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hiit 3-4 days a week - does this look rational?

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  • hiit 3-4 days a week - does this look rational?

    LHT made me eat like a monster, gained me bodyfat (as well as some muscle and strength) and gave me insomnia. I tried various modifications (more carbs, different time of day etc) but nothing really made me sleep consistently. So I quit LHT and just surfed all summer but still had inconsistent sleep.Then I started HIIT and within a week or two I was sleeping deeply every night - only people who have had unfathomable insomnia will be able to appreciate how happy this has made me.

    So with no LHT (at least for a while - I may add it back in at some point, starting with very low volume) I am just doing HIIT 3 -4 days a week. Basically I am picking an exercise or circuit and doing as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes, and I try to include a 'pull' movement (often pullups) in every circuit. Examples include:

    Jumping burpees with 3 pullups after every 10
    hill sprints
    stairway sprints (this made me vomit one time when i overdid it)
    punchbag circuits (jab, bodyblows, some kicks)
    bodyweight circuits e.g crawl 10yards, 10 pushups, 5 pullups, run 50yards

    That kind of thing.I'm trying to do various different workouts, whilst repeating them occasionally to see progress. I might get a sandbag or some kettlebells (or even go to the gym to do barbell complexes) eventually to add variety, but for now I am mostly doing bodyweight exercises.

    My guiding principle is to go all out with minimal rest for the 15 mins, trying to do as many rounds as possible. It seems to be going well, at peak intensity my lungs are jumping out my chest and I want to die, but I'm noticing my rest periods are getting shorter and my post-workout recovery is getting much better. I'm even finding I'm enjoying it....(sort of)

    Mostly I am doing one-day-on one-day-rest (occasionally 2-days-on if I feel good) and on rest days I do a little yoga, walking, gentle cycling or movnat-type stuff with my kids in the park. And sometimes workouts get ditched for surfing.

    My goal is to reduce down to about 10% bodyfat (currently around 17% or so) whilst maintaining muscle.

    Does this seem rational? Does anyone have anything to add? In particular, is 15 mins enough or should I do some longer workouts? Presumably longer will mean lower intensity, although I am starting to think soon I will be able to do 20mins at this intensity.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by archaeologyboy; 12-14-2013, 04:25 PM.
    Me: 41, 5'11", primal since Dec 2011, 73kg, 15%BF but looking to drop to 10%ish
    Exercise: barbells, bodyweight, sprints, surfing
    Food: primal but a little higher carb - white rice, bananas
    Sleep: has been problematic for years but recently good - Sleep Restriction Therapy is really working for me

  • #2
    I do the HIIT like you do 1/week and add 2 HIIT on the stationary bike/rowing machine, combined with pull/push and core&leg days. diversity is key to me and I couldn't stick to just doig HIIT circuits...joints aching and changes were missing.