Everything that you’ll ever need to know about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Written by

At Gym Geek, we're passionate about fitness. Our team of experts provide workout plans, challenges and nutritional facts to help you get the most out of your workouts. Start living a healthier, happier life today with Gym Geek!

Follow Gym Geek on X/Twitter

When it comes to burning fat and improving our stamina, our health, and our fitness in general, obviously cardio exercise is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and for good reason too.

Cardio burns fat, it increases our energy, it boosts our metabolisms, and it improves our mental health and well-being as well.

Rather than just simply hopping on a treadmill or exercise bike, or going for a four mile jog around your local area however, why not consider a few different and slightly more unique examples of cardio based exercise instead, HIIT for example?

What exactly is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training is basically a training technique based upon cardiovascular exercise, which requires an individual to alternate between periods of slow and controlled low intensity exercise, to periods of fast paced high intensity exercise.

Alternating between periods of low and high intensity exercise is extremely beneficial in a variety of different ways. Some of these include:

It increases the metabolism

Our metabolisms are responsible for taking calories stored fat and food that we consume, and converting them into glucose which is then used by the body as a form of energy.

The faster our metabolisms are, the more fat we’ll burn, the less fat we’ll store, and the more energy we’ll have as a result.

The great thing about HIIT is that it temporarily boosts the metabolism for several hours after your workout, which means that not only do you burn calories during your workout, you also burn more calories for several hours after your workout as well.

It’s over quickly!

One of the main things that tends to put people off from cardio is the fact that it’s often so boring and that it tends to drag on for so long.

  • The average cardio session on a treadmill, in which people will jog at a moderate pace for around one hour, will burn roughly 400 – 500 calories on average.
  • The average HIIT workout, which lasts no more than 30 minutes max, has the potential to burn around 700 calories, so not only will you burn roughly 200 more calories, but you will also be finished in half the time.

What is a typical HIIT workout?

Ok, so we’ve looked at the basic premise behind HIIT, as well as a couple of the more popular advantages, but what about an actual sample workout itself?

Well, look no further as here we’ll be providing a typical treadmill based HIIT workout, although in reality HIIT can be applied to almost any form of exercise:

  • After warming up, begin by getting on a treadmill and walking at a slow and steady pace for around 90 seconds.
  • Next, crank up the speed of the treadmill and sprint at around 90% maximum effort for between 30 – 60 seconds, depending on your overall fitness levels.
  • After the 30 – 60 seconds have passed, slow the speed back down and walk again for another 90 seconds before repeating again.
  • Repeat this process for around 8 – 10 rounds on average, and by the end of the workout you should be feeling truly exhausted.

Gym Geek Community