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The last 6 months I've done

  • slow extensive runs of ± 60min, 3x / week, (HR between 145 - 155bpm)
  • strength training 3x / week
  • 1x/week martial art (BJJ/Muay Thai/MMA) training (technique+sparring), so without doubt HR +180bpm.

The slow extensive runs were to improve basic condition. Strength training; to improve overall fitness during sparring. At certain point before change of plan, my resting HR was between 49 and 55. Changing the plan to:

  • 4x / week intensive training such as martial art technique and sparring / cross-training
  • 1x / week 60' slow ext. run (HR: 145-155)

Now, my resting HR stays between 54 and 60. Exercise generally lowers the resting heart rate. Does HIIT have the opposite effect?

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  • To to clarify your question, you are specifically asking whether starting HIIT raises one's resting Heart Rate? – Sean Duggan Jul 31 '15 at 13:39
  • @SeanDuggan, yes indeed. And thanks for your answer! – gdm Jul 31 '15 at 13:51
  • I did a small edit to your question to try to make it more clear what you were asking. Feel free to edit it yourself to remove any errors I introduced. :) – Sean Duggan Jul 31 '15 at 13:54
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Overall, exercise generally lowers one's starting heart rate. HIIT may provide superior benefits to continuous training (although some disagree, saying that it's more useful when you're already at a lower HR). Overtraining can raise one's resting heart rate due to increased stress from your body trying to soldier on without sufficient recovery time. It sounds like you may be experiencing that. Try taking a few days rest without much exercise at all and see if that improves your morning resting Heart Rate values.

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  • A cycling coach used to our team wear our heart rate monitors to bed. A sure-fire sign of overtraining was a resting heart beat that never found it's way back down again in the middle of the night. Hopefully those chest straps aren't as uncomfortable as they used to be. – Eric Jul 31 '15 at 14:02

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