Is HIIT For Everyone?

25 March


A big misconception is that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is only for those who are experienced.  The truth is that anybody can and should do HIIT do due the tremendous health benefits associated with it. The question is how.

Any individual can do HIIT, as long as the level or mode is appropriate for that person and they don’t have pre-existing conditions preventing them from exerting themselves. A key aspect of a healthy HIIT style group training is showing various levels and modifications to fit each individuals needs. Finding a class or program that incorporates this is a great way for everyone to partake safely and be challenged. This can make or break a successful program and here is why:

Celebrating Individuality

Bottom line: Every member of a class comes with different fitness experience, flexibility, strengths, limitations and goals.  Group training is not a one size fits all model.  Showing 3 levels of a HIIT interval can insure everyone can participate and benefit.

Securing Safety

Showing 3 levels of a HIIT workout can enable members to keep coming back for more without injury.   Many clients have knee, back, or hip injuries preventing many plyometric movements used in interval training.  Showing alternate levels can enable your non-jumping clients to still elevate their heart rate and enjoy the benefits of HIIT training without making a stop at the doctor’s office or getting out of the game all together.

Inspiring Fitness

Any athlete will tell you to work out with someone just above your fitness level to help you push yourself to that next level.  Being inspired by others is an excellent motivator to push one-self beyond their comfort zone.   It is also a great reminder for someone at a higher level of fitness to be mindful of how a movement can be broken down when they need to bring it down a level to improve their form.  A positive atmosphere can also be created by having all fitness levels work out together encouraging each other at their own level of fitness.  Each one can have respect for the effort of their performances and encourage one another to create a new culture in fitness.

Creating Unity

Another benefit of group training with many fitness levels is an appreciation for every effort and embracing others to achieve their goals.  It is a great thing when a conditioned athlete can encourage a senior to maximize his or her heart rate doing a modified burpee.  It is also a great distraction to take the focus off of ourselves and work alongside others.  This creates a motivating team atmosphere as everyone toe’s the line together toward common fitness goals.

Reducing Rhabdo

HIIT workouts have gotten a lot of bad press for multiple reasons.  One reason being that appropriate modifications are not being demonstrated for each individual.  It is a coach’s responsibility to show various modifications for intervals to protect untrained individuals and overachievers from experiencing muscle injury.  Just the same, it is a participant’s responsibility to know their body and be aware of any pre-existing conditions that could put them at risk for rhabdomyolysis.  In addition, many HIIT programs are considered High Volume Intensity Training (HVIT) that don’t allow for adequate recovery thereby increasing the risk of injuries.  MASHUP™ is considered a Variable Intensity Interval Training (VIIT) program where adequate recovery is inherent as part of the workout. This allows for true HIIT intervals to be performed and reduces risk for injuries.


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