HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a beneficial style of fitness training that involves switching between high intensity and medium to low intensity exercise intervals for a period of 5-30 minutes. Studies have shown that it can substantially increase your cardio fitness, lower your body fat levels and much more. However, despite its many benefits, HIIT does have its critics. This article will focus on these criticisms and list some of the main disadvantages of HIIT.
1 – It Has A Relatively High Injury Risk
HIIT is one of the most challenging cardio exercises around and pushes your body to its limits. This large amount of pressure that HIIT places on your body makes injuries much more likely compared with gentle cardio exercises such as cycling or swimming. While you can easily stay injury free by warming up properly and allowing your body to rest when it needs to, this elevated injury risk is still something to bear in mind.
2 – It's Not Suitable For Beginners
As mentioned above, HIIT is extremely challenging and requires a very high level of fitness. If you're just getting started on your fitness journey or your current levels of fitness are low, HIIT won't be suitable for you.
3 – It's Not Specific
If you want to train for a specific sport or fitness discipline, HIIT won't be enough on its own. While HIIT is a great option for getting a quick workout and blasting through calories, it doesn't develop the specific skills that are necessary for many sports and fitness disciplines. So if you want to become a better runner or improve your sporting performance, you'll need to combine your HIIT workouts with a more focused training program.
4 – It Has Longer Recovery Times
One final disadvantage of HIIT compared with other styles of cardio is that it takes longer for your body to fully recover from a workout. While you may be able to perform 5 minute HIIT sessions daily without needing an extended recovery period, a 30 minute HIIT session is likely to require 2-3 days before your body fully recuperates.
While HIIT isn't the perfect fitness tool that many people portray it to be, it can still be a valuable addition to your fitness regime. By combining HIIT with a more specific, less intense training program and making sure you give your body plenty of time to recover, you can enjoy all its benefits and negate many of the disadvantages highlighted in this article.