HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training

Four ladies working out together

Have you ever tried to start a workout routine only to feel like you don’t have enough time or the right equipment? Maybe you have been stuck with a routine for a while only to feel like you aren’t seeing the results you want. Over the last couple of years, HIIT workouts have become popular in the fitness world, known for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time. The idea is that you alternate between going “all out” in your workout and then have a recovery period before going “all out” again. These short but challenging workouts can lead to a healthier heart, losing weight and can also increase your metabolism and endurance.

What is HIIT?

If you aren’t familiar with HIIT, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This workout alternates short bursts of high intensity exercise with less intense recovery periods. The high intensity portion of the workout causes the body to increase its need for oxygen and still need to ask for it during the recovery period, leading to an after burn effect called EPOC, or Excess Post Exercise Consumption which causes the body to burn more fat than regular aerobic exercises. HIIT workouts can speed up your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after the workout, which means you are still burning fat even after you are done working out! In fact, one study published in the Journal of Obesity found that after 6 months, women who did HIIT workouts for 20 minutes lost more fat than women who cycled continuously for 40 minutes. Imagine being able to burn more fat in half the amount of time!

Anyone starting a new exercise routine should always check with their doctor first, but one of the reasons HIIT has become so popular is that almost anyone can do it! If you are short on time, many of the routines can be done in 30 minutes or less. Most of the routines also don’t require any equipment so they can be done from your home, a park or anywhere that you like to work out. It also doesn’t matter whether you are new to working out or a seasoned veteran – HIIT can be customized to fit your routine. You can find almost any work out to fit your needs!

Here are 3 different types of HIIT. Choose one that works for you and start to see that body you have always wanted. Don’t forget to stretch, cool down and drink lots of water!

For beginners (from the Daily Burn)

3 rounds, 45 second work, 15 second rest

• pushups
• squats
• butt kicks
• tricep dips
• side lunges

To improve endurance (from BodyBuilding.com)

• touch toes – 15 reps
• lunges – 10 reps per leg
• side lunges – 10 reps in each direction
• butt kicks – 25 yards
• high knees – 25 yards
• arm circles – 20 reps
• trunk twists – 20 reps
• side bends – 20 reps

On the treadmill (from Livestrong)

• Warm up by jogging at an easy pace for 5 minutes
• Increase your pace by running as fast as you can for 30 seconds – 4 minutes (depending on your ability)
• Walk briskly or jog to recover for a little longer than your sprint.
• Continue to alternate running and jogging for 7 rounds
• Cool down by walking for 5 minutes


Barroso, Mark. “10 HIIT Workouts To Get You Shredded For Summer”. Men’s Fitness. Accessed 5 July 2017.

Braverman, Jody. “How to do HIIT Treadmill Workouts”. Livestrong. Accessed 7 July 2017.

Hilton Anderson, Charlotte. “8 Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)”. Shape. Accessed 6 July 2017.

Orlov, Alex. “3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners.” Daily Burn. Accessed 5 July 2017.

“What is the Best HIIT Workout?”. Bodybuilding.com. Accessed 5 July 2017.

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