How Many HIIT Per Week?
High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has gained immense popularity in recent years for its efficiency in improving cardiovascular fitness, burning calories, and building endurance. However, one of the most frequently asked questions about HIIT is how many times per week one should engage in this type of exercise. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in detail.
Before we dive into the frequency of HIIT workouts per week, it’s essential to understand what HIIT is and how it works. HIIT is a type of cardiovascular workout that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of active rest or low-intensity exercise. This alternating pattern of high and low-intensity intervals makes HIIT one of the most effective workouts for burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness.
Benefits of HIIT
HIIT is popular for many reasons, including its numerous benefits. These benefits include:
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness: HIIT workouts are excellent for improving your heart health and cardiovascular fitness. The high-intensity intervals cause your heart rate to increase, improving blood flow to your heart, lungs, and muscles.
- Increased Calorie Burn: HIIT is an effective way to burn calories and fat. During a HIIT workout, your body burns calories both during and after the exercise due to the “afterburn effect.”
- Time-Efficient: HIIT workouts are time-efficient, making them ideal for people who have busy schedules. HIIT workouts typically last between 20-30 minutes.
- Variety: HIIT workouts are highly customizable, and there are many variations that you can try, including Tabata, circuit training, and pyramid training.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Do HIIT?
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of HIIT let’s answer the question of how many times per week you should do HIIT. The answer to this question varies depending on your fitness goals, current fitness level, and overall health. Generally, experts recommend doing HIIT workouts two to three times per week.
The number of HIIT workouts you do per week should be based on your fitness goals. If your goal is to maintain your current fitness level, doing two HIIT workouts per week may be sufficient. However, if your goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness or lose weight, doing three HIIT workouts per week may be more effective.
Current Fitness Level
Your current fitness level is another factor that should determine the number of HIIT workouts you do per week. If you’re new to exercise or have a low fitness level, starting with one HIIT workout per week and gradually increasing the frequency is recommended. If you’re already relatively fit, you may be able to handle three HIIT workouts per week.
Recovery time is crucial when it comes to HIIT workouts. HIIT is an intense form of exercise, and your body needs time to recover between workouts. It’s essential to allow your body at least one day of rest between HIIT workouts to prevent overtraining and injury.
Alternating HIIT with Other Workouts
While HIIT is a highly effective form of exercise, it’s important to balance it with other workouts. Incorporating low-intensity workouts, such as yoga or Pilates, into your routine can help improve flexibility, reduce stress, and prevent overtraining. Doing strength training exercises can also help build muscle and improve overall fitness.
In summary, the number of HIIT workouts per week should be based on your fitness goals, current fitness level, and recovery time. Generally, experts recommend doing HIIT workouts two to three times per week.