Last Updated on September 13, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
We are all in constant battle with our exercise routines, wondering if we are doing enough to keep ourselves fit and healthy.
HIIT cardio is a great way to get fit without having to participate in the boring everyday cardio exercises and presents a great time efficient strategy!
If you’re sick of running on the treadmill, only lifting weights, and spending hours hitting the gym, and looking for a more fun way to keep fit, lose weight, and boost your stamina, High Intensity Interval Training may be perfect for you!
HIIT really is a fun and effective way to keep fit and build endurance. That is why this question is on everyone’s mind: how much HIIT cardio is enough?
Does 10 minutes a day really make a difference? Can I improve my health, lose fat, and build muscle, while increasing endurance and get the results that I want with only 10 minutes of HIIT?
How much exercise time is enough and how much is too much to build muscle? Often you will need to determine that for yourself and find your own sweet spot based on your own goals, but what 10 minutes of exercise does do is create a foundation.
This foundation can lead to establishing a daily practice that turns into a habit and becomes part of who you are for a very long time. Maybe even the rest of your life!
It’s enough to allow you to burn fat, complete your cardio for the day, and give you that “accomplished feeling” when you’re done.
10 minutes of high intensity training is enough to boost your energy on a busy day when you don’t have time for more than 10 minutes.
It’s even enough to leave you feeling sore the next day if you attack it with the proper high intensity.
Let’s Look At The Numbers
If you are still skeptical, as most people usually are, let’s look at the numbers. 10 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days in the month, is 300 minutes.
That’s five hours of exercise that you completed in that month! Now ask yourself, did you get 5 hours of exercise in the past four weeks?
Or, even if you did, what if you added 5 hours of intense exercise by ‘squeezing’ in a 10-minute session of HIIT in addition to your weight training? Can you envision the benefits and the calories you will burn?
10 minutes add up and it can amount to something significant over time, and again, equally as important, it establishes a daily practice!
What Is HIIT?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. HIIT is made up of a group of exercises that are completed in intense bouts followed by short periods of rest.
Everyone is always looking for the fastest and easiest way to get into good shape without needing to lift weights all the time, and this is why HIIT is perfect.
It is intense but enjoyable, and you can see great results very quickly! It has really increased in popularity over the past few years due to the research that has been done to prove its effectiveness.
HIIT provides so many benefits, makes getting fit very enjoyable, and is a great alternative to only doing weight training in the gym.
Benefits Of HIIT
Those who participate in regular HIIT workouts experience many different benefits. These include:
- Reduce body fat and weight loss
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased flexibility and stamina
- Increased cardiometabolic health
- Increased muscle strength and fitness
- It takes a shorter time to get results
Why Is HIIT effective?
HIIT is a particularly good form of cardio because it promotes good results in a short amount of time compared to other forms.
In addition to building muscle, HIIT is also very effective and improves endurance due to the intensity of the workouts and the shortness of breaks between sets.
HIIT also forces your body to continue to produce oxygen post-workout which will allow you to continue to burn fat after your workout is done.
This is because you will continue to burn calories after your workout is done due to the high intensity cardio involved! This is known as post-exercise oxygen consumption.
There are few workout styles or other cardio activities that build strength, muscle, burn calories, improve endurance, and promote fat loss, such as interval training.
Is 10 Minutes Of HIIT Enough?
10 minutes of HIIT is enough time to have a great and effective full body workout! While performing 10 minutes of HIIT one time will not be enough to make a difference to your overall health. However, if you are doing 10 minutes of HIIT regularly and compound this over many weeks, you will definitely see plenty of improvements and get plenty of cardio training!
By performing HIIT for 10 minutes regularly, you should be able to lose weight, tone up, and feel better about yourself. Your mental health will also improve if you are doing 10 minutes of HIIT frequently.
If the 10 minutes of HIIT is the only exercise you are getting, you will have to make sure that you are really pushing yourself hard to see the best results! If you don’t do this, your workout will not have as positive of results.
You also have to make sure that you are completing these workouts using as much core strength and control as possible to see the best results.
If you want to do longer HIIT workouts, you should feel free to do so and really get your heart rate going! While it is advised that you don’t do lengthy HIIT or other cardio exercises every day in order to give your muscles time to recover, you can lengthen the HIIT workouts to get even more out of the exercises.
There are plenty of great 20-minute or 30-minute HIIT workouts available. If you are planning to do these longer workouts, make sure to listen to your body if it is telling you to slow down. Pace yourself! Half an hour is a long time for this type of exercise, and remember, you can get a pretty good workout in only 10 minutes.
