By now you’ve most likely heard about HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. And for a good reason. It’s a highly effective way to burn fat in a very short amount of time. For example, one of the most popular HIIT methods called Tabata training lasts for only 4 minutes!1

But before you drop all of your other training in favor of 4-minute workouts, let’s talk about the following key concepts:

  • What is HIIT?
  • How long should an ideal HIIT workout last?
  • How much HIIT is too much?
  • Potential downsides of HIIT
  • Sample HIIT Workout
  • What is HIIT?


    Without getting too complicated, HIIT simply means that you alternate between a high intensity exercise for a given time and a lower intensity exercise (or rest) for a given time. A great example of a HIIT workout is sprinting at near-maximum speed for 30 seconds, followed by walking for 30 seconds.

    HIIT workouts usually prescribe specific work and rest periods, as well as a given number of rounds to complete. In the above example, 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off equates to a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. And for an intense workout, you could perform a total of 10 sets of sprints.

    Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata popularized the “20 seconds work to 10 seconds rest” interval. And it’s his research that kick-started the whole movement towards HIIT training as a viable alternative to the typical steady state cardio approach.

    What Research Says About HIIT Workouts

    In a study on Olympic speed skaters, Tabata found that a certain type of HIIT training – 8 rounds of maximum intensity 20-second intervals (at 170% of VO2 max) followed by 10-seconds of complete rest – was more effective at increasing the conditioning of his athletes than normal steady state cardio (at 70% of V02 max). This study was performed using stationary bikes.

    Since then, there have been a number of other studies supporting the idea that HIIT is more effective at burning fat than typical steady state cardio (like biking or jogging).2 For example, one study measured the effects of 15-weeks of HIIT versus steady state exercise on young women. While the women in both groups improved their conditioning, only the women in the HIIT group experienced improvements in their weight, body composition, and fasting insulin levels. 3

    Why Is HIIT More Effective At Burning Fat?

    The objective with HIIT workouts is to crank your heart rate up to 85-90% of its maximum so that you are working “anaerobically”, or without oxygen. This leads to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), also known as the afterburn effect, where you’re burning more calories throughout the day because your body has to recover from that intense exercise.

    When you’re jogging at a moderate pace, you’re using a different energy system (aerobic), which primarily uses oxygen to fuel your muscles. In other words, when you go for a casual jog, you don’t induce the afterburn effect and therefore don’t burn any additional calories later in the day.

    An important note to keep in mind – all of the studies on HIIT’s effectiveness have shown that you really need to be close to your maximum heart rate to reap the benefits of HIIT. What this means is, the most effective HIIT workouts are going to be freakin’ HARD.

    How Long Should a HIIT Workout Last?


    This seems to be the million-dollar question these days. According to a popular NY Times article, there is research that supports the idea that all you need is 7 minutes.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had clients tell me they go to hour-long HIIT classes at the gym. To say there is huge variance is an understatement.

    Determining the perfect duration of a HIIT workout requires a bit of experimenting.

    I’ve found that the sweet spot is somewhere in the 20-30 minute range. If your workout lasts any more than 30-minutes, you’re probably not working hard enough to optimize the benefits of HIIT. Any less than 15 minutes, and you probably haven’t spent enough time at that high exertion level to make a meaningful difference.

    Don’t get me wrong, 5 minutes of any exercise is better than sitting on the couch. But if the question is, what is the optimal duration for a HIIT workout to be the most effective, I would say 20-30 minutes.

    There are plenty of other factors that determine what is best for YOU and your lifestyle, but I think that is a good range to shoot for.

    Possible Downside of HIIT Workouts

    1. Too Much Stress

    One potential downside of HIIT workouts is that they are very metabolically demanding and induce a decent amount of stress on the body. The thing with stress is that a little bit is good – stress is what makes us stronger and more fit, but too much stress on the body has potential to cause problems.

    Our bodies don’t differentiate between exercise stress and life stress. If you live a modern lifestyle, you most likely have a lot of other stressors contributing to your total stress levels. Maybe you sit in traffic most days of the week or have challenging relationships at work, or your family and social demands cut into good sleeping patterns. All of these factors influence the ideal frequency and duration of your HIIT workouts.

    My point is that – if you live a busy and stressful life, adding a bunch of 60-minute HIIT workouts every week might be too much.

    Assuming you sleep pretty well and have some kind of stress management system in place (yoga or breathing exercises work really well here), I would say that incorporating 3 days of 20-30 minute HIIT workouts each week is a great target to aim for. Add one heavier lifting session incorporating long rest between sets to ensure you’re building muscle, and you have a really solid workout program to get lean and stay fit.

    Of course, everything depends on your activity level and specific goals.

    2. Not For Muscle-Building

    The other possible downside of HIIT is that, if your goal is to pack on muscle and get really strong, HIIT just doesn’t produce the goods. Interval training is great for fat loss and maintaining muscle mass, but for people who want to get bigger and stronger, lifting heavy weights with good form should be prioritized over HIIT.

