Woman jumping ropeYou push past your breaking point: sprinting for 20 seconds at 10.0 is killer and for most people an extreme not often reached in the gym on a standard day. However, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), similar to tabata, is great for your body: it allows you to get maximum burn in much less time than a regular cardio workout and helps your heart become stronger, pushing it into the anaerobic zone—when you can hardly breathe and definitely can’t talk.

While you can do HIIT with any form of cardio—bike, jump rope, and jumping jacks—treadmill is the most popular way to do it. And, because HIIT on a treadmill can be so extreme compared to your usual cardio workouts, it calls for a little extra help. Not because you need it, but because, if you feel out of control, someone else can be there to ensure that you’re safe and don’t hurt yourself.

Here are a few important reasons to keep a spotter close by.

Speed Control

You move into your highest intensity interval and it can become hard to stay in control; especially if your body is new to this type of workout. In the event that you do become out of control—your knees give out, your foot slips to the side, or you just can’t go any longer without jumping off—a spotter can lower the speed for you or help you off without hurting yourself.

While most of these potentially dangerous things are not common, and shouldn’t steer you away from this fat-blasting workout, it’s important to consider; especially if you don’t normally use the treadmill, which is where most HIIT workouts happen.

Tread Safety

Young woman  working out with coach

When you sprint at high speeds, it’s easy for one small move to cause big problems. For example, if you drift just a bit to one side and lose your footing, you may not be able to catch yourself with the tread moving so quickly. In this case, a spotter can grab you before you fall or be at the end of the treadmill to stop you from falling off altogether.

HIIT is ideal for people with minimal workout time available but want to see maximum results. And while it’s rare that someone does actually hurt themselves, it’s important to consider safety if you’re new to this type of exercise. Work up slowly to the high speeds and keep someone close by just in case you need a little support.