Article – How to get the most out of your HIIT sessions

I’ve had a few people on twitter ask me, since posting the video blog i did on HIIT training, “How do i get the most out of HIIT training?”.

Its a very good question, if you havent been aware of the benefits of HIIT training before.

– How long do you do it for?
– What time of the day should i do it?
– What should i eat before?
– What should i eat after?
– How many times a week should i do it?

The first thing to know about HIIT training, is that it serves one main function. This is function is totally dependant on your nutrition. I’ll say it now, and i’ll repeat it for every blog i do – if your nutrition isn’t right, your gym work is pointless!

HIIT training raises your body’s metabolism… FACT. That is its main purpose. To put the body under huge stress so that the body goes “what the hell just happened? Give me food and give me the RIGHT food NOW!”. This is your metabolism rising….

When the metabolism rises, your bodys rate to consume and burn calories is then heightened throughout the day. This combined with a calorie deficit diet = fat loss…. SIMPLE MATH!

So….

HOW LONG SHOULD I DO HIIT TRAINING FOR?
No longer than 20 mins! This is important. Video Blog 1 – How to get the most out of your HIIT sessions

WHAT TIME OF THE DAY SHOULD I DO HIIT TRAINING?
In the morning. First thing on an empty stomach!

Why? Well you want to increase the total time of which your metabolism is boosted for the day. If you did HIIT at 6pm and went to bed at 10pm – then your bodys metabolism is only raised for 4 hours. Where as if you do it at 6am in the morning, you have maximised the time your metabolism is raise to 16 hours!

WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE I DO HIIT TRAINING?
Nothing. You should do HIIT training on an empty stomach. This is for 2 reasons: –

1) For the 15-20mins you are doing HIIT, you will be ‘flat out’ and therefore having food in your stomach will cause gas, cramps and in general, make you feel sluggish.

2) You want to deplete all the Glycogen out of your body. Effectively burn off all that remaining carb intake sitting in your muscles, so that once you are finished with your HIIT and your Heart Rate comes down, but your metabolism is sky high, the body has nothing else but FAT to use as an energy source!

WHAT SHOULD I EAT AFTER MY HIIT TRAINING?
Good clean healthy complex carbs, proteins and fats! You HAVE to get your nutrition right to make HIIT training work effectively. Too many carbs and you’ll be too ‘carb heavy’ for the rest of the day and wont burn as much fat. Too little carbs and you’ll be nakard for the rest of the day. Too little protein and your muscles wont repair fully from the workout, too much and there will be excess calories and again you wont burn as much fat. The same applies for your fat intake! DONT BE SCARED OF GOOD HEALTHY FATS either – fats are vital! Its the saturated fats we need to stay away from, not the healthy fats like Omega 3 etc.

HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK SHOULD I DO HIIT TRAINING?
HIIT training is VERY demanding on your body. Not only the actual effort of doing something at 90% HR for 15-20mins, but your body after is going into overdrive for a long period of time. Too much HIIT and you will do yourself serious damage…. too little and you wont see the effects as quickly.

I do HIIT training 3 mornings a week. I also do ‘low intensity’ training 3 mornings a week also (The other days i dont do HIIT – i’ll do another blog explaining that soon) – combined together, you create a FAT BURNING machine.

I would suggest to do no more than 3-4 a week, but no little then twice. 3 times a week is perfect! Monday, Wednesday and Friday is a good working example.

Nutrition is KEY to HIIT training. A good nutrition and good HIIT training is similar to a car with 4 wheels. The car being the nutrition and the wheels being the HIIT training – the car will not move without the wheels, and without the car the wheels have no where to go!

For nutritional advice or a bespoke nutritional and workout plan specifically for you and your body, email me at dan@danielwheeler.co.uk

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