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What is HIIT and How To Get The Most Out Of HIIT Workouts

This is the most popular fitness trend - and the most misunderstood. I'll show you how to get the most out of HIIT

While the popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may have reached new heights in recent years, it is far from a new concept.

Today, the term HIIT is used to describe a fairly wide range of training methods, so it's not always clear what goes beyond the basics of work, rest, repetition. That description isn't wrong, but it hardly paints a complete picture of what a HIIT session actually entails.

Below you'll find all the information you need to incorporate HIIT into your regular exercise regimen and how it can benefit you, regardless of what your overall goals are - whether you're trying to lose weight, build lean muscle mass. Most importantly, you will also learn how often you should do HIIT.

What Is HIIT?

While "hard work, short breaks" is at the heart of HIIT, there are five key variables that can significantly change the nature of your HIIT training. The first two are the duration of your work and rest. Working 40 seconds and resting 20 seconds differs significantly from resting 40 seconds and working 20 seconds, with longer training periods usually better for endurance and shorter training periods better for strength.

Then there is the intensity of the work phase. HIIT takes effort to get the most out of it, and it's also important to maintain a constant level of exertion throughout working period. This means it's not just about going all-out because you can't sustain it throughout the workout.

The fourth variable is the type of rest you take - stopping completely or recovering actively, such as slow pedalling on the bicycle? The latter can help get rid of lactic acid before the next work phase.

Finally, there's the total volume and how many intervals you did. It's easy to do too much with HIIT, which in the end brings no real benefit because you can't maintain the intensity until the end of the workout. As a general rule, start at a low volume and work as hard as you can. If you find it light, add a spin or two, but reduce the RPE a bit.

That’s about it. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to HIIT and the type of exercise you do. It can be done with bodyweight movements, cycling, running, or lifting weights as long as it can be done with high intensity. This makes some disciplines more appropriate than others. Opting for an exercise on an exercise bike is much less dangerous than trying to do heavy barbell squats at high speed.

You can cycle through a different set of exercises for your HIIT session, or stick to one or two for all of your reps. The latter makes it easier to hit your timing goals because you don't have to change your exercise machine while you're resting, but the different ranges of motion mean you can focus on more muscle groups during your workout.

Benefits Of HIIT Workouts

Let's start with the calories you'll be burning, and there are plenty of them, not only during your workout, but in the hours after. The latter arises from the excess post-workout oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect, in which your body burns more calories while returning to its normal post-workout resting state, adapting to the workout you've done. The effects of EPOC increase with training intensity, which is why HIIT is such an effective fat burner.

HIIT also increases your VO2max, which is the amount of oxygen your body can use and is an indicator of cardio fitness. For this reason, every useful running or cycling workout plan includes some form of interval training. Increasing your VO2max is the key to working harder for longer, and helping you set a personal 5k record, for example.

HIIT also has logistical benefits, such as the fact that your workout takes up less time. And while it's a hell of a lot of hard work, the short, sharp HIIT challenges ensure you never get bored with your workout.

When to Avoid HIIT

“HIIT is so effective because it takes less time and burns calories during recovery. Although, to reap the benefits of HIIT, you need to do it with a lot of energy. On days when you're feeling less than 100% or, more importantly, you're in pain from your previous workout and risk straining your muscles, steady-state cardio tends to be more effective -- and safer.

Types Of HIIT Workouts


Developed by a team from Loughborough University, this is an entry-level course. Do 20 seconds of all out workout followed by two minutes of active rest or complete rest. Repeat three times and you're done.


It doubles rest time and reduces work intervals to shift focus to anaerobic fitness. Use it when your goal is energy production or when you don't have the fitness for an all-out workout. Warm-up for ten minutes, then do six to eight sets.


Now things get more complicated. In this plan, you perform five "blocks of work" consisting of 30 seconds at 30% intensity, 20 seconds at 60%, and a ten seconds all-out workout. Results? Lots of volume, with adjustable intensity.

Seven HIIT Workouts to Try

HIIT Kettlebell workout for fat loss

Numerous studies comparing kettlebell swings, cleaning and deadlifting with a more traditional sprint training program found that maximum heart rate was only slightly higher during the sprint, while calorie burnt was higher during the bell.

Below are some of the top exercise. Rest 30 seconds at the end, then repeat for three to five sets.

- Alternating Swing (30 seconds) Similar to the traditional swing, but the arms alternate at the top of the lift.

- Clean and Jerk (15 seconds left hand, 15 seconds right hand) Complete each 15 second work set by pressing the kettlebell overhead.

- Goblet Squat (30 seconds) Hold kettlebell close to your chest, keep your back straight and squat.

Exercise Bike HIIT Workout For Complete Burnout

There's a reason exercise bike are used in so many studies: Pedaling is not very technical, the risk of injury is low and you can burn calories. For a "super-maximum" effort that stimulates every muscle fiber present, a bicycle is the ideal choice.

HIIT Battle Rope Workout for Great Calorie Burn

According to numerous studies, battle rope beat 13 other exercises (including burpees) for energy expenditure and resulted in the highest average heart rate. Routine: 15 seconds of waves with one arm, 15 seconds of waves with both arms, 60 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times.

Burpee HIIT Workout to Increase Endurance

During a recent study, the burpees beat many weight movements and free weight training in response to VO2. If you don't have the time or space, use the following routine: 30 seconds all-out, then take a four-minute break, repeating four to six times.

Sprint Workout To Increase Power

Production training improves your performance with short breaks. These are very short, very strenuous training intervals combined with long training breaks that will increase your strength. Use it when improving your sprint time or preparing for a boxing match.

- Thruster

Hold a pair of light dumbbells at shoulder height or a light barbell on your shoulders and squat down. As you stand, move the weight over your head and then lower it straight to the next rep. Work for 20sec then rest for 40sec and repeat for 5 times.

- Mountain Slider

Start in a pressing position with your feet on a small towel, then bring one knee, and then the other to your chest as quickly as possible. Work for 30sec then rest for 40sec and repeat for 5 minutes.

HIIT Endurance Training to Improve Your 5k Time

Mobility inprovement training uses longer work intervals and slightly shorter rest periods to increase your body's ability to sustain high-intensity exercise using your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

- Assault AirBike

Assault AirBike forces you to use your entire body for a brief but unpleasant experience. Don't you have any? Regular exercise bikes also work. Work for 20sec then rest for 40sec and repeat for 10 times.

- Kettlebell Swing

Take a moderate weight kettlebell and swing it back and between your legs, then move your hips forward to swing it to eye level, then let it swing back between your legs for next reps. Do it for 40sec and rest for a minute and repeat for 10 minutes.

HIIT Workout for Weight Loss in Your Snack Break

By reducing rest periods and maintaining a high work rate, more calories are burned during and after exercise for maximum fat loss. Below exercise will make you lose weight during your snack break. Do all three exercises to complete one round and repeat eight times.

- High Knees

Run on spot, raising your knees as high as possible. Always keep your intensity high, then rest for ten seconds before starting again.

- Jump Lunge

Bursting off the floor, switching legs in the air with each rep. Rest for ten seconds, then go straight to next exercise.

- Jump Squats

Get down into a squat position and jump high, landing as gently as possible. Take 30sec rest after every set of 5 reps before you start the next set.

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