What is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – And How Should You Use It?

What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

High Intensity Interval Training, often represented by the acronym HIIT, is really a big deal. HIIT training is the ideal and most effective replacement for underachieving endurance cardio.

As a matter of fact, in studies HIIT is 9x more effective at burning fat than endurance cardio.

Female Sprinter
Female Sprinter

More often than not, I have talked about HIIT workouts made up only of interval sprints. Today I would like to discuss HIIT training with resistance machines, but not to be confused with High Intensity Resistance Training, or HIRT, which I will write about shortly.

HIIT training will give you the following benefits:

  • Burn more calories than endurance cardio
  • Burn more fat than endurance cardio
  • Increase power
  • Increase speed
  • Increase muscle density
  • Improve anaerobic endurance
  • Improve aerobic endurance
  • Speed up metabolism for more than a day and a half
  • Shorten cardio training sessions by at least 33%
What is HIIT? HIIT Theory AnaerobicAerobic
Who Can HIIT Benefit Who Should Avoid HIIT Design a HIIT Routine
Sample HIIT Training Routines
Beginners Training 9:1 Intermediate Training 6:1 Advanced Training 3:1
10 second sprints 10 second sprints 10 second sprints
20 second sprints 20 second sprints 20 second sprints
30 second sprints 30 second sprints 30 second sprints
HIIT Exercise Selection HIIT and Nutrition Get Protein Powder

The Theory Behind HIIT

In research, HIIT has been shown to burn fatty tissue 50% more efficiently than low-intensity exercise, and has been shown to speed up the metabolism for up to 36 hours post-exercise, helping your body burn more calories throughout the day.

HIIT is a type of cardiovascular training that is used most effectively to lose fat while also retaining muscle mass on a low calorie diet, or for staying as lean as possible on a bulking cycle.

This type of training utilizes the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems; the former has an anabolic muscle building/sparing effect, while the latter helps burn fat and conditions the heart and lungs for good health.


Anaerobic Energy System – Anaerobic means “without oxygen”. The anaerobic energy system is what provides energy in max effort attempts for up to 60 seconds. During the first 10-15 seconds the Adenosine Triphosphate-Creatine Phosphate (ATP-CP) Cycle uses up the phosphate pool, after which the body starts using glycolysis and lactic acid to derive energy.

Initially there is a very small amount of lactic acid produced. During efforts taking longer than 10-15 seconds, a large amount of lactic acid is produced, which is taxing on the muscles and the Central Nervous System (CNS). Without adequate oxygen, the lactic acid will not be flushed from the system.

Rest periods of 30-60 seconds will provide complete recovery of the ATP-CP system.


Aerobic Energy System – Aerobic means “with oxygen”. The aerobic energy system is used during sustained exercise over a period of greater than 3-4 minutes. As long as there is enough oxygen to provide energy, fatigue remains at a low level.

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Who Can Benefit from HIIT

Many people can benefit from HIIT, including those who:

  • are looking to burn as much fat as possible during a cutting phase
  • are looking to keep as muscle as possible during a cutting phase
  • are looking to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase
  • are looking to increase aerobic endurance
  • are looking to increase anaerobic endurance
  • are looking to burn more calories on a daily basis
  • are looking to increase their basal metabolic rate (BMR)
  • are looking for a change of pace from traditional endurance cardio
  • are athletes who participate in a sport such as boxing, MMA, soccer, basketball, hockey, wrestling, etc…, who need the ability to repeat short maximal efforts with low-intensity recovery periods
  • are looking to break performance plateaus, including those within the gym, will also benefit

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Who Should Avoid HIIT

There are just a couple people who should avoid HIIT, including those who:

  • are endurance athletes who need to low intensity exercise over a period of time greater than 20 minutes. HIIT trains you for short, high intensity burst of energy.
  • are prone to injury in the ankles, knees, hips, or back. HIIT is very intense and not suitable for injury prevention.
  • are not cleared by their doctor to begin a high intensity exercise routine. Check with your doctor before starting HIIT.
  • are impatient. You need to ease into HIIT with some beginner routines or you risk injury.
  • are overzealous. You can’t use HIIT 3-4 times a week and weight training 3-4 times a week. HIIT uses maximal intensity and can quickly result in overtraining when used improperly.
  • are powerlifters. HIIT does tend to sap strength. Powerlifters can integrate HIIT into their routines for positive gains, but overuse could result in a slight loss of strength.

