Common HIIT Mistakes That Could be Ruining Your Workout

Written by Charlotte Campbell

 HIIT Mistakes

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are an excellent way to efficiently burn fat. In using intense workouts to increase your heart rate and exercise at maximum capacity, you will see brilliant results in reducing body fat.

However, as with any exercise regime, it is important that you are following it correctly. Make sure you avoid the following mistakes. Not only will it maximise your results, it could prevent an injury!

hiit workout

HIIT-ing it for too long


This is an intense workout. As such, you shouldn’t push yourself to do more than 30 minutes of proper HIIT training. In general, it will not improve your results to go for longer than that, especially as it will encourage you to reserve some energy to last the extra time.

HIIT-ing it too often


If you motivated by the results you get or are generally used to working out frequently, you may be tempted to do an HIIT workout every day. This can be very detrimental to your muscle recovery process. You must allow at least 3 non-HIIT days, including a full rest day, every week.
If you do not, you will overwork your muscles and slow down your results in the long term, potentially through injury.

hiit home workout

HIIT-ing it too late


To maximise your fat burning potential, you should do an HIIT workout in the morning. Luckily, the short time it takes to do an HIIT workout means it can be done before work. This will set your body up to burn the food you eat throughout the day.
Of course, you will still see results if you can only work out in the evening. But morning workouts will push you to the next level of shredding.

HIIT-ing it without fuels


As with all exercise, you should ensure your body has the energy to complete the workout to the best of your abilities. While HIIT appeals to those wanting to burn fat, you should still be taking in enough calories to fuel yourself. This also includes the fuel you’ll need to recover afterwards.

Pre and post workout shakes are a great way to ensure that you get the nutrients your body needs. These should be taken alongside a macro balanced diet.

HIIT-ing it cold


Warm up is essential, whatever your workout. If you are going to push your body, you need to prepare it first. Sometimes people mistake the resting or standard elements of an HIIT workout as being part of prepping your body. They do not count towards your warm up or warm down.

Thoroughly limber up your body before you launch into an HIIT activity. Give extra focus to the muscles you’ll be working hardest on. You should warm up and down for around 15 minutes before and after every HIIT session. This will prevent injury, and will also prep you to do your best workout.

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Not HIIT-ing it hard enough


If you are doing a high-intensity workout, it should be just that. You will not see the best results if you simply jog and then run, for example. You should be sprinting as fast as you can. If you are not out of breath and very sweaty by the end, you’ve done it far too lightly. There’s a good reason 30 minutes is enough!


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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