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Too many HIIT workouts in one week?

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  • Too many HIIT workouts in one week?

    Can someone offer advice or share some wisdom on too many HIIT workouts per week?

    I am about 1 year of following PB and really enjoying the diet and nutritional side of my lifestyle. The sleep, and stress part seems to be well adjusted. My problem seems to be a few other variables and I am not sure where the problem seems to be.

    I won't include the name of the popular exercise program for respect to this site, but I am doing a HIIT bodyweight only program 6 days a week. Workouts are about 45 min each and I noticed more soreness and my energy levels dropped. Last week was the first week on this program and I actually woke up in the middle of the night with a rapidly beating heart. I actually was pretty terrified since I am still trying to lower blood pressure for over a year now using diet and exercise. Last summer it seemed to be working, but I was not fully transitioned over to a PB life. I was consuming some grains, a few pieces of high glycemic fruits and meats were really lean. I was at my lowest weight then. Since PB lifestyle at almost 100%, I gained about 10-20lbs back but I'll chalk that up to some poor choices between Thanksgiving and Christmas. January was great since my diet was almost perfect and my fitness was almost spot on to the PB.

    So here I am in Feb thinking that if I do many HIIT workouts per week I will lose more weight. All this fat consumption I seem to be taking in too many calories because my body is going ape trying to keep up with these workouts.

    Did I answer my own question? heh.

    HIIT usually means the body will crave more glucose and carbohydrates, correct?

    Is this why I am craving so much fruit? I still do not eat grains, soy, corn, legumes...

  • #2

    Woah! 45min HIIT workouts 6x a week?!? I'd say hold off, buddy!

    Lack of energy and excessive muscle soreness are definitely indicators of your body pleading..REST ME!

    More workouts don't necessarily mean more weight loss. I wouldn't be surprised if all your "HIIT" workouts, (which I have to ask what they involve if they extend for 45minutes....) are signaling some cortisol excretion, which is a trigger for weight gain/lack of weight loss.

    Try subbing in some heavy lifting twice a week, but NO MORE than 45 minutes, IF that! Crazy animal... what's most important is GAINING MUSCLE rather than burning calories. If you want to burn excess calories, just do some LIGHT aerobic work. Not super long HIIT workouts, six..times..a week..

    On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at


    • #3

      Thanks Jess. Yeah I was thinking that doing this program was not in alignment with my goals.

      The problem here is that last summer I was in the best shape and losing fat, but gaining muscle. I was leaning up by following the PB nutritional map but I was riding my bike to work, doing kettlebell workouts a few times a week. I was doing P90X in the evenings so I thought since fall, I've been doing less of that and that may be why I was gaining my old wasitline again. Sure I chalk up the christmas cookies and the occasional homebrew, but that was over a month ago. All Jan I was almost 100% with my diet and I was doing yoga and intervals alternating daily. It seemed to be working. Then in 1 week I gained almost 6 lbs.

      Must be overdoing it. Thinking that I may continue to do the program but modify the heck out of it so I can make it lifting 3 times a week, walking 3 times and HIIT once.


      • #4

        Waking up at night and elevated heart rates at rest are signs of overtraining. First thing I'd do is take a week to 10 days off (nothing but "move slowly") where you focus on getting extra rest and recovery.

        Also, and I may be way off base here, but if you are able to go for 45 minutes 6 X a week, perhaps the intensity of your HIIT workouts is too low. A (relatively) lower intensity would allow you to accommodate more frequency, but, unless you're recovering completely between sessions you'll eventually build up chronic fatigue. Maybe try making the HIIT workouts shorter, harder, and less frequent.

        Your revised plan sounds like a step in the right direction, but, as I said at the outset, it sounds like your body could use a short break right now.


        • #5

          You only gain interest when you leave your money in the bank.

          Rest, man! Take some time off -- at least a week -- and then start up on a more moderate schedule (less frequency, more intensity).

          I've done very well with the following rotation:

          Day 1: Heavy Lifting -- up to an hour

          Day 2: HIIT -- 30 min or less

          Day 3: Bodyweight/gymnastics -- about 45 minutes

          Day 4: Rest

          Day 5: Heavy Lifting (different set)

          Day 6: HIIT

          Day 7: Play/Endurance

          Day 8: Rest or back to Day 1, depending on Day 7's level of effort

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