One of the most challenging, time-effective workouts out there is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). But how much HIIT per week is ideal? And could too much of a good thing actually be a bad thing?
HIIT is a whole-body workout that offers multiple options to prevent exercise boredom. It combines vigorous exercises with brief moments of rest and is often done in a class environment. Unfortunately, if you’re doing HIIT daily, have symptoms of overtraining or notice you’re not seeing results, it may be time to reassess your weekly workout plan.
Here’s how to determine how much HIIT per week is right for you:
Give yourself at least one month of being consistent in HIIT and measuring your results to determine the success of your hard work. If nothing changes in 4-6 weeks, try adding 1-2 more weekly HIIT workouts. Also, don’t forget to consider nutrition, sleep and stress management. There are many reasons a workout might not be effective that have nothing to do with the workout itself.
Overtraining can cause physical injury, lowered immune system, insomnia, weight gain and digestive issues. More workouts don’t always equal better results. While moderate workout soreness is ok, workouts shouldn’t be painful. If you’re overtraining, cut back on HIIT.
When you’ve been doing the same HIIT class every week, it can be easy to get accustomed to the structure of the workout and the pacing of your instructors. Do you grab the same weights? Do your cardio moves feel as challenging as they used to? HIIT workouts are varied, but it’s up to you to recognize when you need to move up in weight and push yourself harder.
Exercise is an endorphin-booster and workouts like HIIT are fun, physical and healthy. But if you’re spending most of your free time planning, doing or obsessing about your workouts, that’s a problem. Check in with yourself and how much time you really need to work out.
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re doing too much HIIT, get back in touch with your goals and track how well you’re progressing. A good rule of thumb to is that if you’re bored by your workouts, your body has been bored for a really long time! Check in with yourself and be an active participant in all of your workouts!