HIIT – what could possibly go wrong? A lot, if you’re not doing it right. As much as we feel the burn when doing high-intensity intervals, some of us are likely not doing it the right way at times. This may seem like it doesn’t matter, but HIIT is no game. Executing a move at such intensity and not doing it correctly can lead to injuries and, to a less extent, no gain.

So doing HIIT right is essential. But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your HIIT workout? Here are five things to consider before busting a sweat.

Get into it easily

This is for beginners especially. You need to ease into your cardio regimen. For HITT to give you the most gain, you should have a base level fitness. Prior to starting your HITT training, consider doing 20 minutes of cardio three times a week for a month. This gives you a minimum cardio fitness, enough to get you started. However, you’re likely not going to do a full HIIT session when you begin, and that’s fine because that’s how it’s supposed to be.

At the beginning, execute regular cardio and, as you go along, add two to three intervals of roughly 30 seconds in between. As you begin to get into the swing of things, you can start adding more intervals right through the workout. Another way of getting into a full HIIT regiment is to execute the intervals over a long stretch but at a low intensity. This doesn’t constitute a full HIIT but allows you to get used to the technique and so increase the momentum.

Love what you do

No, not your profession. We mean your style of workout or the type of training you’ll do while performing HIIT. If you’re not into burpees, then don’t do them. HIIT requires so much effort that doing something you hate, won’t make you create a regimen behind the workout. It’s easier to flake if you’re doing a workout you don’t like.

What you need to consider when choosing a workout is technique that enables the use of large muscle groups, and the ability to increase the velocity of your workout with ease and slow down just as fast.

Leg day shouldn’t be taken lightly

Leg day and HIIT go together like sarcasm and Sheldon Cooper. So don’t mix the two or do one a day after the other. HIIT can use up a considerable amount of glycogen, depleting most of it before it can be used to power your muscles for a leg workout. This can prove disastrous if you attempt to work on your legs. And if you decide to perform leg day before HIIT, you sure as fire aren’t going to perform the full technique.

The right way to go is to space your leg workouts farther from your HIIT – at least 24 hours.

Choose optimum fuel

Before we even talk about what constitutes as optimum fuel, let’s get this clear. Never get into the gym expecting to perform HIIT on an empty stomach. It’s not safe and sure won’t give you the results you’re after. Even if you’re on a mission to burn weight fast, HIIT requires fuel. Carbs would be your best bet, and for those trying to burn fat, you should at least consume about 10 to 20 grams before, so you have the energy to tackle your HIIT session with ease. Also consider consuming supplements, caffeine, beta-alanine, and BCCAAs.

Take care of yourself

Listening to workout ethos, such as no pain no gain, has its limits. That’s especially the case with HIIT. If your body is not doing great and feels fatigued, you probably want to postpone your HIIT workout. The ideas is to never overdo as you get results from HIIT by doing it well not by doing it often or regularly. If you still need to hit the gym, consider performing HIIT but at a lower intensity.