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HIIT Overload: Signs It’s Time to Take a Break with HIIT

Woman on her knees training and why you should stop hiit training and when to take a break text over it

Only doing HIIT workouts is like only driving your car at 9000 rpm. Not only is it hard on the engine, but you’ll decrease the lifespan of the car across time, and it will lead to more breakdown.

2 out of 10 people making their way to Precision Fitness come from a franchise group fitness model focusing mainly on HIIT workouts.

The problem arises when that’s ALL YOU EVER DO, want, crave, or associate with “training hard.” 

You never let your body get to a rest & renew state.

For the record: We are not against HIIT but more on that later.

How do you know when to take a break from HIIT workouts?

Group of people during core plank training
"Everyone, come and see how good I look!"

Here are some signs to look out for that may suggest it’s time to ease up on the HIIT:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Low energy and mood

  • Fat accumulation in the lower abdominal region and upper back areas (due to high cortisol elevation)

  • Loss of muscle mass, an increase in body fat and fluid

  • Disrupted sleep or having trouble staying asleep

  • Joints and muscles consistently feel achy, sore, and/or stiff

  • Irritability and agitation

  • Elevated heart rate in the morning

  • Decline in performance.

If you find yourself saying yes to any of these, it may be time to take a break from HIIT workouts and consider moving into something different. Not sure where to start? Working with an expert coach to assess where to make changes can be a great first step.

What should I replace HIIT workouts with?

You have a few options.

1) Take a few weeks off and allow your body to recover.

2) Switch to activities of moderate intensity, such as strength training, dance, hiking, walking, paddling, or petting someone’s dog – ok, not quite. This kind of workout is known as Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training (MICT).

If your goal is to improve body shape, you’ll be happy to know a 2021 meta-analysis showed no difference between HIIT and MICT (moderate-intensity continuous training) in terms of getting results [1]

Take Away

Exercise is incredibly beneficial, and HIIT workouts can play a role while offering a mood-lifting endorphin boost.

However, working out at high intensity all the time can be more damaging than beneficial.

At Precision Fitness, we take a long-term view and strategically place HIIT workouts within a structured fitness program that blends various training styles.

This blend of styles is optimized to:

  • reduce breakdown

  • spare the joints

  • supercharge deep sleep

  • manage stress

  • regulate blood sugar levels

  • utilize body fat more efficiently

  • achieve incredible body change.

Ready to try a structured, tailor-made fitness program within a small group? Check out our Group Personal Training optimized for results while still enjoying the motivation of a small group of no more than 6 members. Want to really step your game up? Join our next challenge!


  1. Mattioni Maturana F, Martus P, Zipfel S, NIEß AM. Effectiveness of HIIE versus MICT in Improving Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Health and Disease: A Meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2021 Mar 1;53(3):559-573. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002506. PMID: 32890201.