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High Intensity Interval Training-What You Need to Know

people performing HIIT workout

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High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an effective form of exercise that gets results in less time than longer workouts. But what makes it so effective? And what can you do to prepare for it? Here’s everything you need to know about HIIT and how to make it work for you.

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

First things first, HIIT is not your grandpa’s slow and steady jogging. It’s not even like a brisk walk with a bit of running sprinkled in for good measure. If you’re looking for a way to squeeze more from your workouts, HIIT might be just what you’re looking for.

With high intensity interval training, you alternate bursts of all-out effort with brief recovery periods that allow you to push yourself as hard as possible during those intense intervals. As you can imagine, it can burn quite a few calories and leave your muscles fatigued—which is exactly why so many people love it so much.

Let’s take a look at some specifics about HIIT in case you’re ready to give it a try for yourself!

How To Get Started

HIIT requires very little equipment, but it does require an open space. Most exercises can be performed in place, so if you don’t have a spare room at home that you can dedicate entirely to HIIT workouts, it’s OK. If possible, however, try and find a place where you can do all of your workouts—this way you don’t waste time getting dressed and undressed between each exercise.

When it comes time for HIIT sessions, wear clothing that is loose fitting and breathable. That way you won’t feel too hot during your workout or distracted by something tight around your waist or midsection. A good pair of running shoes is also important; these should be brand new and not worn down at all. Check out this guide to choosing the right shoes.

In terms of equipment, although you don’t need it, you can increase the workout intensity by including things like resistance bands, kettlebells and dumbbells. When in doubt, though, go simple with just your bodyweight. This way you can practice each move without worrying about additional weight or trying to find a specific tool (not all will be necessary).

Lastly, don’t forget to stretch before the workout! HIIT training is very intense and you are at a greater risk of getting injured. So, make sure to warm up and stretch before the workout so your muscles and connective tissues become warm and elastic.

A sample HIIT workout

HIIT workouts only last for approximately 15-20 minutes in total and usually incorporate repeating the same exercises 3-5 times with minimum rest in between. The purpose of these workouts is to get your heart racing, hence why rest should be limited to the minimum.

Here is a sample workout:

ExerciseSets x reps
Jumping Jacks
Butt Kicks
Squat Jumps
High Knees
Push Ups
Jumping Lunges
1 x 50
1 x 50
1 x 50
1 x 50
1 x 15
1 x 30
1 x 10
Perform this workout 3-5 times based on your fitness level.

For more HIIT workouts examples, download our guide below!

HIIT guide

Download our FREE HIIT guide + easy to follow workouts!

Your results are our passion! So, we’ve created this guide to help you get started with HIIT workouts. You will receive a 30-day HIIT challenge and 2 simple workouts that you can incorporate into your routine today! Download below.

HIIT Benefits

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, refers to a type of exercise that incorporates short bursts of high-intensity exercise with low intensity recovery periods.

HIIT has been shown to provide both cardiovascular and muscular benefits compared with traditional steady state cardio exercise. Cardiovascular benefits include improved endurance, increased VO2 max and an increase in blood flow.

In comparison, high intensity interval training can also benefit your muscles directly by stimulating protein synthesis and enhancing muscle growth. Researchers have even found that HIIT can result in greater muscle gains than resistance training alone.

These types of workouts also boost your metabolism. In a study published in 2010, participants who completed four weeks of HIIT and strength training exercises found that their resting metabolic rate was 17 percent higher than before they started.

How HIIT supports weight loss

HIIT is characterized by short, high-intensity bursts of activity followed by a low or moderate intensity recovery period. In other words, you sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then recover with 1 minute of slow jogging or walking. It’s designed to improve your body’s ability to use oxygen in two ways:

1) while you’re exercising and
2) after exercise during recovery.

This is how HIIT can boost your metabolism and help with weight loss. Studies show that HIIT also increases muscle mass, which further helps with weight loss since muscle burns more calories than fat does at rest.

Further reading: 4 Bad Decisions for Fast Weight Loss


HIIT is one of today’s hottest fitness trends. It’s been dubbed one of many approaches to exercise, but it has demonstrated numerous benefits and won’t give you an excuse for not wanting to exercise in any weather.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to improve your endurance and get in shape, quickly.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our post above! Remember to download our HIIT guide above to help you get started and don’t forget to check out our health and fitness courses to help you reach your goals.

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