When to Do a HIIT Routine


This post may contain affiliate links. It costs you nothing and helps keep the lights on and weights racked here at Students Fitness. Read our affiliate disclosure if you're having trouble sleeping.

Cardio exercises are often the first thing people do when trying to lose weight, along with other changes.

Get off of the computer chair and go for a walk! It’ll do you some good.

But while cardio is a good start, adding other changes will improve your results. Such as eating properly and lifting weights.

One of my favorite fitness techniques is high-intensity interval training, which bridges aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

You can read about the benefits here. But do you keep those benefits if you perform an HIIT workout every day?

Can You Do HIIT Everyday?

You can, but you really shouldn’t. Let me explain.

hiit every day overtraining wear out sprints daily exercise

If you do HIIT every day, you won’t feel this good

When I talked about how often to exercise, the basic advice was that you can work out every day so long as you don’t hit the same muscles two days in a row.

It’s more complex than that so you can read more about the subject here.

From this, you might think that you can do HIIT two days in a row. After all, there are multiple types of HIIT.

There’s the prototypical running workout, but you can also perform HIIT at the gym. Yes, even with weights!

However, keep in mind that every HIIT workout is a full body workout. HIIT sprints don’t just hit your legs, they benefit your everything.

This also means that they drain your everything.

If you can pull off HIIT routines two days in a row, you aren’t putting enough effort into the first one.

This also puts you at risk of overtraining and overuse injuries that can follow.

So, you shouldn’t do HIIT every day. That brings us to the next question.

How Often Should You Do HIIT?

HIIT is such an effective form of exercise that you should do at least one HIIT workout every week, unless you have a jam-packed workout schedule already. For example, I wouldn’t add HIIT if you’re following the Venus Factor Diet.

More often is better, up to a certain point. To properly answer this question, I have to ask you something.

Are you mixing HIIT with weightlifting, or are you just doing HIIT?

HIIT and Weightlifting Together

Both HIIT and weightlifting bring great results, but they also require adequate rest for you to get those results.

With a Push Pull Leg split routine, I would only have one HIIT day every week. However, if I worked out my whole body two days a week, I would be able to fit two HIIT days into my schedule.

Make sure to get adequate rest and schedule HIIT as if it were its own, intense day.

HIIT Alone

All you need for weight loss is HIIT (and good eating habits!).

yoga stretching rest day hiit walk gentle workout mental health

I’ve found yoga to be an excellent companion to HIIT when performed on alternating days

So, not everyone needs to mix resistance training with HIIT. This lets you increase the amount of HIIT considerably.

If you’re new to the game, you still don’t want to overdo it. Two or three days of HIIT per week is a good starting point.

Once you are more experienced and only need 24 hours of rest between workouts, you can bump it up to an HIIT workout every other day.

This will give you three workouts one week and four the next.

Don’t forget to throw in some less-strenuous workout days! Gentle walks, yoga sessions, whatever.

They are good for your body AND your mental health. Constant high-intensity workouts can wear you down.

Should You Do HIIT in the Morning or Evening?

Except for, perhaps, Olympic athletes, everyone needs a rest day in between HIIT workouts.

However, the timing of that workout is much more personal.morning evening workout timing high intensity interval training schedule

Should you get out of bed and immediately start sprinting around like a madman?

For me, heck no. My stomach doesn’t settle for a while after I wake up.

However, I have a friend who is always energetic all day long if he works out right after waking up.

Similarly, some people sleep better after working out in the evening. Other people can’t sleep if they exercise close to bedtime.

Scientists have looked at this question and, well, the answer is basically, “it’s up to the individual lol.”

So, try it out. Perform an HIIT workout in the morning. Pay attention to how you feel for the rest of the day.

Then try it again, except in the evening. Do you sleep better or worse?

You’ll be able to figure out what workout time works best for you before too long.

Though, a busy schedule can disrupt these plans. In that case, workout when you can.

What’s important is that you practice discipline and exercise regularly.

Should You Do HIIT Before Lifting Weights?

Typically, you can mix cardio and weightlifting on the same day.

Some people like to run in the morning and lift weights in the evening. Other people like to lift weights then finish the session with some cardio.

That’s fine, but I don’t recommend doing the same thing with HIIT.

Remember back in the beginning, when I said that HIIT bridges aerobic and anaerobic exercise?

HIIT is a lot more strenuous than cardio. This makes it very effective, but it also drains a lot of energy from you. Your body will need rest.

gonna have a bad time mix sprints leg day

So, it’s not wise to perform an HIIT workout on the same day as a weightlifting workout. Your second workout will suffer.

Plus, there’s the potential for overtraining, which will rob you of your gains.

It’s better to schedule an HIIT session for its own day.

In fact, make sure not to stack two days in a row of the same muscle, even if one is HIIT and the other is resistance training.

If you perform HIIT sprints one day then the next day is leg day, watch out for stairs!


High Intensity Interval Training is an effective tool for weight loss and overall fitness.

However, HIIT is as draining as it is effective. If you can survive HIIT workouts two days in a row, you aren’t putting in enough effort.

While you can sometimes work out every day, you shouldn’t perform HIIT every day, even if they are different routines.

Make sure to get adequate rest between HIIT sessions. Your body will thank you and you’ll get closer to your fitness goals faster!