The reason you should not overuse HIIT

By: Stephanie Hoffnung

But exercises that burn a lot of energy are exercises that many people who want to lose fat or lose weight regularly apply, but not everyone knows how to apply these exercises effectively and sometimes overuse leads to harm health.

HIIT workouts can help you achieve better results in less time, but they also have the potential to damage the body. Let's learn with Bellyfatzone to learn the side effects of HIIT exercises when applying “overdose”!

When you practice fitness, you will sometimes find that many people “worship” certain schools and training methods, but they are not absolutely perfect.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one such thing. Indeed, HIIT can bring many benefits, but with it comes many potential harms to the body.

What exactly is HIIT?

The concept of HIIT today has become quite vague and for each person can mean different things. Even the definition of HIIT varies from study to study.

In general, HIIT can be defined as exercise characterized by rapid and intense bursts of energy near the end of the body, followed by short rest periods and then back again. One of the simplest and classic examples of HIIT is the alternating 30-second run and 30-second rest exercise.

HIIT was originally used as a way to enhance aerobic fitness and is usually only used by professional athletes to increase their ability to run, bike, swim, or other forms of cardio.

But for today's fitness community, HIIT can include many different forms: from fat-burning cardio to heavy lifting or CrossFit-style workouts.

What are the benefits of HIIT exercises?

Scientific studies have shown that this method can help burn more calories in less time than other exercises, especially slow and steady exercises like jogging.

One study even suggested that HIIT may offer the same health benefits as moderate-intensity interval training but in half the time.

Several other studies have proven HIIT to be an effective way to lower blood pressure, lose fat, increase VO2 max (the body's maximum rate of oxygen use) and many more benefits.

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With those effects and the lack of time for many people in today's society, HIIT is becoming a more and more popular exercise method of choice for many people.

So what is the downside of HIIT?

Any exercise or method, when done in excess, can be harmful to the body. Particularly for HIIT, you have to be especially careful. Recent studies have shown that too much exercise can backfire, depriving you of the benefits mentioned above. So what happens to the body when doing too much HIIT?

Exercising to the point of overload can exhaust the body. As the name implies, HIIT forces the body to work out with high intensity and with a lot of effort. Besides all the great benefits, this method can also cause you severe harm as follows.

Increases blood cortisol levels

Basically, all forms of exercise are stressors for the body, although most of it is beneficial stress. Particularly, extreme exercises like HIIT can cause the body's stress hormone levels to rise, and most importantly, cortisol.

While this phenomenon can stimulate stronger muscle growth in the short term, in the long term elevated levels of cortisol can lead to many unwanted side effects, such as digestive upset, weight gain, weakened immune system and muscle loss.

Such intense exercise can also affect mental well-being long after the workout is over, as the body's natural stress response remains elevated. It's important to remember to find a balance between intense exercise and adequate rest to allow your body to recover.

Depletion of glycogen stores

During exercise, your body will use readily available energy sources first, first the free glucose molecules in the blood, then to glycogen stored in the muscles and liver.

The body will restore its glycogen stores during rest. But if you don't rest long enough between workouts, that reserve will be hard to fill. Lack of glycogen can make you weaker and slower in the next workout, and can also hinder the body's recovery process after exercise.

Affects sleep

Exercise can help you sleep better, but exercising too much and too hard can cause sleep disturbances.

With a very intense intensity, HIIT sessions if performed near bedtime can be harmful to you because they cause the body to release a lot of adrenaline that makes the spirit unable to calm down to go to sleep.

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Another factor that is even more serious than an unreasonable time arrangement, is that the chronic elevation of stress hormones in the body as mentioned above will disrupt the natural cycle of up and down hormones, causing confusion long-term sleep.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep or wake up several times in the middle of the night, it could be a sign that you should cut back on your heavy workouts.

Metabolic disorders of the body

A 2021 study examining the effects of HIIT found something strange but not surprising, prompting us to rethink this once lauded training method.

The volunteers who participated in the study had improved health and exercise results in the early stages, but when they applied the HIIT regimen 5 days a week, everything changed.

The scientists found damage to the mitochondria in these people – that is, the mitochondria that don't produce enough energy to keep the cells functioning optimally – along with disturbances in blood sugar and blood levels insulin in the blood.

Thus, too much intense exercise has disrupted metabolic activities in the body.

Putting pressure on joints

Doing too much HIIT can be a real problem if you're not doing the technique right. When posture is unstable and incorrect, our joints can move and thereby put pressure on unwanted parts, leading to unfortunate injuries.

This is even more true of HIIT exercises that include many movements that require a short burst of strength. Especially people with bone and joint problems, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, must be extremely careful and limit vigorous movements.

Exercises like jumping jacks, burpees or jumping lunges can pose a serious risk of injury if performed incorrectly.

Reduces motivation to exercise

Exercising too hard can eventually lead to burnout and loss of motivation. Many people who practice HIIT too often will gradually feel afraid of such training sessions and eventually give up and do not want to practice anymore.

On the other hand, trying to force yourself to do exercises that are not right for you will not bring any benefit, but only cause frustration and risk of injury due to incorrect technique. Instead, learn more gentle exercises and apply them when you don't feel like doing HIIT.

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So how often is it reasonable to practice HIIT?

As a general rule, these exercises shouldn't be the bulk of your workout routine.

Many sports experts recommend at least one day of low-intensity exercise or complete rest in between HIIT sessions, and only two to three high-intensity workouts a week, lasting no more than two hours. 30 minutes. In particular, it is necessary to pay attention to the warm-up part before exercising, resting during exercise and cooling down after finishing.

The American Council on Exercise recommends that HIIT workouts should be done 1 to 2 times a week to reduce the risk of injury and that they should be incorporated into a 6-week interval training program for optimal benefits and results. improve the performance of other types of exercise, such as strength training.

It is understandable that many people still believe that the more you practice, the better you will achieve, but in reality, exercise is just one of many factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. It is necessary to combine a reasonable exercise program with scientific nutrition, adequate rest and a refreshing spirit to bring comprehensive results.

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If you constantly push your body to the limit, you run the risk of burnout, injury, and loss of motivation. In fact, very few of us need to follow a rigorous exercise program. If your HIIT workout makes you feel worse, not better, it's time to rethink your training regimen.


The last thing we want to share with you here is suitability, every exercise or diet needs to be right for you, it needs to be tested and found a way that works for you. tailored for you and no one else.

Think about what your goal is and find the right training methods to achieve it. Low-intensity aerobics, resistance training, yoga, pilates, or other sports are all effective forms of exercise that can produce unexpected results.

Remember that HIIT isn't one-size-fits-all, and your body will respond to exercise in a unique way unlike anyone else's. After all, if you want lasting results, choose what you love, not what everyone thinks you should do.

Stephanie Hoffnung
Stephanie Hoffnung is a talented writer with a deep passion for anatomy and scientific literature. She has dedicated her career to the study of the human body and the ways in which it can be rejuvenated and revitalized. Stephanie's passion for anatomy and scientific literature is evident in her writing. She is meticulous in her research and is committed to providing her readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Her attention to detail and thorough understanding of anatomy make her a valuable resource for those looking to improve their health and fitness. Aside from her scientific pursuits, Stephanie is also deeply interested in rejuvenation. She believes that the body has a remarkable ability to heal and regenerate itself, and is dedicated to exploring the many ways in which this can be achieved. Stephanie is a valued member of the team at, where she shares her expertise on anatomy and rejuvenation. Her articles are informative, engaging, and accessible, making them a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their health and fitness.
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