HiiT Claims Another Life

First, a 15 year old cyclocross cyclist dies in his sleep of a cardiac arrest, after having suffered numerous silent cardiac arrests that went unnoticed.

Now, 23 year old Michael Goolaerts (Veranda’s Willems Crelan team) suffered a cardiac arrest while racing in the Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic event this past weekend. As a result of the MI, he crashed, was taken to hospital and died later on that same day.

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How many athletes will have to die until coaches, team managers, and other athletes realize that its not undiagnosed or missed heart abnormalities… we have made a fatal error in our understanding of hi intensity interval training (HiiT) by failing to truly appreciate the long term risks it poses to both young and old, to both pro as well as amateur athlete?

We are not talking about 40 or 50 year olds who as weekend warriors decided to “crush” it in a training session or a race and ended up with an heart attack.  We are talking about teenagers and adults in their peak physiological and psychological years blowing up… pushing so hard, so often or being pushed so hard, so often that they end up dead. Dead!

If your coach/trainer continues to stuff your training schedule with HiiT workout after HiiT workout then they are gambling with your health, your life, gambling with the risk of you suffering a cardiac event.

Let this serve as your warning: when you wake up (that is hoping you wake up) with tubes coming out of your body, monitors tracking your vitals realizing that you are in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of your local hospital… remember, someone did warn you.

Don’t want to end up an “I told you so” then wake up… HiiT is a short term solution which is designed specifically to spike your performance using every single system in your body to force more output, it is NOT healthy, neither physically, nor mentally, nor emotionally. HiiT is no different than an unnecessary TUE: its cheating legally in sport by gaming your body systems.

Do it long enough and you will suffer some consequence… death in the worst case.

Is it – death – really worth the carnal desires of your ego? Is driving yourself via self mutilation (internally, if not externally evident) using a “no pain, no gain” mindset into the ground (like 6ft in the ground, in a casket) the way you want to go out?

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to exercise, to workout, to train. Choose carefully.


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