Should I Do HIIT Every Day?
There are some risks to doing HIIT every day of the week. Since we are talking about vigorous exercise, it is important to approach them smartly.
There is a risk of getting injured if you complete HIIT training every day. You need to make sure that you let your muscles repair each time you do the exercise so that you don’t overwork the muscles which could lead to injury or slower results.
Similar to how you would approach weight training or cardio workouts, these are high intensity workouts and you need to be sure you are training properly.
Also, you don’t want to make yourself too tired so that you’re not able to continue to do the workouts to maintain your fitness.
How Often Should You Do HIIT Workouts?
Research shows that doing around three HIIT workouts a week is a good place to start. With this, you should be able to see improvements in your endurance and feel all of the benefits without getting too tired. This is if you are only doing HIIT workouts.
If you are working them around other workouts then you will see benefits by just doing one HIIT workout per week. It is always good to do some form of exercise every day, but this doesn’t always have to be HIIT.
Variation in exercise is good for your muscles because it means that you are working different groups each day. It is also good to motivate yourself to get moving because it keeps it interesting!
Example Of HIIT For Beginners
HIIT workouts can vary greatly because there are so many different options to add to the workout. Below is an example of a good HIIT structure to try out if you’re new to the experience:
- Start with a running workout for 1 minute.
- Do jumping jacks or burpees for 2 minutes.
- Do another running exercise for the next 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of push-ups.
- Continue with this structure for 3 or 4 more rounds and only take a short break between the exercises.
- Finish off with a cool down and some stretches for up to 5 minutes.
Exercising can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing and HIIT is no exception to this. Similar to other cardio training, there are many things you should take into account when you are doing these intense exercises.
- Make sure you are exercising in a safe space with no obstructions that could injure you.
- Make sure you are in the correct clothing and shoes.
- Drink lots of water and ensure you don’t get dehydrated.
- Take multiple rest breaks if needed.
- Begin slowly and don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and stop if you feel pain.
- Ensure you stretch well so your muscles don’t get too sore!
So Why Should We Target 10 Minutes Of HIIT?
Come on. We are talking 10 minutes here. There is nothing to stress about! And we are talking about a “do anywhere workout so you don’t necessarily need to go to the gym.
Who doesn’t waste at least 10 minutes each and every day and couldn’t commit to this time efficient strategy?
10 minutes is achievable even on the days in the week when you don’t think you have time or you don’t feel like exercising.
How do you look yourself in the eyes and say that you don’t have time to work out for 10 minutes?
Or you don’t have the energy to work out for just 10 minutes?
Most of the time it will be tough to convince yourself that you absolutely cannot find 10 minutes for yourself on any given day.
So making the goal achievable means that you will actually do it and could commit to it for the rest of your life!
10 minutes is short enough that you can commit a greater amount of intensity versus longer exercise routines and really get your heart rate elevated to accomplish your cardiovascular training.
Think about it. How much intensity are you willing to commit if I asked you to exercise for 30 minutes?
Many might think about this routine and end up spreading out exercises and incorporating lengthy breaks between sets. Normally, these become lower intensity workouts.
Now, think about an exercise routine where the time allotted was only 10 minutes.
Magically, most minds will go into a “cram” mindset and start to strategize on how to fit all of the needed exercises into the short time.
This leads to shorter breaks and high intensity!
10 minutes is enough to actually give you a great workout!
If you approach each of these cardio workouts with the right mindset and continuously push yourself to fit more and more into these short sessions, you’ll be burning fat in no time and will be amazed at your progress.
If you would like a great challenge, commit to 10-minute HIIT workouts, or other intense cardio activities, for 30 days.
Write down the exercises, sets, and reps that you do on day one, and continue to track your progress every day for the 30 days, being sure to push yourself a little more every session.
At the end of the month, compare day 30’s workout with day 1’s workout and process your improvement.
Not only will you understand what I mean when I say “adequate”, but most people will also be very impressed and proud of how far they have come.
HIIT is a really enjoyable and effective way to get fit. High intensity workouts have helped so many people, from the elite athlete to your health conscious weekend warrior.
Sure, there are other ways to reach this level of fitness. You can always jump on a treadmill or hit the gym aggressively.
But make no mistake, 10 minutes of high intensity training is enough to make a big difference in your fitness level, and endurance, will burn significant calories, and can benefit you with many other health issues.
Start your HIIT workouts now and see the difference in no time!