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Designing a HIIT Training Routine

HIIT can be used for either cutting or bulking, either to add muscle and maintain low bodyfat, or to lose bodyfat and maintain existing muscle mass. HIIT is also used to improve aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

As always, your diet is still 75% responsible for determining how these goals are achieved. Manipulate calorie intake and macronutrient ratios to gain muscle or lose fat according to your goals.

These are the guidelines I will use for creating a HIIT workout:

  • We will try to perform as many reps as possible within a certain time frame.
  • Each HIIT workout is broken down into at least one, but usually several, HIIT giant-set(s).
  • Each HIIT giant-set consists of several super-sets of a single exercise executed at different intesities.
  • Each HIIT super-set has several maximal intensity sets, several active rest sets, and one moderate intensity recovery set.
  • It is during the maximal intensity set that we try to complete as many reps as possible.

Beginners should start off slow, with only 1 HIIT workout each week, because HIIT training can lead to overtraining due to the neuro-muscular load. Advanced trainees can choose to progress to 3 sets of HIIT training per week, if they can handle it.

I personally have used HIIT three times a week very effectively, to maximize fat loss and muscle retention on a low carb, low calorie diet.

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HIIT Training Routines

The two biggest differences between the following HIIT training routine guidelines are, the duration ratio of rest intervals to sprint intervals, and the total duration of the sprint intervals.

Rest to sprint ratios vary from 9:1 (lots of rest between sprints) to 3:1 (very little rest between sprints).

Sprint interval durations range from 10 seconds (easiest) to 30 seconds (hardest).

The Beginners Workout – 10 Second Sprints

Here we want to learn the system and condition our body for intense interval training. A couple weeks of beginner training should be enough for any experienced athlete to move on to the intermediate workout. Utilizes a 9:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

Frequency: 1 HIIT workout per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 4
Maximal intensity set: 10 seconds
Active rest set: 90 seconds
Recovery set: 240 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(10s (max) + 90s (rest) ) * 4 (super-sets) + 240s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-set) + 120s (warm-up) = 1400s = 23 minutes 20s

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The Intermediate Workout – 10 Second Sprints

The training intensity required here is quite a bit more than the beginner’s workout. This workout might be enough for many people to get into serious shape without stepping up the intensity again. Serious athletes will look to progress further. Utilizes a 6:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

Frequency: 2 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 8
Maximal intensity set: 10 seconds
Active rest set: 60 seconds
Recovery set: 180 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(10s (max) + 60s (rest) ) * 8 (super-sets) + 180s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1600s = 26 minutes 40s

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The Advanced Workout – 10 Second Sprints

A pretty hardcore HIIT session. The advanced workout utilizes a 3:1 ratio of rest to maximal intensity. With 3 giant sets in 28 minutes, that’s 30 total sprints in a half hour. You are probably looking pretty cut and feeling pretty quick if you make it to this workout.

