HIIT workouts are quite popular these days. In fact, we talked about the benefits of HIIT training a few years back, when they were just starting to get the attention they deserve. But this type of training is super intense, so yo might be wondering what the optimal HIIT workout frequency is.
Honestly, high-intensity interval training is not designed to be a daily workout. If you can actually train that intense 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, you might be doing it wrong.
The first HIIT workouts that came into existence only lasted for 7-10 minutes so you can do whatever cardio routine you chose at maximum effort. There are various ways to exercise HIIT style but the most common ones have a 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 work-to-rest ratio.
When it comes to HIIT it’s not just about the work and rest intervals. If you are to have a 1 minute work period, you should feel like you absolutely can’t carry on longer than the 60th second. As a result, if you feel like you could go on for longer before resting, then you’re not doing it at the proper intensity.
This is one of the downsides of HIIT – despite the undeniable performance and health benefits, most people are not willing to push themselves hard enough to do it properly. And the shorter the HIIT workout the more brutal it is.
What’s the best HIIT workout frequency?
Just like weightlifters never train the same muscle group two days in a row, performing daily HIIT workouts is not the answer unless you want to end up injuring yourself. Your entire body needs time to recover from these intense workouts.
Also, performing them too often may deplete your energy levels and make you feel tired and fatigued, as well as reduce your performance in future workouts.
As long as you’re actually doing HIIT the right way, 2-3 workouts a week are more than enough. However, keep in mind you need to have at least 24 hours of rest between sessions.
Also, HIIT workouts can be successfully combined with other types of workouts, including strength training. But even so, keep the 24 hour recovery period in mind. Doing strength training one day, and HIIT on the next might lead to overtraining. And when you’re feeling too sore to go all out, maybe skip the HIIT and do something lighter instead, like a yoga class or a brisk walk in the park.