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One of the first things people usually hear about high-intesnsity interval training—and certainly one of the first things they remember after their first experience in a box—is that you get sore. No, not just sore. SORE!

Although most people get sore after a workout any time you try a new fitness routine or increase the intensity or duration of a workout, HIIT is…well…a little different.

HIIT fitness was created for pretty much the sole purpose of switching up a high-intensity workout and switching it up often. The idea is that instead of mastering a single series of motions (think running or swimming), instead to build a high-intensity, seriously varied workout. describes HIIT fitness this way:

“[It] is a training program that builds strength and conditioning through extremely varied and challenging workouts. Each day the workout will test a different part of your functional strength or conditioning, not specializing in one particular thing, but rather with the goal of building a body that’s capable of practically anything and everything.”

The Nature of The Beast

Since the most common post-workout soreness (delayed onset muscle onset) is typically caused by challenging muscle groups in new ways, increasing duration, or increasing intensity, getting sore after HIIT is pretty much a given.

When you become a HIIT athlete—even a non-professional athlete, or a “rest of us” athlete—you will be challenging your body in new intense ways. The high-intensity movements are deliberately varied to intentionally build a body that can handle any challenge thrown at it.

It also means that with this constantly varied, high-intensity physical challenge comes an acceptance that you body will pretty much always be sore or fatigued in some muscle group or another.

But We Love it Anyway

And it’s so, totally worth it. Despite the soreness and despite the challenge (or maybe because of the challenge), we LOVE high-intensity interval training.

And sure, maybe we revel in the post-workout soreness glow some days, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also have to figure out some way to satiate our addiction to HIIT fitness while also figuring out how to ease the soreness enough that we can function in our everyday lives too and—maybe more importantly—feel rested and recovered enough to hit our next WOD (workout of the day) hard.

What’s the best way to handle soreness after a HIIT workout? Find 5 easy tips in our latest article: 5 Ways to Manage Soreness after HIIT.

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