Frequency: 3 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 3
Super-sets per giant-set: 10
Maximal intensity set: 10 seconds
Active rest set: 30 seconds
Recovery set: 120 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(10s (max) + 30s (rest) ) * 10 (super-sets) + 120s (recovery)] * 3 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1680s = 28 minutes

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The Beginners Workout – 20 Second Sprints

Here we want to learn the system and condition our body for intense interval training. Utilizes a 9:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

Frequency: 1 HIIT workout per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 2
Maximal intensity set: 20 seconds
Active rest set: 180 seconds
Recovery set: 240 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(20s (max) + 180s (rest) ) * 2 (super-sets) + 240s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-set) + 120s (warm-up) = 1400s = 23 minutes 20s

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The Intermediate Workout – 20 Second Sprints

The training intensity required here is quite a bit more than the beginner’s workout. Utilizes a 6:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

Frequency: 2 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 4
Maximal intensity set: 20 seconds
Active rest set: 120 seconds
Recovery set: 180 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(20s (max) + 120s (rest) ) * 4 (super-sets) + 180s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1600s = 26 minutes 40s

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The Advanced Workout – 20 Second Sprints

A very hardcore HIIT session. This advanced workout utilizes a 3:1 ratio of rest to maximal intensity. 15 sprints for a total of 300 seconds of sprinting.

Frequency: 3 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 3
Super-sets per giant-set: 5
Maximal intensity set: 20 seconds
Active rest set: 60 seconds
Recovery set: 120 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(20s (max) + 60s (rest) ) * 5 (super-sets) + 120s (recovery)] * 3 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1680s = 28 minutes

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The Beginners Workout – 30 Second Sprints

Here we want to learn the system and condition our body for intense interval training. Utilizes a 9:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

With this 30 second sprint protocol, we are reducing the recovery set significantly due to the length of active rest.

Frequency: 1 HIIT workout per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 2
Maximal intensity set: 30 seconds
Active rest set: 270 seconds
Recovery set: 60 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(30s (max) + 270s (rest) ) * 2 (super-sets) + 60s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-set) + 120s (warm-up) = 1440s = 24 minutes

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The Intermediate Workout – 30 Second Sprints

The training intensity required here is quite a bit more than the beginner’s workout. Utilizes a 6:1 ratio of rest to max intensity.

With this 30 second sprint protocol, we are reducing the recovery set slightly due to the length of active rest.

Frequency: 2 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 2
Super-sets per giant-set: 3
Maximal intensity set: 30 seconds
Active rest set: 180 seconds
Recovery set: 120 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set:
[(30s (max) + 180s (rest) ) * 3 (super-sets) + 120s (recovery)] * 2 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1620s = 27 minutes

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The Advanced Workout – 30 Second Sprints

A severely hardcore HIIT session. The advanced workout utilizes a 3:1 ratio of rest to maximal intensity. Only 12 sprints, but 360 seconds of sprinting.

With this 30 second sprint protocol, we are reducing the recovery set slightly due to the length of active rest.

Frequency: 3 HIIT workouts per week.
Warm-up: 120 seconds of moderate intensity
Giant-sets: 3
Super-sets per giant-set: 4
Maximal intensity set: 30 seconds
Active rest set: 90 seconds
Recovery set: 60 seconds
Total time to complete 1 giant-set: [(30s (max) + 90s (rest) ) * 4 (super-sets) + 60s (recovery)] * 3 (giant-sets) + 120s (warm-up) = 1740s = 29 minutes

If you wish to make micro-progressions within each workout, feel free to adjust any of those variables accordingly. For example you can shorten active rest or recovery set duration, you can add additional super-sets within the giant-set, you can increase sprint time, etc…

Read this recent post I wrote about integrating cardio training into your workout routine. Or if you want you can skip straight to the sample workout routines, which are about halfway down the page.

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Exercise Selection

Of course you have the option to select from a variety of exercises, but you should choose exercises that are conducive to this type of training. Choose exercises that do not allow you to rest between reps.

Deadlifts or power cleans, or any exercise that requires you to rest the bar on the floor between reps, is not a good exercise.

