In our society, “more is better” is the ruling motto. More data for your phone, more grams of protein in your yogurt, more caffeine in your daily coffee, and, definitely more emojis for texting. Because, after all, if a little bit is good, a lot must be really good, right?
What about your FIT36 workouts? If three HIIT workouts per week is good, are 5 or 6 per week really good? Are you going to get fitter and stronger even faster if you double up on the workouts? After all, you feel amazing after each session, and have noticed yourself getting stronger each week. Clearly, the more HIIT, the better, right?
Slow down, super-fan, we get excited, too. But as much as we totally dig the high-intensity interval training, we know that too much is, well, too much. Generally speaking, because of the strength it takes to complete our FIT36 sessions, and because it taxes your muscles, you definitely need at least a day of rest and recovery in between HIIT workouts.
Your muscles actually grow during the rest periods in between workouts. The science behind this is that your muscles develop microscopic tears when overloaded. After you tax your muscles with weight, your body repairs damaged muscle fibers by fusing muscle fibers together to form new muscle strands called myofibrils. These newer-and-better myofibrils are thicker and larger than the strands they replaced, leading to muscle growth. This magic process, of course, happens when you rest for a period after exercising. During this rest time, good nutrition is key to aid those healing muscles – plenty of protein, a lot of water, complex carbs, and a ton of veggies and fruits.
This doesn't mean that you’re bound to Couch Potato Land for two days after your studio workout, however. As long as you’re not taxing the same muscle group two days in a row, you can feel free to go for a hike in the mountains, a walk through your neighborhood, or even an easy bike ride. The key is just to give tired muscle groups the rest they need. You’ll be glad you did when your rest pays off in bigger-muscle dividends.
This leads us to one of the reasons why HIIT is such a great method of exercise. Only HIIT is a complete, kick-butt workout in a mere 36 minutes, but it actually works the best if you don’t exercise every day. What?! You don’t get that kind of promise everywhere. Imagine if you tried that philosophy with your healthy eating plan. Or your boss. Or your significant other. “Yeah, so, since I did SUCH a great job today, I don’t think I need to put forth any additional effort for the next two days or so.” Yikes, right?
If you think that HIIT is a too-good-to-be-true workout, we challenge you to give us a try for a month. We’re pretty confident that we can make you a true HIIT fan. That is, if you happen to enjoy shorter workouts that are ultra-effective, empowering and supportive coaches, and the high-energy community of fellow exercise enthusiasts.