How long does a HIIT routine need to take to get results?

One of the most popular forms of exercise that you should know is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training or High Intensity Interval Training).

Originally intended for athletes, HIIT is increasingly used in the population to combat the consequences of a busy and sedentary life and by people who want to lose weight but do not have time to exercise.

In that, HIIT stands out, as it is very effective in burning body fat in a short time . But first, you have to know some important concepts about HIIT training to get the most out of it, like how long a routine like this should last.

¿Cuánto debe durar un entrenamiento a intervalos?

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training, but it differs from steady exercise by alternating high-intensity and low-intensity intervals (or a rest). These intervals last a specified time and can be repeated as many times as necessary.

For example, a basic HIIT routine might consist of 30 seconds of sprinting (high intensity) and 30 seconds of walking (low intensity). This series would be repeated 3 times.

For a more intense workout, you could repeat the set more times, change the length of the intervals (45-second sprint and 15-second walk), or increase the intensity (sprint and jog).

If you practice HIIT regularly, you can lose weight and condition your body with quick results.

What does the science say about HIIT training?

Researcher Izumi Tabata found that high-intensity interval training performed better and faster in Olympic skaters compared to aerobic exercise. Tabata drew up the principles of the workout called Tabata, the forerunner of HIIT. Since then, numerous studies have supported the conclusion that routine HIIT practice is superior in burning fat, losing weight, strengthening aerobic energy systems, and lowering fasting insulin levels.

¿Cuál debe ser la duración de una rutina HIIT?

Why is HIIT more effective for burning fat?

A HIIT routine should raise the heart rate to 85-90% of maximum for the muscles to work without oxygen. This anaerobic exercise allows excessive oxygen consumption after exercise, a post-burner effect or afterburn effect, which continues to oxidize fat hours after an intense exercise session.

When you do steady exercise like jogging at a moderate pace, you use the aerobic energy system. As long as the exercise lasts a long time and is not too strenuous, the body will only oxidize glucose and fat during exercise, plus no additional effects afterwards.

That means that a HIIT routine only yields results if you really try your best.

La mejor rutina para quemar grasa

How long should a HIIT routine last?

Due to differences in abilities and preferences in people, there is no consensus on this issue. For example, a Tabata routine lasts 4 minutes while HIIT classes at the gym usually last an hour. However, for most people, a sufficiently intense HIIT routine should last 20 to 30 minutes. If your routine lasts more than 30 minutes, it is likely that you are not pushing yourself to your maximum intensity. On the other hand, if the exercise lasts less than 15 minutes, you will probably not see satisfactory results.

You must bear in mind that this also depends on your current physical fitness. A very sedentary person will be able to improve their body and health with a few minutes of exercise, while a serious athlete has to train a lot to beat his own personal record.

¿Cuánto debe durar una rutina HIIT para que sea eficaz?

What are the downsides of doing very long HIIT workouts?

1. Problems in muscle hypertrophy

HIIT, like all cardiovascular training, does not help you grow muscles and be stronger. For this, you have to lift heavy weights and reduce aerobic exercise.

Remember, HIIT training is to lose fat and increase cardiovascular capacity, but in no case should it make you lose muscle mass.

2. Causing too much stress

The principle of training is to find the optimal balance of physical stress and recovery to achieve gains in strength and energy. One potential risk is that HIIT produces a large metabolic demand. Without knowing your limits, you could push yourself too hard and cause undue stress.

¿Cuánto debe durar una rutina con intervalos HIIT?

How many days should I practice HIIT?

Taking all factors into account, the benchmark is 20-30 minutes of HIIT 3 days a week . If you add to this a day of strength training with weights and enough rest to maintain muscle mass, you will have the ideal exercise program to lose fat and not lose muscle mass .

2 highly effective HIIT routines

We present you 2 HIIT routines with which you can start applying the aforementioned tips. Always remember before starting the intervals to prepare the body with 5-10 minutes of dynamic warm-up.

1. 30:45 Sprints

This is an intermediate-advanced HIIT routine for people in an athlete’s physical condition. To run it do the following:

  • Intense interval: sprinting 30 seconds, running near maximum effort
  • Rest interval: 45 seconds of walking, a dynamic rest

Repeat the intervals for 15 sets.

¿Cuáles son las mejores rutinas HIIT?

2. 30:60 Kettlebell Swings

This routine is more suitable for beginners, so if you don’t have much experience, we recommend starting with this one.

  • Intense interval: 30 seconds of kettlebell swing, almost at maximum effort
  • Rest interval: 60 seconds jump rope (rope not necessary)

Repeat the intervals for 10 sets.


The optimal duration of a HIIT routine depends on you and your lifestyle, but we can conclude that 20-30 minutes of HIIT 2-3 times a week will meet the goals of a person trying to have an active lifestyle and healthy.


  • How Long Should A HIIT Workout Last To Maximize Fat Loss? For Builtlean [Revised September 2016]