    So, if you’re looking to get leaner and stay fit, HIIT is a great option.

    My Favorite HIIT Workouts


    1. 30:45 Sprints

    This is an intermediate to advanced HIIT workout. Perform 5-10 minutes of a dynamic warm-up before starting. You’re going to perform 30 seconds of work followed by 45 seconds of rest.

    Instructions: Complete 15 rounds of the following:

  • Sprint for 30 seconds at near-maximum effort.
  • Walk for 45 seconds.
  • 2. 30:60 Kettlebell Swings

    Start with 5-10 minutes of a dynamic warm-up. You’re going to perform 30 seconds of work followed by 60 seconds of rest.

    Instructions: Complete 10 rounds of the following:

  • Kettlebell swing for 30 seconds at near-maximum effort.
  • Invisible jump rope for 60 seconds.
  • If you have a favorite HIIT that you do, I want to hear about it. Drop me a message in the comments below!



    1. profile avatar
      steven Jul 08, 2016 - 15:40 #

      This isn’t exactly a HIIT workout, but it seems to work for me. I do 60 bodyweight squats (lasting about 2 minutes), followed by 4 deep breaths in and out, then 15 regular pushups, followed by 4 deep breaths in and out. No rest in between sets. I do anywhere from 5 to 10 sets (approximately 15-30 minutes total) depending on how I feel that day. I try to keep my form as perfect as I can. When doing the squats I clasp my hands together and touch my elbows to just above my knees. I find if I go any lower it hurts my hamstrings. I do the pushups fairly slow and steady, going all the way down until my stomach brushes the floor. This workout is generally done in the morning after about 40 minutes of stretching, balancing and core strengthening exercises. so I’m warmed up when I do the workout.

      What do you think of this kind of workout for a 61 year old man who has a sore back and shoulders from sitting in a chair with bad posture for the past 32 years working as an accountant?

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 09, 2016 - 19:18 #

        Hey Steven – that’s a pretty solid morning routine you have. The only thing I would add is some kind of lower body hip dominant exercise (that would be any kind of deadlift variation, hip thrust, or KB swing) and an upper body pulling exercise (row, modified pull-up, lat pull down, etc). You got the quads and pushing muscles taken care of with squats and push-ups, adding the above 2 exercises would help round out your routine. Either way, keep it up, solid work!

        1. profile avatar
          steven Jul 10, 2016 - 11:29 #

          Thanks, Nick. I’ll try those exercises. It should make my workouts more interesting as well as more productive. By the way, great article.

        2. profile avatar
          steven Jul 12, 2016 - 07:44 #

          Nick, I added hip thrusts and standing rows to my workout this morning. 30 hip thrusts (no weights), 20 standing rows with a 20 pound kettle bell, 60 bodyweight squats and 15 pushups. 5 times through with no rest in between. It kicked my butt. It was great! Thank you very much.

        3. profile avatar
          tim Dec 16, 2016 - 05:18 #

          hello nick ive just started trying to use hiit i got the idea from the bbc program
          which says do 20 seconds full sprint then break and repeat 3 times and do this 3 times a week is enough so i did this and after i was exhausted as in i could do no more does that mean i am getting all the benefits of hiit. (is this enough of a workout so in total 3 mins of workout a week)

    2. profile avatar
      Cherry Jul 08, 2016 - 22:18 #

      Hello Marc,

      Nice article every time!

      I wanted to share my HIIT workout routine that I tailored for myself. I have been experimenting on what works for me. 3 months ago I was doing strength training (split body, heavy, low reps) and HIIT 2x per week. Since then I haven’t noticed a drastic change in my body. I don’t do sprints (I hate running!) Also, I am situated in the Middle East where air can be so dry and it makes me wanna vomit running outside.

      I do 20 secs ON, 10 secs OFF, 3 times through. It goes like this:

      Jump Squat + Kick
      Single-leg Jackknife Crunches
      Switchfoot Burpee
      Plank Walks
      Sumo Squats (bodyweight)
      Butterfly Crunch
      Swinging Lunge
      Windshield Wipers
      Mt. Climbers
      Butt Kicks
      High Plank Jacks
      Squat + Side Leg Raise
      Hip Raises
      Warrior Lunge
      Bicycle Crunch
      Double Pulse Lunge
      Cross Punch Crunch
      Lunge Jacks
      Back Bows

      As you can see, I squeezed-in Abs exercises too. I take quick water breaks when I feel the need to. I do this 2x per week, and this goes on for about 30 mins. Do you think this is too intense for the body to work on? I am paranoid that I might burn through my muscles doing too much of it. I am usually out of breath while performing the exercises, but I feel great and more energized after. My primary goal is to lose my belly fat, I am currently at approximately 25% body fat. Apart from this, I also switched my strength training and I’m doing full-body workout 3x per week (light weight, high reps).

      Diet wise, I am on low-carb, high-protein, and 25% of fat daily, with about 200 calories under maintenance.

      Kindly let me know your thoughts. Any advice would be highly appreciated. Thanks!

