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HIIT For Beginners

While HIIT is not a new thing, people are stumbling across this for the first time all the time.  HIIT is high intensity interval training.  And if you’re curious, yes, CrossFit falls in this category.

Or, rather, HIIT falls under the CrossFit umbrella.

As you get started with HIIT workouts for the first time, it is important to keep some things in mind.  But first, let’s discuss why you should be doing high intensity interval training.

But Why, Though?

Depending on what origin story you read, you will find HIIT originated in the 1800’s, the 1950’s, or even as late as the 1990’s.  For our purposes, this doesn’t matter.  What does matter is HIIT, like CrossFit, is very effective at garnering favorable results for our clients.

  • Lowering body fat and unnecessary body weight
  • Improving skeletal muscle mass
  • Improving stress management both psychologically and hormonally
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Elevating metabolism for hours and hours after a workout
  • Improvements in bone density when done, and dosed, correctly
  • Improvements in power output for you athletes out there
  • And the list goes on…

The question then becomes, why aren’t you doing HIIT?

HIIT for Newbies

Equipment Needs

For those of you who don’t really have any equipment at home, guess what?!  You could do many different HIIT workouts without the need for equipment.  Here’s an example:

8 Times Through the Following
20 seconds of Air Squats
10 seconds of Rest
20 seconds of No Pushup Burpees (aka Bodybuilders)
10 seconds of Rest
20 seconds of Dead Bugs
10 seconds of Rest
20 seconds of Mountain Climbers
10 seconds of Rest

Have equipment?  Well, then you just made things a little bit more interesting for yourself, didn’t you?

Quality – Not Just Quantity

Movement quality matters above all else.  Even above intensity (which is effectively what we are talking about when we are talking about high intensity interval training).  If you are not moving well while you are warming up, you will not be moving well when you layer intensity on top of it.

I don’t care who you are.  This type of voodoo magic just does not happen.

In CrossFit, we talk about “mechanics -> consistency -> intensity.”

What this means is you need to move well, be able to move well consistently, and then be able to move well under intensity.  If, by adding intensity, your movements deteriorate then you need to slow things down a bit until you can reestablish control.

Need help with this?  Click HERE to set up a consult and we can work with you on developing safe [and quality] movements.

Make It Fit You

It goes without saying that every “body” is different.  Well, it is also known that everybody goes into working out at different fitness levels and skill levels.  The great part about HIIT is that you can modify the movements, the time, the rounds, etc. to suit you.

So long as you move well and make it challenging for yourself, you are accomplishing the mission!

Comfort In Discomfort

Intensity means discomfort.  There are no two ways about it.

If you are planning to start high intensity interval training then you need to plan on being very uncomfortable.  And this is a really great thing because with intensity comes results!

Intensity = Discomfort = Results

Caveat Emptor – Do not confuse “discomfort” with “pain.”  If something is painful, you may not want to be doing it.  If it is uncomfortable though, that’s the point.

Small Doses

Depending on where you are starting out, you probably want to start with smaller doses.  Soreness due to working out is not uncommon.  However, not being able to sit down on the toilet seat or walk down the stairs is something you will want to avoid [at first].

Sometimes this feeling is fun.  Most of the time, not so much.

And when you start a new workout routine, the single most important thing for you to develop is the habit.  If you are so sore where you cannot get up and do it again, this is a really tough place to develop habits.  Start small and then build!

“Where Do I Start?”

Where do you start?  You simply just start.

Start solo.  Find a workout partner and start.  Hire a personal trainer or get into a group class and start.  The point is…

Just start.

Got questions beyond that?  Send me an email at [email protected].

Happy HIIT’ing!

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