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By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:


Photo Credit: Transformation Video, 2017 – High-Intensity Training – 

The Trend of HIIT training dates back further than the current FAD we see circulating in modern circles, most notably dating back to 1996 when professor Izumi TABATA conducted research on Olympic Speed skaters with a training method of 20 seconds Ultra Intense exercise followed by 10 secs of rest. The research proved successful in its ability to obtain strong results in such a short period. The trend then caught on and we see many varying versions of the same style using short periods of intense exercise followed by short periods of rest.

The reality of the results is enough to attract any individual to want to do HIIT at every session. But Ultimately this type of training although successful initially will eventually catch up with you. I am a huge advocate for adding this type of programming into any training regime but when I speak to individuals that tell me that this is the only type of training they do, I can’t help but feel they are setting themselves up for disaster.  There are many reasons why HIIT is a great addition to any training program, but you also need to understand why you need to balance your training with other methods.

#1 WHEN DONE RIGHT – HIIT IS HARD. Let’s be honest, if you go into any interval training session with the desire to give it your all, It’s going to be tough, both physically and mentally. And sometimes the anxiety of knowing a tough session is looming can be enough to give any athlete anxiety for days. Tough Sessions require mental focus and preparation and that’s difficult to give 100% if there is little time between those sessions.

#2 ADAPTION: Extremely hard training is fantastic and some of the best results will come from these sessions. But you also need to give your body the time to adapt. To respond to the effort it was forced to give and repair to come back stronger. Training harder and harder even when you are sore and tired is not smart. Your body needs to be nurtured and given time to respond to training. Training stimulus is crucial to progressive results but if you are constantly battling fatigue and muscle soreness are you really able to give 100%.

#3 REST: This goes hand in hand with adaption but in any training program you need rest. Both mentally and physically. HIIT will put stress on your CNS (Central Nervous System). This is what regulates your hormones and your response to stress. When the body is continually under high levels of stress, your CNS will start to lose efficiency. In fact, it will respond oppositely to how you want it to. Your fight or flight response will take over, and the results you desire will, in fact, become difficult to obtain. Factor in a rest day or two, an easy day or something less stressful.

#4 BALANCE: For every athlete, balance is vital for any program. Just because training is perceived as HARD doesn’t not necessarily means it’s productive. There are many other forms of training that can be added into a training program to provide challenging sessions without overloading your CNS and requiring a maximal effort every time you train. Try YOGA, swimming, a long slow run, or even play some sport.

Every coach and Athlete understands the need for tough training sessions in any training program, they are the foundation of both physical fitness and mental toughness. But they also understand the human body is not indispensable. That for every hard session there needs to be an acknowledgement of recovery. That for everything you take, you must give back plus interest if you want to see long term sustainable results.

We all love training hard, but be smart about how you treat your body and remember my number one rule in training, train smarter not harder for better results!

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


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