I am no exercise addict, but I do have the willpower to exercise almost every day. Hell, I'll even exercise twice daily! Though I suspect I shouldn't.

I've read a bit about exercise recovery (I'd like to say "A lot", but by comparison, I suspect it's not that much). There's a lot of emphasis about exercise recovery.

What do we need to recover from? I know our body starts out using glycogen (first the glycogen stored in the muscle, then the liver?), and if we continue to cause trauma to the muscle without letting it heal properly first, we will lose more than we gain. But how much time do we need to recover from different types of exercise?

For example, I've come across claims that you should get a day's rest between HIIT sessions. However, in the Tabata study (I have very little patience. a 4-minute workout? PERFECT! though I do get too close to vomiting...), the subjects worked out 5 days a week (4 days a week on the Tabata protocol, 1 day 30-min endurance followed by half the tabata protocol - 4 sets), which means at least 2 consecutive days of HIIT.

So the question is, what does one need to recover from, and how long would it take for, say, someone who isn't especially well-conditioned? (of course, I know this is variable, so I don't expect a precise answer. I'm asking for you to shed as much light as you can on the subject :) )

2 Answers 2


Your question is somewhat generic, although, I think my response to why do we need more rest when lifting heavy? should provide some of the insight you are seeking.

Be sure to pay close attention to the paper that is referenced (Recovery in Training: The Essential Ingredient ) and the study (Rhea 2003). In particular, the study looked at training and recovery in trained and untrained groups of study subjects.


General rule is for HIIT 24 hours is enough to recover (dominantly;ATP, CP and Glycogen)but recovering from long distance running takes more time to recover because energy sources used in these type of exercises are mostly glucose and fat. Replenishing these energy stores takes more time due to the physiological pathways and the availability of enzymes used.

Someone who isn't well-conditioned may get injured during HIIT unless the intensity of the exercise is well programmed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.