Training Styles Stigma

by Tia Dewick in Training

Particular training styles have been given a lot of attention and promotion over the recent years which is changing the way that people perceive other training styles. However, I just wanted to set the record straight and help open your mind to see the bigger picture.

Cardiovascular training
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been considered the most beneficial form of cardiovascular training for quite some time now; however, HIIT is not for everyone. Yes, HIIT can provide the same energy expenditure as more endurance-based training in a more time-efficient manner to help promote a normal weight and to help prevent the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, BUT not everyone can endure HIIT. Due to varying injuries and physical conditions, HIIT may cause more damage to your body that may outweigh the benefits. Frequency, intensity and duration are the three fundamental elements of training. Therefore, if you cannot endure HIIT (i.e. high intensity) then consider increasing the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. For example a 30 minute swim offers similar health benefits as a 10-15 minute HIIT session with far less impact and stress on particular injuries and physical conditions and therefore promotes a greater benefit to damage ratio. The world has been encouraged to see exercise as ONLY beneficial, but be sure to select exercises that may not damage your health, for example, if you suffer from cartilage damage, particularly within the knee joints, the further damage HIIT can cause to the cartilage does not outweigh the benefits bought about from HIIT. Alternatively, swimming would be a fantastic substitute. Further benefits of the occasional endurance session for regular HIIT trainers helps to promote an increase in metabolism and adaptation due to providing your body with a new stimuli. Remember, if you train at the same intensity, duration and frequency all the time, your body will cease to adapt.

Resistance training
A further stigma is that resistance training can help improve health and physical capacity in day-to-day life over and above yoga. However, it’s important to consider the extent to which you resistance train. Many weight trainers have a large muscle mass which may result in a lack flexibility which in itself can cause complications such as an increased risk of muscle strains which may inhibit you from living your normal lifestyle. Yes, resistance training may offer better utilisation of fats and glucose when compared to yoga; but these benefits can also be somewhat achieved via yoga whilst also achieving improved strength and flexibility which reduces your injury risk and improves your physical capacity. Alternatively, a combination of resistance training and yoga would be an optimal training regime.