By now, you are all likely to have a HIIT Training gym in your neighborhood or at least seen one in passing. HIIT Training is the latest fitness craze to hit Australia. The workouts are fun, high-intensity interval sessions which include a range of weight and cardio stations. It is similar to Crossfit in that there are set workouts that you do each time you turn up to the gym and you do high-intensity circuits involving weights. However, the big difference to Crossfit is that there is no super heavy power/Olympic weightlifting movements. Because of this key difference to Crossfit, HIIT Training gyms tend to claim that their workouts are a lot safer than Crossfit with fewer injuries.
A Chiropractor’s Perspective on HIIT Training Gyms
I am inclined to agree that HIIT training is safer than Crossfit. Cutting out the heavy, complex movements which are done in a fatigued state does mean that there are probably less severe injuries at HIIT Training gyms than Crossfit gyms. However, I am still getting a lot of patients coming into my clinic with injuries from HIIT Training gyms. Why is this you ask? Isn’t HIIT Training meant to be Crossfit’s safer cousin? Well, it all comes down to two things (in my opinion, these are often the same two things that lead to injury in Crossfit gyms as well)…
1. Lifting weights, even light ones, when fatigued from intense circuit training can lead to a break down in mechanics and lead to injury
2. There is often a lack of pre-screening for new members and weaknesses/ imbalances aren’t picked up on before the new member is pushed into classes
With my first point, there really is no getting around the fact that weight training in a really fatigued state can be unsafe. Muscles are fatigued and when you try to push out a few more reps, your body is likely to be compensating in weird ways. If you are at a gym and training this way, there is always a risk of injury. And with my second point, it is so important to find a gym with super qualified instructors who are doing a really thorough pre-screening. A lot of my patients who have come in from HIIT Training with injuries often have major imbalances that haven’t been picked up at the gym. Doing intense training like HIIT Training or Crossfit when key stabilising muscles like the glutes or the core aren’t engaging correctly is a recipe for injury. Imbalances and areas of weakness need to be addressed prior to starting intense training.
There Are Benefits of HIIT Training Gyms Too!
While I realise I probably sound negative, I do actually think that there are a lot of positives about HIIT Training. High-intensity circuit style training is a super effective way of burning a heap of calories and I’m sure a lot of their clients make some amazing health and lifestyle changes in their classes. I also think HIIT Training style is really fun and there is a nice community atmosphere in those type of gyms which ensures people stick with their training. I just think that is important to make sure you are fairly strong and injury free before starting that sort of training in order to avoid injury. If you are, then I’m sure it’s a great way to train and get fit!