Fitness Move of the Week: HIIT

by | Aug 25, 2015 | Last updated Mar 16, 2023

By now you’ve probably heard mentions of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – as it’s taken off in recent years. What’s the big deal?
High intensity interval training is great because cuts down on workout time, burns major calories efficiently, and boosts your metabolic health. A healthy heart coupled with a speedy, fat-blasting workout sounds pretty great right?!
While HIIT is definitely not for the weak-hearted, it’s a type of exercise that can be worked up to; if you feel like you’re not quite HIIT-ready, you can start off with slightly more intense cardio at a constant rate, and gradually switch to interval-style training.
The intervals can be conducted in any number of ways, depending on your preferred rest periods and how long you’re willing to go all-out. You can start with a 20-second burst of all-out effort, following by 1 minute and 40 seconds of rest/moderate exercise, or try to do 1 minute on and 1 minute off. If this is your first time trying HIIT, it’s recommended to start with shorter bursts of full effort, with a rest period that is two to three times longer than the full-effort interval.
The most common example of HIIT is sprinting: sprinting at maximum effort for 20-30 seconds, following by 2-5 minutes of brisk walking or moderate jogging. But if you hate running, fear not: there are plenty of options outside the track for you to HIIT it.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: studies have shown that 90 minutes of HIIT (completed over the course of a week, in three 30-minute sessions of interval efforts) yielded the same benefits as 5 hours of endurance training (completed over the course of a week, in five 40-60 minute sessions of consistent effort). They both proved similar decreases in disease risks, and both provided serious cardiovascular benefits. So why not cut your gym time in half with HIIT?! (For more info, check out this infographic).
HIIT Workout Ideas
Bodyweight style (via Greatist):
10 burpees
20 squats
20 side lunges
10 diver’s push-ups
Complete as many rounds as possible in 6 minutes. Rest for 2 minutes. Complete 2 more times for a 24-minute workout.
Outdoor park workout (via Daily Burn):
1 minute jog, 20 second sprint
20 single leg step ups
20 squat jumps
20 tricep dips
Click the article to see two more rounds of the 10-minute park workout!
For the runner (via
1 minute moderate jog
1 minute sprint
1 minute run
1 minute walk
Complete 5 times for a 20-minute workout