I keep hearing I'm supposed to be smiling between sets of intervals... but the most I can muster is a pained grimace. Should I reduce my intensity? reduce duration? increase time between intervals? Or just grimace away?
My training typically consists of the following:
I do as many cycles as I can over 20 minutes (about 7). Each set gets longer as my heart rate climbs. Flat out my heart rate gets to 175-180.
I have had amazing gains in fitness using this protocol twice a week for the past 4 months (when I started I could only do 2 cycles). So I find it's working. But no way am I smiling.
So should I just keep at it or tweak it? What are the benefits of dialing it down a bit? Thanks.
HIIT is predicated on pushing yourself to the limit of your work capacity. There is no way to keep smiling through that unless you're a masochist.
Find me someone who can smile at 170% of VO2max and I'll show you someone with a broken pain center.
What's your goal? I wouldn't be smiling either, how boring. I'd add in other exercizes. If you love the eliptical, do that for 1-2 minutes, get off and do pushups for 1-2 minutes and then lunges and then get back on the eliptical. Intensity equals results. You may also have to shift your thinking into your improvements rather than the "suck" of the now.
I've done some research on this, what I've found is you don't want to exceed 20 minutes of high intensity work, i.e. sum of all high intensity cycles. I started on a bike and went like hell for 30 seconds now I'm up to 2 minutes a cycle, I would play with varying your recovery time and trying to extend your high intensity time. Just remember not to hurt yourself.