Here are some great exercises for HIIT training:

  • Plain old running sprints
  • Sled drags
  • Hill sprints
  • Stair sprints
  • Treadmill
  • Bicycle sprints on the road
  • Bicycle machine sprints
  • Rowing sprints on the water
  • Rowing machine sprints
  • Cable, barbell, or dumbbell rows
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jumping rope
  • Burpees
  • Squat thrusts
  • Squats
  • Jump squats
  • Lunges
  • Boxing
  • Kickboxing
  • Hang cleans
  • Hang clean and press
  • Hang snatch
  • Dumbbell snatch/swing
  • Kettlebell snatch/swing

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HIIT and Nutrition

Numerous studies have proven that the oxidation of fat in increased during exercise when following a low carbohydrate and high fat diet. Intense cardio such as HIIT is most efficient at burning fat, since fat molecules have a much higher concentration of energy than carbohydrates.

Other studies have proven that during a diet where carbs are restricted and a lot of fat is consumed, up to 70% of the energy requirement during high intensity activities comes from the oxidation of fat. When athletes use a diet high in carbs, such activities would derive 80-90% of the energy from glycogen.

Therefore, use a high protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate diet to make the most efficient use of HIIT.

Optimizing nutrition for HIIT during a cutting phase:

Optimum Nutrition Protein Powder

  • 500 calories under daily maintenance requirements
  • High Protein (40% of total calories)
  • Low Carbs (20% of total calories)
  • High Fat (40% of total calories)

Optimizing nutrition for HIIT during a bulking phase:

  • 500 calories over daily maintenance requirements
  • High Protein (40% of total calories)
  • Moderate Carbs (35% of total calories)
  • Low-Moderate Fat (25% of total calories)

Some nutritionists recommend a higher level of calories during a bulking phase, but my experience has been that increasing carbohydrates too much while bulking, often results in unwanted fat gains. Using HIIT to prevent those fat gains could be a reason to experiment with higher levels of carbs (+40% of total calories) while bulking.

Click here to get some Optimum Nutrition Protein Powder.

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Resources:
Rakobowchuk, Tanguay, Burgomaster, et.al. Sprint interval and traditional endurance training induce similar improvements in peripheral arterial stiffness and flow mediated dilation in healthy humans. The American Physiology Society. 2008.

Chesley A, Hultman E, Spriet LL. Effects of epinephrine infusion on muscle glycogenolysis during intense aerobic exercise. Am J Physiol 1995;268:E127-34.

Kirkendall, Donald T. Creatine, Carbs, and Fluids: How Important in Soccer Nutrition?. Sports Science Library. 2008.

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54 Responses to “What is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – And How Should You Use It?”

  1. You’ve hit us once again with another brilliant article. I appreciate the broad scope and detail you’ve included to make it accessible to everyone. Although I can see where beginning this type of a HIIT routine could be intimidating at first, it really shouldn’t be at all. I think it appears more complex in reading than it actually is. The key is to get in where you fit in and strive for gradual progress.

  2. AWESOME read!
    i will have to start doing some sprints, because cardio is my weak spot. i dont do it because i HATE doing it. who wants to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes while staring at the same spot on the wall??? not me, so i never did it, but i could definitely see myself sprinting, i used to be the fastest kid in the neighborhood growing up! lol

    • Yeah man running on a treadmill is lame. I haven’t done that for like 7 years. I have spent some minutes in the winter months on an elliptical and a couple minutes on a stationary bike, but mostly I can’t stand treadmills or endurance cardio. Cardio machines could theoretically be used for HIIT I suppose, but I think I’ll pass on that.

  3. great article, Steve. I love HIIT because for those of us that want to build/maintain explosiveness, traditional endurance cardio actually has a negative effect on fast twitch muscle fibers. so HIIT allows for explosive training while burning fat simultaneously.

    I do have a question. if I hit my legs hardest on friday with squats, and I want to perform some HIIT on saturday, should I avoid outdoor running sprints? I wouldn’t want to fatigue my quads.

  4. Great info.
    My question is do I do this workout on non weight lifting days?
    Or could the sprint sets be done inbetween lifting sets to help minamize time spent in the gym?

