HIIT: How To Become a Fitness Machine

Pin It Print Friendly and PDF
Studies show that 27 minutes of HIIT 3x per week burns MORE CALORIES than 60 minutes of steady 5x per week. That means 81 minutes (1 hour, 21 minutes) of exercise can burn more calories than 300 (5 HOURS!). Whoa. Let's investigate that amazingness, am.i.right?

Interval Training, in general, consists of alternating high and low intensity exercises. This burns more calories than steady state cardio, builds lean muscle faster, and boosts your metabolism for longer. HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training, more specifically, has two parts:
  1. Maximum Oxygen Use (VO2 Max) in a quick burst of exercise: VO2Max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can consume during a given exercise. Reaching (or getting close to) your body's VO2 Max will cause your body continue to consume O2 for 48 hours after you've finished working out. That means your body must burn more calories at a faster rate in order to fill the oxygen void. This speeds up your metabolism for the entire day.

  2. Maximum Effort to fatigue your muscles: HIIT is aerobic and anaerobic exercise (while steady state running, for example, is just aerobic). First, you are getting an aerobic exercise as your body uses up oxygen-generated energy. Then, once you have reached your VO2 Max, your body shifts into anaerobic exercise, which does not use oxygen (because there is none to be used!).
There are a few different types of HIIT workouts, but here are some tried and true favorites:


  • 20 seconds HIGH intensity followed by 10 seconds REST.
  • Total of 4 minutes.
  • Perform 2-4 times a week.
  • Best for people who are already fit and want an efficient workout.
  • 3-5 minute warm up
  • 20 seconds sprint
  • 10 seconds rest or walk
  • Repeat sprint/walk 7 more times for a total of 8


  • 60 seconds high intensity followed by 75 seconds low intensity.
  • Total of 27 minutes.
  • Perform 3 times a week.
  • Best for intermediate exercisers who have 30 minutes to spare.
  • 3-5 minute warm up
  • 60 second sprint (or cycling at maximum ability)
  • 75 seconds jog (or cycling with low resistance)
  • Repeat 11 more times for a total of 12


  • 8 rep sets alternated with 1-2 minute cardio sets.
  • Maximum 45 minute length.
  • Perform 3 times a week. 
  • Best for intermediate exercisers who have 45 minutes and want to incorporate weights into HIIT
  • 5 minute warm up
  • 8 rep set of weight lifting
  • 1 minute of mountain climbers or burpees

So, ready to jump on the HIIT train? Perhaps you'll just take a trial run. Here are a few workouts build on HIIT methodology:

  • Stairmaster Sprint Fat Burning Workout: Utilizes multiple Tabata sprints within a fat burning workout in a way that maximizes metabolism but keeps it low impact.
  • Summer Shape Up Whole Body Tabata Workout: Built on 6 Tabata sequences with short breaks in between, this workout uses low weights to get your heart rate up, then sculpt and tone your whole body.
  • Full Body Cardio in 10 Min: Actually, the true HIIT workout only takes 4 minutes in this workout, but it includes a brief warm up and cool down in the 10 minutes. You'll be out of breath but feeling fabulous.

Additional Resources and Credits:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips