HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has become a fitness game-changer and those who have tried it, swear by its incredibly transformative effects.The HIIT training formula is simple- workout as hard as possible for a short period, rest, and repeat. In this process, you can reach your optimal training zone multiple times and your body is shaken up with every workout.

However, like any other exercise routine, you need to know how much HIIT training is good for you. There is plenty of research, which proves that adding volume to the workout session will not always deliver excellent results. This form of exercise stresses your body in a good way, but every person’s body can handle only a specific amount of stress at any given point.

When you do a strenuous workout like HIIT, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which can have positive results such as reduced inflammation, improved immunity, and enhanced strength. However, excessive amounts of HIIT can have the opposite effect. If you push your body beyond what it can handle, it will do more harm than good.

So How Many HIIT Exercises Should You Be Doing?

There is no set answer to this question. The amount of time you spend doing HIIT depends on the amount of time you spend on exercising each week. If you work out for extensive periods it can cause joint pain, fatigue, and mood disturbances. Most experts suggest 30-40 minutes of HIIT exercises that set your heart rate above 90% is what you should aim for each week cumulatively. This is a good approach to prevent overreaching symptoms.

It is also essential to remember that not every person can do HIIT exercises. You need to have work out consistently for at least six months before introducing high intensity interval training into your routine. This is when you include two short HIIT sessions in place of a single cardio session and make sure to separate these with two short rest cycles.

You can also create a routine where you combine HIIT with moderate-intensity cardio, core training, and strength training. This combination helps to train and stimulate all muscle fiber types, motor units, and energy systems in your body, driving tangible results.

An HIIT Training Schedule You Can Follow

  1. For Beginners
  • 2 Cardio workouts (each of 30-45 mins)
  • 1Strength workout
  • 1 Flexibility workout
  • 30 minutes HIIT
  1. For Intermediate Exercisers
  • 3 Cardio workouts (each of 30-45 mins)
  • 2 Strength workouts
  • 1 Flexibility workout
  • 60 minutes HIIT ( for 30-40 minutes)
  1. For Advanced Exercisers
  • 4 Cardio workouts (each of 30-60 mins)
  • 2 Strength workouts
  • 1 Core workout
  • 60 minutes HIIT (for 30-40 minutes)

If you want maximum HIIT benefits, you should use a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate.

Can You Do High Intensity Interval Training At One Shot Each Week?

The ideal HIIT session length for most people is 30 minutes and that will help your heart beat reach specific training zones for at least 15 minutes of the total time. So, two of these sessions each week can help you achieve your desired weekly dose of HIIT. You can alter this routine as long as you stick to the extreme intensity workout followed by rest routine in shorter sessions.

Symptoms of Overreaching

As mentioned earlier, some people overdo HIIT exercises, and it means you are harming your body. Some common symptoms of overreaching include:

  • A drop/plateau in your training progress
  • Increased frequency of illnesses
  • An increase in various musculoskeletal injuries
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Feeling exhausted, and not energized, post exercise
  • Depression, short fuse and moodiness

All of these are red flags that you must look out for when you are doing any form of HIIT training, it’s a good idea to consult an expert and get some pointers and tips on creating a routine that will work best for you.