  5. Hi steve is this a good HIIT Workout :
    Exercise Bike : Sprint For As Long As Possible Highest Difficulty.
    Then jump straight on X Trainer for 30 secs then repeat or rest ?

  6. I can vouch for HIIT – I lost over 25 pounds in 3 months, solely with HIIT. I was on a fat loss, muscle building mission and my initial aim of fat/weight loss was totally attained with the help of HIIT.

  7. sorry, i have a kind hard time understanding the routine. im doing the jumprope so how long do i have to do a Giant-sets? whats a Super-sets per giant-set? what do i do in a Active rest set??do i rest on Recovery set??
    thanks,again a great article.

    • Timmy: Let me make it easier for you. For 10 minutes alternate jumping rope as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then at a moderate pace for 90 seconds, then as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then at a moderate pace for 90 seconds, etc… At the end of 10 minutes take a short break for recovery where you just walk around and breathe for about 2 minutes. Then do it all again. When you are done you will have completely 2, 10 minute HIIT circuits of jump rope in about 25 minutes. It will be good. If you are training specifically for boxing or fighting, you should shorten your HIIT circuits to 5 minutes and only take a 1 minute rest between rounds.

  8. Question about the beginners HIIT: If I do 120 sec warm up followed by [(10s (max) + 90s (rest)x4 then rest for 4 min= 1 giant set? Repeat twice for 2 giant sets?

    • Yes, what you speak of is a giant set – 4 sets of 10 second sprints and 90 seconds rest. Don’t just sit around for those 90 seconds though. Either walk, jog lightly, jump rope, shadow box, anything to keep your body moving.

  9. I have been a personal trainer for almost 9 years. I have read so many things from so called gurus. Some sound crazy some sound ok. After reading your articlals, I had to leave you a comment. These are the best I have ever read. This is even better than going to pt summits and CEC classes. Sooo much critical information. So many questions answered for those who read it. I came across this site on accident and I am so glad I did. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  10. Another form of good HIIT is to do 4 “sets” of intervals, slowly increasing intensity throughout each set.

    For instance… if you choose jogging as your mode of cardio, you can do this:

    * Start at 5.0 mph jog for one minute
    * Increase to 5.5 mph for one minute
    * Increase to 6.0 mph for one minute
    * Increase to 6.5 mph for one minute
    * Increase to 7.0 mph for one minute

    Then go back to 5.5 mph and repeat up to 7.0 mph

    Do the entire series of intervals 4 times

    After the last interval set… increase to a full blown sprint for as long as you possibly can.

    After the all-out sprint, decrease back to 5.5 mph for one minute, then decrease to 5.0 mph for one minute as a cool down. Walk for however long you need for initial cool down period.

    Once this mode of HIIT becomes fairly easy to do, you can set the treadmill on an incline to increase intensity even more. I’ve done this for 1 month now and have seen some SERIOUS results!!

    So the HIIT looks like this…

    Warm Up= 5.0 mph for one minute
    First Interval Set= 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 (each for one minute)
    Second Set= 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0
    Third Set= 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0
    Fourth Set= 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, SPRINT FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
    Cool Down= 5.5, 5.0, walk

  11. Hey I wanted to begin HIIT and I am going to start with the beginner 10s sprints. I was wondering, after a couple weeks of that do I to 10s intermediate or 20s beginner? So basically do I try to reduce sprint rest ratio first or increase sprint time first?

      • Thank You for the swift reply. I have a couple of follow up questions: I am starting the Werewolf training for muscle gain program and I was wondering if the HIIT would have a negative impact on muscles gains? If not how many times a week should I do the HIIT? I am 5′ 7″ and 135 lbs and my current body fat is 5.7% (but most of it is around my belly to where I can barely see my abs). My goal with the HIIT is to improve stamina and trim some belly fat. So what do you recommend?

