Is combining high intensity training and yoga good for you?
You may have read this title and felt a little confused and I can understand why! Why would you ever want to combine high intensity workouts with something as slow as yoga? You may be surprised to know it could be the best thing you ever do.
Let’s break this down, Yoga has so many benefits; more than I can count on my fingers. So I’ve picked a few of the really important ones that you may want to know about.
1. Yoga develops strength: If your are looking to increase lean muscle mass, yoga uses your own body to help build muscle by putting you through various body weight poses which challenge you in ways the body isn’t used to.
2. Improves flexibly: Can’t touch your toes? Well get stretching. Increasing your range of motion and flexibility though your joints means blood flow can more readily reach all areas of the body reducing niggles and injuries which occur through training.
3. Increases balance - physically and mentally: Life isn’t getting any slower, and yes, some days can be a total grind. Yoga teaches you to centre your thoughts and be present in the moment concentrating on how your body and mind is feeling and really focusing on being present in the class to maximise the results you see over time.
As we can see Yoga can be a great way to train and should be a consideration to your existing training plan, but you still may be asking how the heck is yoga and HIIT a good idea. Well let me explain.
The idea behind High Intense Interval Training is to work towards the upper limits of your capacity, the idea being it fires your metabolism to burn calories. HIIT sessions are great and I highly recommend them but they are very taxing on the body and demand a lot from you physically and mentally. Day after day if you grinded away with these types of sessions you will either burn out or break down as your body needs time to recover from the flogging you just gave it!
So, the answer you have all been waiting for, combine HIIT with yoga (was it obvious), It will take your training to the next level and here’s why.
It’s a Monday and your are super excited to get back into the gym today as you spent the weekend on the couch watching reruns of Friends and pigged out on your favourite M & M family size block of chocolate. You give everything you got and are totally spent – you go home a happy chap! Problem arises when you can’t walk the next day but have promised yourself you will train every day this week, as summer is coming and you need to get your butt into action.
Instead of heading to another HIIT class and not giving it your all, you decide to hit the wooden floor and do a yoga class, working your body in a gentler way whilst still improving your mental focus and flexibility. Come Wednesday morning you feel like a new person ready to go hard again in your favourite HIIT class, and that ladies and gentlemen is a matched made in heaven.
You are now giving your all - whilst listening to your body to ensure every session you do you is on point!! Long term you’re not only getting fitter and stronger through HIIT training but your becoming more flexible and more in touch with your mind body connection which translates to even better work on the gym floor. If there is a one better combo than friends and M & M chocolate its HIIT cardio and YOGA.
Lucky Fit n Fast have both covered, all you need to do is head into a club and get started.
As always everyone, it’s been a pleasure.
Jamie De Abreu
Senior Personal Trainer - Southland in Cheltenham Vic.