list goes on. Well, we’ve got you covered in this piece, ensuring that there are no more doubts between you and your dream physique!

Stating the first thing first- High-intensity training or HIIT is ideal for anyone and everyone who is not going through any health condition. So, if you are up for burning some calories without much time, HIIT is for you. 

However, get yourself checked in case your body may not be eligible to take in intense workouts. Especially since your heart rates will increase and decrease as per the routine.

How to begin a high-intensity workout as a beginner?

With all the various routines, time-specific workouts, and recovery phrases, HIIT workouts may seem intimidating. How do you even start addressing it as a beginner? While it is best if you can start under the guidance of a trainer but here are a few steps that can help you to gain more clarity and get started with high-intensity interval training:

  • Consistency: This is the first step towards the adaption of any routine. HIIT workouts can burn you out very quickly and very easily as a beginner. So, it is important to make note of how much can you bear in a day. It will ensure that you stick to it consistently. If required, start with 1-minute of high-intensity workouts. 
  • Tabata HIIT workout: A good routine to begin with a high-intensity workout as a beginner can be Tabata style. It is the most common and effective style of HIIT. We will be talking more about it in detail later on in the article.
  • Get a plan: High-intensity workouts may not work well unless you have a proper plan and schedule for it. Ensure that you have properly divided your cardio and full-body HIIT workouts throughout the week. A good way to get started can be via fitness apps that contain in-built plans for beginners. 
  • Trust your endurance: HIIT workouts can get you disheartened in the beginning. But trust that your endurance will build with time. You may not be able to complete all the sets and repetitions on day1 but it will improve with consistency. 
  • Aim for rep sets: Once you can go through one round of the workouts with ease, aim for repetitions in the sets of at least 3. It will ensure that you burn more calories without having to switch your routines. 
  • Give breaksHigh-intensity interval training workouts are not for every day. The post-workouts burning and the recovery phase do need some time before you can start with your next workout session. 
  • Add weights:  As you go about with your HIIT training, once you master the basic routines, it’s time to enhance your endurance and strength more by adding weights. Add simple weights at first, and then build your endurance over time. 

Four HIIT workouts for beginners

15-minute wonder

This one is a 5-step cycle of 50 seconds each with a rest of 10 seconds in between. Start with some basic cardio like jumping jacks or burpees. Switch to some push-ups or triceps dips. Go for another minute of cardio, and then work out your legs with some squats or lunges. The cycle ends with some ab exercises like plank or crunches. Repeat this cycle quickly for the second time.

The 20-Minute MetCon

Your body will be pumped after these five moves of full-body exercises. In each 45-minutes interval try to do as many reps of push-ups, squats, butt kicks, tricep dips, and side lunges. Take a 15-second rest and go for another two rounds.

Tabata HIIT workout

Tabata includes 20 seconds of workout followed by 10 seconds of recovery phrase for 4 minutes or eight rounds. You can do creative variations of workouts like lunges, push-ups, burpees, dumbbell squats, jumping jacks, sprints, or kettlebell swings. 

Mixed-Interval HIIT Workout

This knock-out session combines different intervals of workouts. Do 30 seconds burpees, and after 15 seconds, rest do squat jumps for 45 seconds. Pause for 15 seconds and again go for 30 seconds V-ups. Take another break of 15 seconds and go for a 45-second downward dog ankle reach. Take your last 15 seconds rest and go for burpees (for 30 seconds). Repeat the cycle.

High-intensity training workouts for beginners over 50

The buzz around HIIT workout sessions often stops a lot of beginners over 50 to start their high-intensity training journey. But the truth is, HIIT is for anyone and everyone. Ensure that you hit the examination table before you hit the ground, especially for women. 

With age people may develop several issues such as low blood count, heart issues, weak bone density, and other factors. A medical examination will help them to determine whether they are fit for HIIT or not. Before you jump into HIIT, understand your body’s strengths and weaknesses.

However, it is advised that the entry-level for beginners over 50 in high-intensity workouts should be natural. If you haven’t done any workouts recently, a good way to start HIIT can be daily walking or jogging with high-intensity and low-intensity intervals. 

What not to do as a beginner? 

High-intensity training can get you results faster! Sounds tempting? That’s where it becomes an alarm sign. Don’t strain yourself even when you are burnt out. It can lead to severe injury. 

Take proper breaks in between and let your body recover before you exert it for the next session. Also, you need to understand that there might be a possibility that HIIT isn’t for you. Feeling regular burnouts, or not enjoying the process even after giving it days might be an indication. In that case, you can try out other low-intensity workouts sessions. 

Your workout sessions should make you feel good even before you see visible results. If you feel that this part is getting lacked even after spending weeks, it’s an indication to switch and shuffle up your routine. Select a routine that you can stick to for a very long time. 

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