Do 10 pull-ups followed by 25 push-ups followed by 30 squats followed by a 500-meter row. Now do as many rounds of that routine as you can in 15 minutes. And do it without stopping.
If you find yourself in the middle of a workout like that, chances are you’re in a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. HIIT is a training method in which participants rotate between short intervals of high intensity exercise, followed by short rest or recovery periods. Learn why HIIT Training is so powerful and what you can do to help with muscle soreness recovery before and after.
WHY HIIT IS A BIG HIT
HIIT workouts have become very popular in recent years because they work a lot of muscle groups in a short amount of time. In fact, some rounds are even as quick as 2-4 minutes. The typical HIIT class can be as short as twenty minutes and almost never more than forty-five minutes with rests in between each round. HIIT classes also don’t rely on heavy weights, instead utilizing a lot of bodyweight exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.) and cardio (rowing machine, treadmills and stationary bikes).
Studies have shown that HIIT training can be effective for all athletes because it it often doesn’t require any equipment, nor do you need a lot of experience to do it effectively. One of the biggest benefits of HIIT training is accelerated fat loss. Full body exercises like sprinting, squats, deadlifts, and plyometrics can reduce abdominal fat dramatically in a relatively short period of time.
WHY HIIT TRAINING IS SO BENEFICIAL
- With a sub-30-minute total workout time, HIIT classes fit into even the busiest person’s schedule. So not having enough time to exercise is no longer an excuse.
- HIIT training can increase your VO2 max. VO2 max is the highest amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise. When you’re exercising, your body uses two main sources of energy: Glycogen (a substance that stores carbohydrates) and fat. The greater your V02 max, the faster you use up your glycogen reserves and start burning fat. That’s because our fat stores tend to be much higher than glycogen stores, so if you’re looking to lose weight you want to get the highest percentage of fuel from fat during exercise.
- HIIT training increases EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which kinda sounds like one of those advanced baseball stats nobody understands. A higher EPOC means an elevated fat loss state for up to 24 hours after you finish your workout. You’re effectively burning fat without doing anything. And that’s a home run!
- HIIT training helps your body effectively remove metabolic waste from the muscles between intervals. By quickly removing lactate and other byproducts of high intensity exercise, you can speed muscle recovery from round to round.
- HIIT training boosts both testosterone and growth hormone levels. These are the same hormones that control muscle gain and fat loss. The higher those levels the better.
- In addition to the outward physical benefits, HIIT workouts are excellent for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol while boosting metabolism..
A FEW HIIT WORKOUTS TO GET STARTED
If we got you excited about HIIT Training, you might want to give it a try. Before you rush off and join a gym, here are a few workouts you can do using items you have at home or even just your own body.
- Sprint the straightaways and walk/or jog the curves. Do this for 20 minutes.
- Sprint 200 meters (halfway around the track) and walk/jog the other half. Do this for 20 minutes.
- Sprint 400 meters (1 lap) and then walk/jog the next lap. Do this for 20 minutes.
- Do as many bodyweight squats as you can for 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
- Combine bodyweight squats, pushups, and pullups for 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
- Jump rope for 1 minute on and 1 minute off. Repeat for 20 minutes.
If you like these exercises, search your area for a gym that offers HIIT classes. Then, you’ll get to incorporate equipment like kettlebells, medicine balls, bikes and rowing machines into your workout. They’ll also make you do burpees, but let’s not worry about that for the moment.
HOW TO PREVENT MUSCLE SORENESS AFTER A HIIT WORKOUT
Some muscle soreness happens because of hyperactive motor neuron activity. Your motor neurons (the nerves that manage muscle movement) send electric signals through the spinal cord to the appropriate muscles which aids in contraction.
But as you fatigue, as you do during HIIT exercises, those signals can come at a hyper-accelerated rate and pound the fatiguing muscle. That hyperactivity contributes to that lingering pain we feel a day or two after an intense workout or new routine,
Now just because the HIIT workouts are shorter, and the weights are lighter doesn’t mean you won’t experience muscle soreness. HIIT classes challenge you to work at nearly maximum effort for quick bursts. And any time you’re pushing for maximum effort, even briefly, you’re putting a strain on your muscles.
Drinking a HOTSHOT for Muscle Soreness before a HIIT class can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up muscle soreness recovery needed after an intense workout. By calming the nerves around big muscle groups, HOTSHOT will keep you feeling rested and eager for the next class.
OTHER THINSG TO CONSIDER
1. Protein helps fix sore muscles.
Protein is a “building block” for your muscles: it helps repair the damage that occurs during your workout and ultimately allows your muscles to strengthen and grow. The amount of protein each of us needs is different based on your body metrics and physical goals, but the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American Colleges of Sports Medicine, and the International Society of Sports Nutrition all suggest eating somewhere between 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight to optimize muscle recovery in physically active adults.
2. Try a massage.
Getting a massage is both relaxing and beneficial for your muscle recovery. A meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials found that athletes who received massage therapy interventions after strenuous exercise were significantly less likely to experience DOMS than subjects who didn’t. Aside from going to a physical therapist or massage therapist, you can also use tools like foam rollers or massage guns to get similar post-workout relief for achy muscles.
3. Get enough sleep.
With our busy and hectic lifestyles, we sometimes end up putting sleep on the back burner. However, a big portion of our muscle recovery happens when we’re getting a night of good quality sleep. Important hormones like human growth hormone (HGH) are secreted during our sleep cycles, which helps encourage muscle recovery and growth.
If you have a hard time getting good, high-quality sleep every night, optimize your sleeping environment by sticking to a regular bedtime, limiting your screentime in the hours close to bedtime, and restricting your caffeine intake to earlier in the day.
4. Fill up on anti-inflammatory foods.
Another method for managing muscle soreness is to regularly eat plenty of nutritious foods that curb inflammation, which can contribute to the pain you feel from DOMS. Some good anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet as an athlete to ease soreness include:
- Fatty fish
- Tart cranberry juice
5. Hot & cold therapies
You might be able to relieve some of the pain and soreness from exercise by using a good old-fashioned ice pack. Applying cold temperatures to a sore spot can minimize blood flow to the area, temporarily numbing the pain and reducing inflammation.
On the other hand, some people also find that heating their muscles can help bring relief from DOMS pain. Whether you choose hot or cold therapy, scientists have found that it usually works best when done within a day of a big workout.
6. Don’t skip your rest days.
When all else fails, don’t underestimate the power of taking a day or two off to allow your body to rest and recover properly. Pushing yourself while you’re recovering from sore muscles can sometimes be counterproductive:; it can increase your risk of injury from tight muscles and limit your athletic performance in the process.
HIIT training can be incredibly rewarding,but can also a stress on both your muscles and nerves. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a good work out plan and muscle soreness recovery routine! If you’re prone to muscle cramping and soreness, add HOTSHOT Sports Shots to your pre-workout supplement routine or take it right after your workout to prevent the neurological factors of soreness.
Then, use a combination of rest, massage, hot & cold therapies, good nutrition, and anti-inflammatory interventions to allow your muscles to heal and repair all the way. You’ll be able to bounce back as a better, stronger athlete in the long run!
When you add HOTSHOT to your HIIT routine, you’ll be ready for any challenge.
Even after burpees.