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hiit too intense when dieting?

I don’t know about you guy’s, but this is the third time I am sick/flu over a 3 month period. Very frustrating!!!

I think this is because I have been on a calorie restricted diet, while I have been using hiit/interval training (3-4 times a week) with 5x5 weight training (low volume, high intensity). The results of the fatburning, have been very good so far, and the muscle mass and strength has gone upwards :slight_smile:

But in the long run, I think that the hiit is too intense for the immune system for an natural lifter when dieting. Yesterday I ran 2 x 400 meters, and today I had to leave work because I was not feeling well, now I have the flu again :frowning:

So from now, when I feel better, I will stop doing hiit, and instead do low intensity cardio in the mornings instead.

My conclusion about hiit, is that it should either be done when training for mass when the body has enough calories, and limit hiit training while dieting.

I feel ya brother. The reality is its just tough. I’m going through the same process right now. I wouldn’t abandon HIIT, just do it as much as you can and when you need a day off, take it. Maybe mix HIIT training with low intensity cardio training. I’ve done both. If I’m feeling kinda tuckered one day, I’ll either take the day off from HIIT or do a low intensity cardio session instead. It is very tough as a natural lifter to do heavy (5X5) training while reducing calories and doing HIIT. It’s physically and mentally draining, period. It’s not any easier this year than it was last year.

3-4 time a week of HIIT on any, let alone a calorie restricted, diet would most likely be too much for your system to handle.

When you calculated your caloric needs did you include what you will be burning during weight training and HIIT thne subtracting you 250 cals a week? Quite a few people mess up they’re daily caloric needs calculation by not including the calories that they will be burning during exercise. If you calculated your caloric needs based on a sedatary lifestyle with minimal exercise, subtracted your 250 cals a week from that then did your exercise and HIIT using that number you’re body is going to respond by shutting down e.g. getting sick. You will be WELL below your caloric needs for your activity level.

Cut the HIIT to a MAX of 3 times a week and double check your caloric needs based on EVERYTHING you will be doing during the day. Figure out what cals you will need during the week, break it up into 7 days and subtract 250 cals from each day’s total. Then after two weeks take another 250 out from each day. On the days you will not be training drop the cals down a bit and add them to a workout day. You wont need as much on that/those day(s) as you will for the workout days.

PGA200X: I don’t think there is anything wrong regarding my diet since my bodyweight and strength levels has gone upwards, while my fatpercent has been reduced from week to week.

This is good signs that tells that I have been on right track.

So I still belive the hiit is intense for a natural lifter on a diet, and that cardio at low intensity is best to prevent overtraining and sickness. hiit is to hard for a NATURAL ON A DIET, and should not be used too often. Especially when the bodyfat is less than 10-11%.

Don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy doing hiit- and the results has been very good…but from now I will use hiit only when going into an bulking period.

I’m “Natural” and I was doing up to three HIIT sessions a few months ago without any adverse effects. I havent been sick in years.

I don’t feel its the HIIT itself causing the problem but the number of times you’re are doing it. If you have a dialed in diet with proper intensity 5x5’s and MAX 3 sessions of HIIT you should lose BF and maintain most of your LBM without weakening your immune system baring any medical issues.

Maybe you have other types of stressors on your immune system?

Are you getting good levels of vitamins and minerals as well as appropriate post workout nutrition to aid recovery?

vroom: I take one multivitamin a day, zink, magnesium + 3-4 tablespoons Udo’s Choice and plenty of protein powder. Maybe I should try getting more c-vitamin.

I don’t think that I have other types of stressors to my immune system. Remember that the cardio and the weight training is high intensity training, which can be very hard to the immune system, and since the diet consist of restricted calories the body can have problem to recover, and overtraining and sickness could be the result. Anyway 3-4 hiit sessions is all to much, no doubt about that…

Getting enough sleep?


I hear you on this issue. I never let myself go over 9% bodyfat. I’ve been doing 7 HIT cardio seesions a week along with lifting each bodypart one day per week (Sunday’s off). I’m always tired because of it.

In the past I’ve done lower intensity cardio (70% MHR) with great success, while getting to 6% or so. I’ve never achieved this success with HIT cardio.

The problem is, I hate long duration low intensity cardio, but since it’s all that seems to work without having me hate life afterwards, I’m going back to it. I’d rather be in mental pain (bored) for an hour a day than physical pain all the time.

5{be very careful when training on a calorie-restricted diet. The last time I overtrained while dieting I was sick for 6 weeks with some crazy cold/cough thing that just wouldn’t go away. It was only bad for a week but the wheezing and hacking didn’t stop for 5 weeks after that. I was training way too much. Sometimes in bodybuilding or strength training less is more!

Good call Lucid. Often times, it’s difficult to convince oneself of that. Especially, when cutting.

Pats: - "I’d rather be in mental pain (bored) for an hour a day than physical pain all the time. "

A very good point! From now I do lower intensity cardio.

Lucid: The same happend to me 6 weeks ago, I also went sick for 3 weeks with some cold with intense cough and flu, that just wouldn’t go away. 3-4 hiit sessions is to hard for me. I agree with you that less training is better, espescially when dieting/cutting like Pats mentioned.

Thanks for the reply all of you! Now I need to get rid of this flu… again!!

If your getting the flu alot you should get flu shots when they are giving them. I work for a health department in michigan and I know that we give them out just before flu season starts. The newer batches of vacine have been improved upon and the only side effect you should get would be a sore arm for a day or two.

If I were you, I would still do hiit at least once a week. I find if I go off hiit completely, I lose the stamina to do it at all. So if you do two days steady state cardio and one day of hiit training per week, you could still get the benefits without the immune system suffering and not lose the ability to do hiit. I hate trying to build back up to 400m runs because I can’t handle them anymore. The same goes for steady state. If I’m doing mostly hiit, I try to have one day a week to run three miles so I don’t lose that wind. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate working towards a fitness level and then losing it when I change fitness goals or microcycles.

Ok, my plan now is doing long duration low intensity cardio instead of hiit.

I plan doing this Before breakfast, and do powerwalking for 50-60 min, (70% MHR).

Before starting I take 20 grams of protein, 1 cup of coffe/or green tea with some cayen pepper (which I’ve heard is good for fatburning). Too bad HotRox is impossible for me to order to Norway :frowning:

Do you think 6 times a week is to much when I am on a diet, with a high intensity weight training program (5x5)?

Maybe you?re looking in the wrong place; it could by your diet. Are you getting all the vitamins and minerals you need? Are you taking extra Vitamin C and E? When on a diet you need to make sure your recover capacity is in an optimal state. How many hours are you sleeping? ext.