How Much HIIT?: A New Study

How Much HIIT


High-intensity interval Training (HIIT), has been a game-changer in fitness. There are many studies that highlight its remarkable transformative results. You work hard for a brief time, then rest and repeat. But how much HIIT should you do?This formula allows you to reach your maximum training zone every time, shocking your body with each workout.

You can’t have too many good things. New groundbreaking research shows that increasing volume does not always result in better results.

The stress HIIT places on your body is generally beneficial. It’s this stress which drives change. Your body can only handle certain amounts of stress simultaneously. Jinger Gottschall is Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and study author and is helped with answering how much HIIT you should do.

Cortisol Effect

Cortisol is released when your body is exposed to stressful situations, such as exercise that is intense and prolonged. It can have positive effects on your body, such as increased strength, immunity and decreased inflammation. However, we know from experience that high-intensity exercise may compromise this effect.

Cortisol increases help the body adapt, grow and repair itself. Cortisol long-term increases can lead to fatigue, joint pain, mood disturbance, and even depression.

Adequate Recovery

Many factors make HIIT effective. These include pushing your heart rate to a certain zone, impact forces greater than tenfold your body weight, and performing exercises until you fail. Gottschall says that HIIT has extreme characteristics and it is important to properly recover between sessions.

Gottschall says that the recovery period is where all positive adaptations and developments occur. Insufficient recovery can decrease your training’s effectiveness. It can have a negative effect. Even though it may seem like you are pushing your body to its maximum potential, you will not be seeing a return on your efforts. In fact, you might be doing more harm than good.

What Type Of HIIT Should I Do?

Gottschall has analyzed the heart rates of thousands of athletes over the past 20 years. She also completed three studies using the Apex Performance HIIT program. This led her to conclude that 40-50 minutes at an intensity of 85 percent or more per week is the ideal amount for optimal recovery and performance. The latest study supports this recommendation and shows that 30-40 minutes at 90 percent is the ideal amount.

Research has shown that 30-40 minutes of training at a heart rate of above 90 percent per week is the recommended maximum time for a week to avoid symptoms such as overreaching.

The study included 35 healthy adults who exercised more than 8 hours per week. Participants completed three weeks of their normal training while wearing an Apple Watch. They also recorded their nutrition and completed mood surveys. Results show that there is a correlation between the intensity of training exceeding 90 percent heart rate per week and symptoms of overreaching.

Symptoms Of Functional Extreme Overreaching

  • Training progress slows down or stops altogether
  • A rise in musculoskeletal injury
  • An increase in the incidence of illness
  • After exercise, you feel tired and not energized.
  • Sleep disruption
  • Moodiness, a short fuse, or depression.

The Winning Formula

HIIT isn’t for everyone, so it is important to keep this in mind. Gottschall suggests that you introduce HIIT only after six months of consistent exercise. Gottschall suggests that you do a combination of cardio and resistance training five days per week. You can then replace one session of cardio with one to two shorter HIIT sessions separated by two sleep cycles.

She recommends combining moderate-intensity cardio and HIIT, core training, and strength training. This combination of stimuli will help you train all your energy systems, motor units and muscle types. That’s how you get real results.

You can limit the time your heart rate is above 90 percent to between 30-40 minutes per week. Balance it with other less demanding workouts.

The amount of HIIT you do each week should be determined by how much exercise you put in.

Recreational Exercises 

  • 2x Cardio Workouts (30-45 minutes)
  • 1x Strength Workout
  • 1x flexibility exercise
  • 30 minutes of HIIT

Intermediate Exercises Visited To Improve Fitness

  • Three cardio workouts (30-45 minutes)
  • 2x Strength Workouts
  • 1x flexibility exercise
  • 60 minutes of HIIT (which should cause you to train at 90% of your maximum heart rate for 30-40 minutes)

Advanced Exercises Are Looking For Elite Fitness

  • 4x Cardio Workout (30-60 minutes)
  • 2x Strength Workouts
  • 1x Core Workout
  • 60 minutes of HIIT (which should cause you to train at 90% of your maximum heart rate for 30-40 minutes)

A heart rate monitor is essential if you want to maximize the benefits of HIIT.

Your age can be used to calculate your max heart rate. If you are 28 years old, your max heart rate is 192. You will reach the 90 percent zone when your heart rate reaches 173.

Should You Do A Weekly HIIT Set All At Once?

How much HIIT in a session? A 30-minute HIIT session is ideal for many. Apex Performance GRIT ™, workouts are designed to increase your heart rate for a specific portion of the workout. This means that you will likely reach 90% maximum heart rate for 15 minutes. You can achieve the maximum weekly dose of HIIT with just two Apex Performance GRIT workouts per week.

However, the length of your workout can be adjusted. You can still enjoy the benefits of HIIT if you adhere to the rule of extreme intensity followed with rest. You can find more information about very short HIIT sessions.

HIIT Workouts Performed More Often But A Lower Rate

Intensity is key to achieving the transformational effects of HIIT. You shouldn’t do HIIT at a lower intensity. This can lead to your training shifting into the vigorous-intensity, interval-based training category (often defined as 70-85 percent maximum heart rate or the moderate-intensity cardio area). Consequently, you won’t experience the same transformational benefits as a true HIIT training session.

Gottschall insists that moderate-intensity cardio is important and should not be ignored. Gottschall emphasizes that moderate-intensity cardio can also be done for longer periods of times and thus train endurance systems. This intensity has been proven to have multiple benefits for cardiovascular health, fasting glucose, and cholesterol.

While HIIT is great for short, intense workouts, it’s important to consider what your body does in the long time between sessions. You don’t want to exhaust yourself by doing HIIT, then just sitting down on the couch. Your body needs to be active all day and on rest days to reap the benefits of HIIT.

Have Any Questions?

Contact the pros over Apex Performance if you have any more questions on how much HIIT you should be doing a week. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of personal training in Tampa, one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, youth sports training, and nutritional guidance! Check out what others are saying about Apex and its trainers and contact us today to get started on your fitness journey!