As Singapore starts to relax its COVID measures and with more Singaporeans returning to work, more people are restarting their gym member. It may have been a while since you last exercise This article will tell you everything you need to know about HIIT training and help you kickstart your fitness journey.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It is a type of workout developed by Kirsten Burgomaster and a group of scientists in 2005. It started as a 30-second all out exercise with 4 minutes of easy recovery periods (i.e., short periods of rest), repeated for four to seven times. A typical HIIT session usually include body weight or light weight exercises done at a very fast pace. Today, there are lots of HIIT workout routines that comes in all sorts of programming.
In our CrossFit box, our MetCon (aka metabolic conditioning) classes closely resembles a HIIT exercise protocol. The difference being that our MetCon classes are not just limited to bodyweight or light weight exercises. It can also include complex lifts such as olympic lighting or kettlebell swings.
Is HIIT really effective?
It depends on what you are after! Are you looking to burn lots of calories in the shortest amount of time possible? If so, HIIT may be an effective exercise routine for you to lose weight*.
If you are looking to build strength, you are better off lifting heavy weights at the gym.
People workout for a variety reasons. It’s important that you know what you are after. With a clear goal in mind, you can then go ahead to research on the exercise options available and what are most likely to help you achieve your goals.
An effective weight loss or fat loss programme should include dietary changes (i.e., reduced calorie intake).
Should I join a CrossFit box or do my own training at home?
If you are new to exercise or have been away for exercise for a while, we highly recommend that you join a HIIT gym that focuses on technique. This will along you to train safely without having to worry about getting injured.
Pom Pi Pi CrossFit offers two technique classes every week that emphasise good exercise habit. Unlike other gyms in Singapore, we don’t believe in going all out with the heaviest weight possible. Instead, we look at what our members can do and help them achieve the best versions of themselves.
Having a chiropractor as a cofounder means you are in the best hands. Regardless of your fitness level or state of physical health, we will have something available for you. Beyond the usual weight lifting and WOD (workout of the day) classes, we also offer group rehab for those who need additional help to get started with exercising.
Is 20 minutes of HIIT too much?
It depends! HIIT workouts tend to last between 20 minutes to 30 minutes.
You should consider your physical fitness level and exercise history to decide what is enough exercise or what is too much exercise. 20 minutes of HIIT can be too much for someone who’s completely new to exercise. If you are absolutely new to exercising, it’s important to start with learning the techniques of various weightlifting and body weight form of exercises. Without a good foundation, it’s easy to get injured with all the fast-paced movements that are often found in HIIT.
Just a few months ago, Straits Times reported that sports injuries are on the rise as more Singaporeans turn to high intensity workouts at home. It’s important to note that while HIIT comes with many health benefits, it also can cause injury!
Is it OK to do HIIT everyday?
If you are a seasoned athlete, do consider your training load. What other exercises are you doing outside of your HIIT class? How many HIIT sessions do you plan to attend each week?
A 20-minute HIIT workout is not much at all. However, if you are doing back-to-back sessions for seven days a week, it can add up quick.
We highly recommend that you speak to your coach or trainer for best advice on how often you should train. Do note that World Health Organisation encourages 75 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercises plus tw0 days of muscle strengthening exercises every week. In other words, you should supplement your HIIT workouts with some form of weight training.
Is HIIT better than cardio?
Because of the full body nature of most HIIT workout and its emphasis on training at an elevated heart rate, we do think HIIT is better than more traditional cardio such as running or rowing. While cardio exercises tend to maintain heart rate at a moderate steady state, HIIT pushes for higher heart rate up to 90% of your max heart rate.
HIIT is also time efficient. Given the intensity, you often spend less time to burn the same amount of calories or to reached a high rate of perceived exertion. If calorie burning is your priority, then HIIT can be really good for you.
It should be noted that HIIT is exceedingly demanding on your body and your joints. If you are new to it, it’s better for you to ease into it slower rather than to suddenly replace all your cardio with HIIT.
It is also very important that you do not overpush yourself. Rhabdomyolysis is a potentially fatal condition that results from over-pushing. While the upbeat spin class music may tempt you to keep pushing harder, it’s always better to hold back and stay within what you can do. This will reduce your chance of getting injured.
Where is the best place to get started?
Our CrossFit box is at 69 Circular Road. It’s walking distance from Raffles Place and Clarke Quay MRT stations.
While we are not a tradition HIIT gym, we offer technique classes as well as strength and functional training classes to supplement your HIIT workouts. Our well-balanced approach allows you to get the best out of your exercises while keeping risk of injuries very low.
For more information about how we can help you with our approach to exercise, drop us a message via the form below.
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Pom Pi Pi is founded on helping everyday Singaporeans achieve their peak physical performance. We believe meaningful change is not about how fast, how high, or how strong. It’s about being consistent.