The advantages and disadvantages of HIIT workouts.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and periods of rest or lower intensity. It has become popular due to its efficiency and effectiveness in improving cardiovascular health, burning fat, and building muscle. However, like any workout program, HIIT workouts have both advantages and disadvantages.

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Advantages of HIIT workouts:

  1. Time-efficient: HIIT workouts can be completed in 20-30 minutes, making it ideal if you are busy and want to squeeze in a workout.
  2. Burns more calories: HIIT workouts have been shown to burn more calories than steady-state cardio workouts because of the high intensity and the afterburn effect. The afterburn effect is when your body burns calories even after the workout.
  3. Improves cardiovascular health: HIIT workouts improve cardiovascular health by increasing the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and decreasing blood pressure.
  4. Builds lean muscle mass: HIIT workouts can help build lean muscle mass and improve overall strength.
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Disadvantages of HIIT workouts:

  1. High risk of injury: HIIT workouts are intense and can increase the risk of injury if you don´t use the proper form and technique. It is crucial to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workouts.
  2. Not suitable for everyone: HIIT workouts may not fit individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease or joint problems.  
  3. Requires recovery time: HIIT workouts are intense and require adequate recovery time between sessions. Overtraining can lead to injury and burnout.
  4. Can be mentally challenging: HIIT workouts can be mentally challenging due to the high intensity and discomfort associated with them. It is necessary to stay motivated and focused.

Altogether, a HIIT workout can be a great addition to any fitness program. However, it is vital to understand the potential advantages and disadvantages of HIIT workouts before starting. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workouts. If you have any health concerns consult with a doctor before starting.

Next post.

My next post will come out next Sunday. I will show you how to create your own HIIT workouts.


[1] Mayo Clinic: High-intensity interval training (HIIT): A workout routine that may help with weight loss

[2] American Council on Exercise: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

[3] Harvard Health Publishing: The truth about high-intensity interval training