Who doesn't love it after you get your workout done first thing in the morning can be a great thing and make or break the rest of your day. Once you get your morning routine down it makes life so much easier. So if HIIT is where you want to bring it then why not first thing in the morning right.
So should you do HIIT first thing in the morning?
Doing an HIIT exercise routine first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day by kickstarting your metabolism. If you are a beginner I would start slow and keep the duration to 10-20 minutes until you get used to it and also workout out on an empty stomach.
There is a lot of back and forth on doing HIIT first thing in the morning on an empty stomach which is why we reached out to people experienced in this area and experts to get their personal feedback below. We have also outlined some great short routines to get that heart rate going with HIIT and keep those calories burning throughout the day.
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HIIT First Thing In Morning (Empty or Non-Empty Stomach)
So we didn't want you to take our word for it so we went out and scoured the internet for regular people along with experts with their opinion on HIIT first thing in the morning along with Empty Stomach vs Eating first. We wanted you to be able to relate to the answers and get real information. This was all curated so nothing has been changed except some spelling or grammar where needed.
Real People Opinions
1. 200lb_Always_200lbs “Mixture of both” – There's so much conflicting research on the topic it's insane. I think a mix of both is beneficial. I always get better results with steady state in the morning but that's just my preference. I know a few guys that get great results doing fasted steady state 3 times a week and HIIT for the other 4 and swear by it too.
2. SmoothPrimal “Love it” – I just did my first morning HIIT and I honestly love it. I was thinking of doing a short 10 minute session every morning. Would that be too much?
3. BPi89 “First thing steady state” – If it's first thing in the morning I do fasted, low-impact, steady-state cardio for 20-30 min. Take some Yohimbine if you got it.
If it's later in the afternoon after I've eaten and lifted then I'll do HIIT for 15 minutes
4. CheatEveryDay “HIIT For sure” – Personally, I benefited exponentially by doing HIIT Cardio in a fasted state soon after waking up. Most sources I read (don't think I have them anymore, read a long time ago) basically told me to use a fasted state if doing HIIT to use fat reserves as energy, as well as boosting your metabolism for the day.
5. CLimb4Fun “Steady State instead” – I used to do 1 to 1.5 hours of low to moderate-intensity cardio (not HIIT) in a fasted state (after waking) and it worked for me. I also would take L-Carnitine before although not sure if that really does anything.
6. HIIT_Mania “15 Minutes HIIT” – I do 15minutes of HIIT 5 times a week while cutting on 2400, working well.
7. Lexiclown “Comes down to preference” – Not really much conflict to be honest. In the acute phase, morning cardio does tap into fat reserves, but studies investigating the long-term (chronic) effect find no difference.
In other words, no reason to believe morning cardio is better, though in terms of muscle preservation there may be reasons to think it's worse (though the bottom line is still that it comes down to preference).
8. Running_NotFun “HIIT all the way” – I'm all about dat HIIT. Before lifting I was a long distance runner, used to run 5 – 8 miles a day, five to six days a week. I am sick of the grind of steady state cardio. Psychologically I struggle with the walking-on-a-treadmill bodybuilder cardio because it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything. I'd rather go and do interval sprinting and really kill it personally, but that's just me.
9. TheSoloMarine “Alternate” – But seriously during my cuts I keep cal a little bit higher (like 300 cal deficit) and do cardio every day and it manages to work. One week I do 4 sessions of HIIT and 3 days of steady state (both fed) and alternate week to week. Try it out if you like, I enjoy it because it doesn't get monotonous doing the same thing every day week upon week.
10. Anbeav “Yes HIIT In Morning Great” – Diet is optimal for fat loss, HIIT can help, yes, as well as improve overall fitness. Cardio is not necessarily a gainz goblin if you're not doing hours at a time and eating inadequate calories. I lift and cardio fasted every morning at 5am and eat 5pm, feel great.
An overwhelming 62% prefer steady state cardio in the morning instead of HIIT. Around 23% stated either or at least mix it up with a few days of one and another 3-4 days of the other. This data was based on 182 total responses.
What Should I Eat Before HIIT In The Morning?
You can adapts HIIT to your current nutritional plan an not just stick to what somebody else suggests. So lets say you are on KETO needing something a little low carb could be a protein shake with some peanut butter and a half banana with a little bit of honey. If that is too many carbs take out the honey and banana and make sure the protein shake is zero carb with some fiber if possible. Greek yogurt is also a lower alternative that you may not need the protein shake as well. Everything comes in low carb these days so try some different stuff out.
For a balanced diet just have a Greek yogurt with some berries. Or a banana with some honey an a bit of almond butter. Smoothies are the way to go as well especially if you are going to be doing your HIIT in 60 minutes or less after you workout. Be careful with that.
Also if you are doing intermittent fasting and just can't eat in the morning you may want to try steady state cardio in the morning then do your HIIT in the later afternoons after you have ate. If not just be sure to start slowly with HIIT as it can take its toll on the body when you don't get the proper caloric intake.
How Long After Starting HIIT Do You See Results?
You may be able to feel some of the affects of HIIT immediately after your first session. Some these will be increased energy, awareness just an overall feeling of accomplishment. The physical results you will see most likely in 2-6 weeks depending on your consistency. You need to also look at different aspects of results make sure you take your measurements and includes things such as your resting heart rate as well as waist to hip ratios.
Which Is The Best Way For A Beginner To Do HIIT?
For a beginner the best way is to simple start with a 1 to 4 ratio and increase from there. The workout can honestly be whatever works for you in the beginning then you can start pushing the limits. Lets say you like the outdoors or have a treadmill then you would walk for 1 minute and jog for 15 seconds. Repeat for 5-10 sets more if you can just don't go to the point of exhaustion.
Related HIIT Questions
Is Fasted HIIT Bad?
Fasted HIIT is very beneficial for most this is because when you don't have calories mainly carbs to burn your body will first go to the fat for a short period of time. Long steady state cardio overtime will get to burning you muscles as well this is why people prefer shorter sessions of HIIT training. Just be careful in the beginning and start out slow and around 10 minutes.
Can HIIT Cause Weight Gain?
HIIT doesn't cause weight gain directly, but when done on an empty stomach you can have a tendency to overindulge in food. If you are only doing 20 minutes of HIIT and let's say burning around 200 calories it is easy to have a big meal afterwards that is over twice that amount which makes the workout you just did obsolete. So focusing on dieting and eating healthy should still be your highest priority. Working out will make most people more hungry as you body is working harder and not used to it the shock makes it want consume more calories.
Does HIIT Reduce Belly Fat?
HIIT does help reduce belly fat, but it will need a lot more help from a healthy nutritional program. If you are only burning 200 calories but taking in 400 calories more a day then you normally do it will not help. It is still a calories burned versus calories taken in situation that leads a lean healthy body and a smaller midsection. Most HIIT workouts are standing so you are strengthening your core so as you lose inches you will lose from your midsection if your diet is on point.
Is 20 Minutes HIIT A Day Enough?
20 minutes of HIIT a day can definitely be enough on a healthy diet. One of the best 20 minute HIIT programs out there in our opinion is Transform :20 with Shaun T. You can give a free try HERE