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Home Fitness Exercise What is HIIT? | High Intensity Interval Training

interval training HIIT

Marathoner vs Sprinter

High intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT, is one of the most effective methods for fat loss. It allows you to burn more fat in less time – perfect for us out there that are short on time! When most people think of ‘fat burning’ cardio, they think 45+ minutes on the elliptical or treadmill, but what if I told you that you could burn twice the amount of fat in less than half the amount of time? Sounds great doesn’t it? That’s where HIIT comes in!

HIIT is high intensity cardio performed for a short period of time, followed by an active rest period. For example you will perform 20 seconds of sprints followed by 30 seconds of active rest like walking on the spot to allow your heart rate to come down safely. When performing your 20 seconds of high intensity cardio, you need to go all out – push yourself to your max. Once you have finished you should be out of breath, if your not, then you need to push yourself harder. You do this continually for 15-20 minutes before cooling down.

Benefits of HIIT

  • Increases your metabolism and cardiovascular fitness
  • You continue to burn fat even after your workout as your body repairs and covers
  • Limits muscle loss compared to longer steady-state cardio
  • It doesn’t require any special equipment
  • Challenges your body in different ways helping you break out of a plateau.

HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

You are probably wondering how HIIT burns more fat than longer duration cardio – let me explain. When you are performing an exercise of very high intensity, your body produces a chemical called catecholamine. Catecholamine triggers your body to burn body fat. The higher your intensity, the more catecholamine your body releases which in turn will have you burning fat for longer – up to 36 hours after you have finished your workout!

No Equipment Required HIIT Workout

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds with 30 seconds of rest in between before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat for 15-20 minutes.
Intermediate exercisers perform 40 seconds of each exercise with 40-60 seconds rest.
Advanced exercisers perform 60 seconds of each exercise with 30-60 seconds rest.
Make sure to warm up and cool down before and after this workout.

1. Squat Jumps
2. Push Ups
3. Jumping Lunges
4. Burpees
5. Mountain Climbers


Prefer to HIIT the pool? Try my Pool HIIT Workout.

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