How Much HIIT Should I Do Per Week?

Photo credit: Mitch Mandel

It’s time-saving, effective, and cutting-edge, but is HIIT training really the panacea that some call it?

A new study published in Cell Metabolism suggests that there might be a cap on the amount of HIIT you should be doing.

In the study, volunteers completed 14 HIIT sessions on a bicycle ergometer over four weeks, with the exercise load increasing in the first three weeks.

By week three, which had the highest training volume, the participants’ cycling performance increased. But at the end of the third week, their power output stopped improving and there was a marked decrease in intrinsic mitochondrial respiration (IMR) – the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy – as well as a decrease in glucose tolerance and insulin secretion.

Although participants completed eight-minute “all-out” intervals for five days – which is probably a lot more than you would at your local gym – it pays to limit your HIIT sessions to just two or three a week in order to Protect your metabolism health.

The best interval sessions according to science

A new meta-analysis of interval training studies published in Sports Medicine has discovered the magic formula when it comes to increasing your speed over a certain distance. And it consists of two simple units – one for speed endurance, one for top speed.

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