Most personal trainers recommend HIIT to be performed 2 to 3 times a week, depending on the intensity. It can be done in combination with other low-impact exercises, such as resistance training. For optimal results, 75-minute sessions of HIIT should be followed by a recovery period.
HIIT workouts promise great results in a short amount of time. The typical HIIT workout lasts between 30 and 50 minutes long which makes them a go-to workout for many people.
When Will I Start Seeing Results with HIIT?
Generally, you can start to feel the improvement in your performance as early as 7 days into your HIIT training, and you will see some noticeable changes in your appearance in a little over a month. A consistent schedule of HIIT workouts can help you improve your endurance and build muscle.
No matter if you are a seasoned gym-goer or just beginning your routine, HIIT workouts show increased results for health and fitness levels in active as well as less active people. They are also a fitting workout for those who consider themselves healthy as well as those who consider themselves unhealthy.
Some may want to stick to their typical running routine due to the consistency and amount of weight loss they can see from it. HIIT workouts though are a more efficient way than your typical running to see a decrease in body fat if you are looking for a quicker way to do it.
In addition, HIIT workouts increase your cardiovascular fitness in a much shorter time than just running does. Part of this is due to the higher training intensity HIIT provides than normal cardio. HIIT also burns more calories.
Factors That Determine Your Results
There are a variety of factors that determine the results you are going to see from your HIIT workouts. If you make sure to focus on these specific factors, you will be sure to see noticeable results sooner and quicker.
These are the factors that determine the results you will see from your HIIT workouts:
- Lifestyle Habits
Your lifestyle habits affect your HIIT results. In addition to doing HIIT 2 to 3 times a week for 30 to 50 minutes, make sure you are maintaining an active lifestyle as well. This includes incorporating low-impact and low-intensity movements into your everyday life.
These movements can be done throughout your day. They include activities such as:
- Going for a walk
- Going on a bike ride
Make sure to also incorporate weight training on your days you don’t do HIIT workouts to help with muscle growth. If you are wanting to see more muscle toning as well, you can add resistance training to your HIIT workouts too.
Your specific goals in doing your HIIT workout will also affect your results. Some people go into HIIT wanting to improve their cardio, fitness, or endurance. Others go into it to lose fat or decrease specifics in their body composition.
If your goal is to improve your cardio, fitness, or endurance it is essential to focus on getting in three HIIT workouts per week. Make sure, depending on your fitness level, that they range from somewhere between 30 and 50 minutes a session.
To hit those goals with your HIIT workouts, you must also make sure to track your performance over time. How do your current HIIT workouts compare to the ones you were doing a month ago, or even a year ago?
On the other hand, if your specific goal is to lose fat or decrease specifics in your body composition it is essential to focus on a calorie deficit in addition to your two to three HIIT workouts per week.
Keep track of how your energy levels are doing during your workouts too. If they are falling, you might need to up your calories a little bit.
You should always make sure you are staying safe and can still perform your exercises to the best of your ability with the calorie deficit you are doing.
If your goal is to see weight loss from your HIIT workouts, diet and calorie deficit will determine 85% of your success. You must make sure to monitor your calorie intake and stick to your diet. Along with the calorie deficit, it is essential to stay hydrated.
You can still eat what you want as long as you don’t go crazy with too many fatty foods. You can have a big lunch with your friends, as long as you have a small dinner like yogurt or fruits for dinner to balance out your daily calorie intake.
HIIT workouts are high intensity. You will not see results if you are not putting forth your best effort. When completing a work set, you should be at 70-80% of your max heart rate. When you are hitting the right intensity level, you will begin seeing the results you want as well.
It is essential to give yourself enough time to recover between HIIT workouts. This is part of the reason why you should only do your HIIT workouts two to three times a week. This guarantees a 24-hour period for your muscles to repair between them.
The biggest part of the recovery process includes getting enough sleep. This will give your muscle tissue enough time to repair between workouts. It also helps your body have enough energy to complete your next workouts as well. So stay off social media & Netflix, and go to sleep as soon as possible for the best HIIT results.
Realistic Results You Can Expect from HIIT
There are a variety of results to be expected from HIIT workouts. As long as you are following your routine and paying attention to the importance of the other factors that affect your results, you will see these results within a certain time frame.
Some of the results you can expect from HIIT workouts include:
- High-calorie burn in a short amount of time
- A higher metabolic rate for hours after your workout
- Fat loss
- Muscle Gain
- Improved oxygen consumption
- Improved aerobic and anaerobic performances
There are also specific results you can see in your appearance, muscles, endurance ability, and weight. These results can be seen in the table below.
|Water weight loss
|Overall weight loss
|Enhanced fat burning
|Overall muscle toning
|Assisted weight loss due to muscle gain
|More time efficient
|Athletic appearance improvements
You can expect real results in as little as seven days in HIIT. Earlier, I mentioned that you won’t see results until five weeks into your routine, which is true. But even if you are unable to see the results in the first seven days, you can feel them.
These seven-day results include:
- Improved mood
- Higher motivation
- Getting used to a set routine
- Slight water weight loss
- Less fatigue
30 Day Results
Once you have gotten through the first few weeks, you have finally set up a routine. You’ve felt those results and are ready to finally see some. There are even greater benefits to be seen a month into your HIIT workout routine.
These results include:
- Increased athletic performance
- At least two pounds of fat loss
- Increased endurance
- Greater energy
- Boosted metabolism
Three months in, your results are even greater. On top of the results you began to feel in the first seven days, the results you began to see in the first month in, you now have even more rewards for your hard work.
The three-month results of a HIIT routine include:
- An improved resting heart rate
- At least eight pounds of fat loss
- Higher movement efficiency
Six Month Results
At six months in, you most likely have developed a routine, as well as seen a lot of progress, not only physically, but also mentally. You’ve already reaped the benefits of a few months of work.
At this point in your journey you will begin to see:
- Even more fat loss
- Muscle toning
- Improved energy levels
- Better physique
- Reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression
One Year Results
Once you have one year under your belt you will have already seen so many improvements. The HIIT workouts have been working for you physically and mentally. Hopefully, they have become a lot easier, or at least you have become accustomed to them.
These year’s results further include:
- Significant fat loss
- Better movement
- Elevated mood and energy
- Further athletic improvements
- Higher endurance
- More muscle tone and leanness
HIIT workouts reap so many benefits to your overall health. Not only do they allow for short workout times, but they also allow for great benefits to you physically and mentally.
Results You Should Not Expect from HIIT
Although HIIT workouts can provide great results and are highly effective and efficient, they do not provide all of the results a gym-goer and athlete might want or expect when working out. Keep these in mind as you are beginning your HIIT journey.
Do not expect to see weight loss results right away. As explained earlier, HIIT, just as with any workout, takes a little bit of time doing it before you start to see those results you are looking for.
As well, HIIT workouts also are not the go-to workout for those who are looking to bulk. HIIT training tones muscles, especially when you make sure to include resistance training in your routine. HIIT is not as effective for building muscle as typical weight lifting.
Austin is the author of loveatfirstfit.com and a personal trainer with extensive knowledge in nutrition. Austin is passionate about helping others to find a suitable healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves. Austin’s goal is to help people push their limits and achieve their physical performance.