        • HIIT will probably decrease muscle gains a little bit. If you are more concerned with losing fat, use more HIIT. If you are more concerned with gaining muscle, use HIIT only once or twice a week, if at all.

  12. Hey would you please explain the active rest set vs recovery set? My current understanding is that I should jog during the active rest set and walk during the recovery set. Is that correct?

  13. I do Interval training once a week but not on weight training days.
    I love it! I use the treadmill at home and basically sprint for 30 secs on 12.5 speed and rest for 30 secs on 6.0, I do this for about 25 minutes in total.

    My question is, do I consume the came pre workout nutrition as I do when I strength train. That being 1/3 cup of rolled oats, with 1 cup of egg whites and 1/2 cup blueberries?
    Also what about Post workout nutrition. Do I still eat my complex carbs with my protein in that 1 hr meal?

    thanks

    • Since you are using high intensity (interval) training, I would suggest following the same nutrition regimen as on strength training days. Your post workout meal on strength training and high intensity training days should be comprised of about 30-40 grams of high GI carbs (maltodextrin) and 20-25 grams of easily-absorbed protein (whey isolates). If you are specifically trying to lose fat, you can cut the high intensity cardio post-workout shake in half. Then an hour later have your complex carbs + protein whole food meal.

    • Maybe 2, 25 minute HIIT workouts a week depending on your lifting routine, but more importantly I think you need to cut down on total calories and possibly switch some carbs for protein… I don’t know what your diet is like so I can’t really give much advice.

  14. I don’t do weight training, or have a special diet, but I do exercise and watch what I eat. I would like to incorporate HIIT into my routine, because It’s quick and a lot less boring. So how many times a week should I be aiming for?

    • Since you don’t do weight training, you can probably use 5 HIIT sessions a week, as long as you alternate lower and upper body, or use some other split that doesn’t train the same muscle in two consecutive days. Even 3 HIIT workouts a week would be great for you.

  15. Top post Steve. Great to see such an in-depth analysis on a topic I hold close to my heart.
    I’ve been using HIIT for a long time as I enjoy the maximum effort to time in the gym ratio that it allows for :).

    Currently im doing visual impact which finishes off each weights session with 10mins of HIIT for the extra fat burn. It’s been fantastic to say the least.

  16. Thank you for the greta information – I was going through a bad time with no energy or motivation to work out until I came across this website – Im following your example workouts and I love them!
    – Project Swole is the best!!

    I just need to know….who is that Sprinter?!?!

  17. I don’t like the treadmill either, but I can deal with a quick 23min HIIT workout that I designed. After a quick warmup it’s a relatively standard interval. It works for me and it’s the only way I can deal with the dreaded treadmill.

    Also, I would suggest using a heart rate monitor. Part of an effective routine is making sure your hear rate comes down prior to ramping it up again.

  18. Thanks for HIIT info Steve, the website’s great stuff.

    I’ve got a few questions about it. The info says to do HIIT on “off days” which I assume fits into training schedules that use full body work outs.

    So is it possible to use HIIT in combination with a training that splits training different parts of the body on different days of the week. I.e. if you’re weight training shoulders on monday, then back on tues and so on so forth with a rest day mid week, when is the best time to use HIIT if at all possible to use HIIT with this weight training split to reduce body fat %?

    The other question also seems to divide opinion a lot. HIIT on an empty stomach, then meal afterwards or HIIT after having normal training day breakfast with shake afterwards.

    Basically I’m trying to reduce body fat % through diet and training as I’m around 18% at the moment.

    • You can also use HIIT in the morning and weight training at night, or weight training in the morning and HIIT at night. Also consider using 15-20 minutes of HIIT training immediately following a 30-40 minute weight training routine. You should experiment with HIIT on an empty stomach. I find that I get sick when I train too intensely on an empty stomach, but it might work better for you. I prefer to have a small breakfast or protein shake, use HIIT training, then a meal afterwards. Of course now that I’m following an Intermittent Fasting diet, I would probably just add HIIT after my weight training or I would use it on a non-training day, or I might use a lower intensity cardio first thing in the morning and follow it up with 20 grams of BCAAs by drinking 2 servings of XTend in a bottle of water.

