A lot of gyms/studios/trainers these days claim to be offering the full-package to their clients; skill, strength, power, endurance, mobility, 6-pack abs and a Kim-K booty. Not only that, they claim to deliver such amazing results in 30-45 minutes of training – wow, where do I sign up?!
These fast-food fitness sessions are usually classes, typically circuits with kettlebell swings, box jumps and burpees, set at the mercy of an interval timer. Like the name suggests, this type of training doesn’t have much substance. Sure, you’ll sweat a lot, get your heartrate up and burn calories but if you’re hoping for any real development in skill, strength, power etc. you’re gonna come up short.
It’s easy to see why this type of training is popular; it’s quick, varied and by the end of the session you’re drenched in sweat and feeling accomplished. Some people respond well to this type of training but the majority of people don’t. These classes simply cannot accommodate for individuals with different skill and strength levels, and more often than not the people taking part aren’t able to perform complex movements, at a high intensity, effectively and safely. Performing a complex movement at speed can disguise weaknesses. If not corrected, these weaknesses can lead to injuries and that 30 minute, high intensity session could halt your training progress for weeks, even months.
In reality, building skill, strength and power requires consistency, patience and strategy – knowing where you are, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. The best thing a trainer can do for their clients is be honest and manage expectations, not giving them false hope – I guarantee, if the trainer has any significant skill, strength or muscle development, their training isn’t based on kettlebell swings and burpees, sweating through Gym Shark gear for 30 minutes.
Interval training can be a great addition to your programme, adding variety and fun to your workouts. However, it’s important to stick with movements and weights you’re very comfortable with when performing at a high intensity. Otherwise, a short HIIT session could have long-term consequences.