According to recent articles – all you need is 7 minutes! Some train for 1 hour HIIT sessions! Then there are the in-betweeners that go for anything between 20 – 40 minute sessions!
Determining the perfect duration of a HIIT workout requires a bit of experimenting and can differ between individuals. Some of us like to train at maximum intensity and sweat it out in 10 minutes others like to take our time at a slightly lower intensity.
Personally, I like to train for short periods of between 5 – 20 minutes maximum the majority of the time, however I like to do longer HIIT workouts once or twice a week using equipment such as Kettle Bells or TRX which will get me working for periods of high intensity and periods of lower intensity.
If you push yourself to the limit (70 – 90 % of your MHR - maximum heart rate followed by a short rest period) for every exercise then you should only be able to sustain the HIIT session for a maximum of 30mins any more then you are not pushing yourself hard enough to reap the benefits. I often do HIIT sessions lasting just 5 mins but I am working at 90 - 100% + of MHR – during the high intensity exercise with very little rest.
But I hear some people do HIIT for 45 – 50 mins of exercise and I have joined your online classes which are longer as well?
We run MyFitZone FIIT (Functional Interval Intensity Training) classes which are geared around certain exercises at very high intensity paired with lower intensity exercises and also using equipment as well – during the classes you will complete around a number of exercises for a set duration (40 seconds for example) with a short rest period. Some of these exercises are using your MHR others you will be working at a lower intensity so your heart rate for the duration of the class is and should be something like this (dependant on level of fitness):-
5 – 10 mins @ 85% + max heart rate
15 – 20 mins @ 70 -80 % max hear rate
15 – 20 mins @ 50 – 70 % max heart rate
Therefore you are spending around 15 - 30 minutes in the HIIT Zone and the rest of the time in a lower intensity zone.