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Why You Should Stop HIIT Training & When to Take a Break

Woman on her knees training and why you should stop hiit training and when to take a break text over it
"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up with you later."

Only doing HIIT training 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 that focuses mainly on HIIT training.

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: I am not against HIIT training but more on that later.

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

Group of people during core plank training
"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up with you later."

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 of 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 training and consider moving into something different.

What should I replace HIIT training with?

Instructor of Precision Fitness helping the woman during dumbells training
"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up with you later."

You have a few options.

1) Take a few weeks off and give your body a chance 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

Group of people during training with elastic band
"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up with you later."

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

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

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

This blend of styles is optimized to:

  • reduce breakdown

  • manage stress

  • regulate blood-sugar levels

  • utilize body fat more efficiently

  • achieve incredible body change.

Ready to try a structured fitness program? Check out our Targeted Group Classes, optimized to target either fat loss or muscle gain.


  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.