Ready to HIIT the ground running?

Ready to HIIT the ground running? 

Navigating the world of High-Intensity Interval Training 


Remember when we were beginners to exercise and one of your main goals is to try an HIIT workout without feeling like we can’t walk back home? 
If you’re in this journey now, don’t be afraid. We are here to de-stigmatize and help you understand what High-Intensity Interval Training is. 

What is HIIT? 

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. The goal is to push your body to work at maximum effort during the high-intensity intervals, followed by brief recovery periods.   

Why it HIITs the spot 

  •  It’s time-efficient 
    For working individuals with busy schedules, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) offers a time-efficient solution. In just 30 minutes, HIIT provides a comprehensive workout that integrates both aerobic and strength (resistance) training. This is particularly advantageous for those who may have limited time for exercise due to work commitments. 
  • You burn calories even after workout 
    The high-intensity aspect of HIIT raises your heart rate, resulting in increased calorie burn both during and post-workout. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).  
  • It improves your cardiovascular health 
    Since HIIT relies more on an increased effort rather than a longer duration of exercise, studies suggest that HIIT may yield comparable or even greater enhancements in heart function, lowering blood pressure & blood sugar, and improving cholesterol profiles. 
  • You get to shed pounds while retaining your muscles 
    If you've been inactive for an extended period, studies have shown that incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine can serve as a beneficial starting point for modulating muscle gain and reducing body fat. 


How to get started 

1. Consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider 

Before starting any exercise or diet, it is utmost crucial to consult first - they can assess your current fitness level and help tailor a HIIT program to your individual needs. 

2. Gauge what HIIT workout you should start based on your goals 

The beauty of HIIT is that there are various exercises to choose from. Based on your goal, coordinate with your trainer on what exercises you can do that aligns with your preferences. 

3. Slowly ease into HIIT

For beginners, easing into HIIT is crucial. Start slow by using shorter, less intense intervals and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves. This approach minimizes the risk of injury and allows your body to adapt. 

4. Maintain proper form 

Prioritize quality over quantity, and ensure that you're performing each exercise with correct technique to prevent any injuries.  

5. Mix it up 

Whether you’re looking to do cycling, swimming or bodyweight classes, there’s a HIIT approach for each. Doing a routine set of workouts may eventually become bland, so make it interesting by incorporating a variety of HIIT exercises. Not does this prevents boredom but it also challenges different muscle groups. 

Trying to HIIT that goal? 

HIIT's versatility allows seamless integration into your existing fitness routine. For those eyeing weight loss:

If shedding pounds is your primary objective, HIIT can revolutionize your approach. Its incorporation into your routine facilitates enhanced calorie burn during and post-workout, courtesy of the "afterburn" or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) effect mentioned earlier. To optimize weight loss with HIIT, target two to three sessions weekly, with each lasting around 20-30 minutes. 


For those beginning their fitness journey at home, here's a quick 20-minute full-body workout by certified trainer Nellie Barnett, CPT: 


Work for 40 seconds / rest for 20 seconds / repeat each block twice: 


Block A: 

Side lunge and knee crunch 
Mountain climbers 
Crunch and reach 

Block B: 

Hip switch 
Hand release pushups 

Block C: 

Toe taps 
Up and overs 
Donkey Kicks
Now, for the weightlifting enthusiasts:  

For those already engaged in strength training, it's crucial to incorporate both since HIIT elevates heart rate, acting as a cardio exercise, while weightlifting targets diverse muscle groups. To merge the two, consider this 5-minute Dumbbell Finisher, curated by certified trainer Jaimar Brown, CPT: 

1 set each / 45 seconds of work / 15 seconds of rest:  

Romanian Deadlift into Row 
Kneeling Overhead Tricep Presses 
Plank Drags into Pushup 
Lying Skull Crushers 
Dumbbell Marches 

Starting on your HIIT journey can be a game-changer. The key is to start gradually, stay consistent, and listen to your body. As you become accustomed to the intensity, you'll not only see physical transformations but also experience the metabolic benefits that come with HIIT.  
So, are you ready to HIIT the ground running? 

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