  19. Steve, thanks for the website, i t has helped me add more exercises to my routines and helped my overall fitness for sure!

    I’m on a low carb diet (protein and veggies, but way more protein), it works quite well for me, but I”m wondering if adding HIIT will hurt me more than help? My aim is to burn fat. I have already burned 34lbs of it!

    Also, would it be to much to do my current body composition aimed workouts And HIIT 5 days a week? I do also mountain bike one day a week also.

    Thanks a lot, sir!

    • You might run into an overtraining issue if you are lifting intensely and using HIIT 5 days a week. Give it a try, but reduce your overall volume if you start to feel like you are overtraining. One sign of overtraining is weight gain when you think you should be losing weight, so watch for that. You might need to use a couple sessions of endurance cardio like mountain biking if you insist on lifting free weights 5 days a week with maximum intensity.

  20. I’ve been incorporating HIIT workouts to my routine and I love it. Its definitely a change from the regular cardio pace. I end up feeling exhausted in a good way and know I actually burn more calories so I recommend. I do them at night do you think that affects my performance? Or am I over thinking it and it doesn’t matter… huh what do you think?

      • sounds good..thanks for the recommendation but for now it completely fits into my routine. Once I start feeling the exhaustion I will definitely take an active recovery week..it totally makes sense

  21. I’m not really one to do high intensity trainings. While they work for some people, I have ended up doing more harm to my body than good because I just cannot handle it. Instead, I prefer doing lighter exercises such as Karate Table View. It is both more relaxing as well as efficient for me, to be honest.

  22. I’ve tried the HIIT sprinting a few times and I love it. I’m looking to drop weight and I’m looking at a possible 6 day routine and I was hoping for some advice. Let me know what you think.

    Day 1 – Full Body Routine For Men Day 1
    Day 2 – 30 mins HIIT on treadmill
    Day 3 – Full Body Routine For Men Day 3
    Day 4 – 30 mins HIIT on treadmill
    Day 5 – Full Body Routine For Men Day 5
    Day 6 – 30 mins HIIT on treadmill

    • Well I’d like to see you perform your HIIT work off a treadmill, but otherwise I enjoy your routine. You should be able to maintain muscle mass and drop a ton of fat using this split, as long as you have your diet on point.

  23. Thanks. HIIT can also be really simple. I could just say, “Go sprint for 20 seconds, walk for 40 seconds, and repeat. Do it for 20 minutes.” That would work too.”

    Good point, Steve. I do a routine similar to this where I run hard for 1 minute, walk for 2. Repeat for 20 minutes then a 5 minute cool-down walk.

  24. Thanks for the info, it was a very interesting article that has given me a different perspective. I have been trying long cardio workouts, but the thought of an hour running is too demotivating. Especially on a treadmil! I’m planning on giving this a try, as it is similar to what the Army made me do in PT years ago when I needed to lose weight.

  25. If you are making progress, then it is suited to you. Plus there’s the fact that football requires intervals of maximum explosive power. If you’re not the quarterback, football is pretty much 3 hours of HIIT every time you play.

  26. I start off walking at 2.5 then incline to 7.5 and walk another minute. From then on I sprint for 1 minute walk for the next. I progress to faster sprints as i get warmed up. My last 5 are usually around 7mph. I do this for 20 min, then cool down by walking the last 5 on a 3 incline, it really works well for me, and is less boring than just running at the same speed.

  27. Hi Steve,

    I’ll be doing sprinting for HIIT. Will the recovery period be exactly like active rest period, walking? Or staying fixed like sitting down?

    Thanks,
    Gorkem

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