blog-cookingChallenges7 Reasons Not to Try HIITs (Based on My Own Experience)

7 Reasons Not to Try HIITs (Based on My Own Experience)

5 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova

Taisiia Dobrozorova is a nutrition and fitness writer at Unimeal and a healthy lifestyle devotee. She has accomplished several courses on health, nutrition, dietology.

on May 27, 2022
Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Davi Santana, M.Sc.

Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.

Davi Santana is a fact checker at Unimeal. He has been a personal trainer for more than 5 years. He is well-versed in strength training, HIIT, running, functional training, and CrossFit.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

Have you ever tried intensive workouts? If so, then you already know what pitfalls I'm talking about. But if not, prepare for the big surprises! In my own experience, I collected all the cons of loading your body with HIITs. So, check it out!

Table of content

Let's start from the beginning. Why did I choose HIIT workouts? Basically, I wanted to try HIITs for one reason - to build muscle. Not like wheat athletes, but at least like a frequenter of gyms. I wanted to thoroughly strengthen my muscles and achieve a well-built body as quickly as possible.

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It is also worth noting that I am not a fan of “pulling iron”, and many types of activities without weight loads will not give the effect of a toned body. This is where HIITs came in handy for me.

Not everyone understands that they are aimed at “squeezing out” your performance as much as possible (by about 95%), and therefore are ideal for building muscle. Depending on the duration and range of exercises chosen, HIITs can help you both lose fat and gain muscle mass.

Guys doing intense workouts outdoors
Guys doing intense workouts outdoors

Starting point

I started, of course, with the search for suitable exercises. I used to look at prepared classes on HIITs, but not all of them were suitable specifically for my body. I learned a lot more along the way.

I took myself on a beginner regimen, only 14 days, 4-5 workouts per week. The duration of each session was 30-40 minutes. When I started training, my weight was 54 kg (about 120 pounds) for a height of 161 cm.

Here is a “set of joy” I have prepared for myself:

  • Pop squats 
  • Quad Stretches 
  • Downward Dog to Toe Taps 
  • Butt Kicks 
  • Jumping and Reverse Lunges 
  • Lunge Stretches 

It is also important to note that I worked out outdoors and did not use any special equipment. Except maybe my yoga mat. 

1. Face the wildest fatigue

So, an exciting day of the first training session. I watched enough vlogs on this topic and was all in anticipation. But then difficulties immediately began.

The first thing that confused me after the trial workout was the wildest fatigue and the inability to carry my body an extra couple of meters.

2. You’ll be literally breathless

The second unpleasant factor that I experienced was extreme shortness of breath after training. They literally left me breathless. Yes, yes, it is worth training yourself in advance.

3. Consider uncontrolled hunger

But, what's even more annoying, in addition to the "marathon runner's shortness of breath," - during HIITs, I began to get into the habit of being perpetually hungry. 

As soon as my 40 minutes of intense exercise ended, I ran to the refrigerator, raking everything I could find from the shelves. The body needed to be fed with calories! Who can blame it after dozens of pop squats?

4. Have to change your clothes

Turned out that the choice of outfit was of no minor importance. While I didn't notice much difference during my regular treadmill or machine workouts, my poor skin could feel every tag on my sweatpants during an intense workout. After just one session, I had to change into something more comfortable.

Gym leggins became my ideal clothes. The training crop top and sneakers fit perfectly, so I didn't have to change them. Finally, nothing hindered my movements!

5. Sprains and injuries are possible

Do you think that weight exercises are easy-peasy, lemon squeezy? I thought so too, until I pulled my back doing Lunge Stretches. Stretches can be pretty insidious, although you feel much better and healthier after them.

Again, I felt like I was ready for anything. But I was wrong. My negligence played its part. I didn't watch the correct exercise on YouTube and heroically (stupidly) pulled my back to the left side.

Since I spent training on the street, I did not put a laptop in front of me to repeat the movements. It was worth taking care to at least view everything from the phone, which I did until I was too lazy to increase the screen brightness once again. As you can see, laziness is punishable!

Since the exercises have to be done quickly, they are not like the usually measured exercises. Be very careful and prepare everything you need for your safety. Learn from my experience!

6. Staying on the schedule is hard

It's not always easy to keep the right pace. I noticed that even after setting a timer, I could not always force myself to stick to the schedule. This means that I messed up somewhere and did not stick to sufficient intensity. If, after a workout, you can calmly carry on a conversation without shortness of breath, then you have not given your best to 95-100% of your capabilities.

7. Problems can negate results

I was also surprised that I didn’t gain a single pound of muscle mass, just like I didn’t lose it. I know that many resort to HIITs more for weight loss, but my goal was different. However, the results in both cases are quite controversial.

When it comes to building muscle, I too often strayed into various factors that I did not take into account in advance. It could make training a bit useless. I tried to make HIITs as effective as possible for my goals, but I never managed to find a balance between overloading the body and just high intensity.

On the contrary, when trying to lose weight, the pitfall here is that overeating after a workout, we do not change our body weight. In this situation, even a snack does not save. Energy in 30 minutes is consumed so quickly that replenishing calories is a must. Another thing is to control this process and not let your appetite run wild.

My verdict

Girls performing HIITs
Girls performing HIITs

Analyzing the whole process, I can say that intensive training is not for everyone. It is also important to do it right. The best option is not to do more than 1-2 workouts per week for a beginner. Otherwise, the body will be exhausted and won't function well for the rest of the day.

It is unlikely that I will continue working out with HIITs. I’ve already found 7 reasons not to try HIITs, but the last one was my last straw: the result didn't meet my expectations. I will most likely return to a more measured pace with moderate-intensity training. They suit my body better.

In general, if you are thinking about starting HIITs, look for more information about the training process. Read the stories of real people who have tried it for themselves. Finally, check with your trainer. 

But if you're already into intense training and don't need a HIITs guide, then don't forget to listen to your body. Loads are good, and moderate loads are even better!

Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.