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High intensity interval training raises your heart rate really high and I was wondering if this is safe. Is it okay for anybody to jump straight into HIIT like obese or people that haven't been training for long?

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I'd work up to it. For example, start at 10% of the required intensity and increase progressively until you are at 100%. Unless you are working with someone who is trained to spot overexertion you are taking a big risk--assuming you are out of shape and obese. – Berin Loritsch Jun 2 '11 at 17:09
What if I'm not obese but I'm just a little out of shape? – L1th1um Jun 2 '11 at 17:27
I'd still recommend getting in shape first. Something like a couch to 5k program will give you a good cardiovascular base to work from. – Berin Loritsch Jun 2 '11 at 17:49
up vote 5 down vote accepted

As I suspected, the common advice is to consult your doctor before doing HIIT:

I believe this is particularly true if you know you are not in good physical health or are at aa high risk for coronary disease. That said, you can get conditioned, as long as you do it a little at a time.

If you talk with your doctor, and they have concerns with the HIIT protocol ask for suggestions of how to work up to it--or what to look for when your body can't handle it any more. If you start light and progressively increase, it gives your cardiovascular system time to beef up and get ready for the real HIIT training.

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