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 11, 2016 - 21:55 #

        Hey Cherry, you certainly are doing A LOT of exercises! I usually don’t go much above 20 to 25 sets in my workouts and those I recommend for clients, where as it looks like you are doing 60 sets. It all comes down to intensity / volume and it sounds like you are doing low intensity (meaning less weight) and high volume. My preference is having some heavy lifting, mostly moderate lifting, and some high rep, so you get the best of both worlds (See: High Reps vs. Low Reps: Which is Better?). I think following a specific plan to reach your goals is ideal, whether it’s following an exercise / nutrition program on this site (BuiltLean Programs) or finding another one, it will help you channel your energies so you don’t have to worry about structuring the workout yourself and progressing them. It will also give you ideas for structuring your own workouts. Nick did an awesome job writing this article, kudos to him

        1. profile avatar
          Cherry Jul 12, 2016 - 11:05 #

          Hey Marc,
          Yes, I do 60 reps BUT they are all bodyweight. I am under the impression that when you do HIIT workouts, even if you don’t incorporate weights but using 2:1 ratio would still be pretty intense. (Or I’m wrong?). I have been doing HIIT for about 3 months now and consider myself a beginner on this type of exercise, hence I am still uncomfortable adding weights especially on jumping movements, or atleast I haven’t tried yet. However, I would try adding 2lbs on each hand for one round of burpee this week to see how it goes. Challenge accepted ?. Thanks!!!

      2. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:39 #

        Hey Cherry, that looks pretty good. Don’t worry about “burning through your muscles” – resistance training actually have been shown to maintain muscle in a calorie deficit so you’re fine there. Of course, the body fat goal is mostly going to come from the kitchen so keep at that plan and be patient and you should get there! All the best, thanks for sharing..

        1. profile avatar
          Cherry Jul 12, 2016 - 11:18 #

          Hey Nick, nice work on the article! Yes, I am trying hard to adhere on my diet plan while on vacation. Perhaps too much carbs and tummy screaming for help! (Lol) Nevertheless, I will HIIT it up pretty hard this week by adding some weights as Marc advised. Hope it goes well. Thank you and keep inspiring people!

    3. profile avatar
      Hp Jul 09, 2016 - 08:34 #

      Man makers and jump rope

    4. profile avatar
      Mike Jul 09, 2016 - 12:04 #

      Good info. And I finally learned where “Tabata” comes from.

      I listened to Mark Sissin recently and he stated that s HIIT workout should last no more than 8 minutes. Any longer than that and you’re probably not working out hard enough. Which, to my ears, make a lot of sense.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:42 #

        Hey Mike, no worries, happy to share the Tabata story. I don’t disagree with Mark on that. It all comes down to intensity of work period which is going to be specific to the individual. Thanks for the comment!

    5. profile avatar
      Mike Jul 09, 2016 - 12:06 #

      Yeah, “Sissin” is supposed to be “Sisson”. Funny typo though, especially considering he’s a former triathlete. 🙂

    6. profile avatar
      Patrick Jul 09, 2016 - 12:10 #

      I love the gym treadmill so I run for 30secs rest 30 secs for 20 mins. I do this in the am before breakfast.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:43 #

        Nice Patrick, that works great..

    7. profile avatar
      Jeff Toscano Jul 09, 2016 - 12:14 #

      This is a killer HIIT workout. 20 rounds total. Alternating 45 seconds per round. One round of heavy ropes for 45 seconds. Next round of 45 seconds has 20 pushups and what is left is the rest period (about 20 seconds) then back to ropes and so on. (10 rounds on ropes and 10 rounds of pushups/rest). About a 2:1 ratio. Vary heavy rope exercise with circles in then out, slams, single arm waves, double arm waves and arm spreads.

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jul 11, 2016 - 22:00 #

        Wow, this sounds tough!

    8. profile avatar
      Yusuf Jul 10, 2016 - 00:41 #

      Hi Nick,
      thank you very much for your tips and contributions, they always help me,
      My favorite HIIT exercise is a 6 set one, 30s workout and 10s rest, as the following:
      warm up 2-5 mins,
      – burpees 30s
      rest 10s
      – running 30s
      rest 10s
      – jump rope 30s
      rest 10s
      – knee tucks, but alternate leg jump 30s
      rest 10s
      – push ups 30s
      rest 10s
      – frog jumps 30s
      That’s it, I repeat this three times resting one min after each tabata.
      I actually just started doing this exercise last month, I managed to lose 7.5kg in four weeks. I do it three times a week

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:49 #

        You bet Yusuf, glad you’re getting some value out of the content. Nice work on the 7.5kg! The only thing I would mention is that you have a lot of plyometrics in there and when you get fatigued you need to be careful that you don’t put yourself at risk for injury. Start with the harder ones – burpees, knee tucks, etc. – and then finish with the jump rope and push-ups so if you do get tired, you’re less likely to get injured. make sense? Keep it up!

    9. profile avatar
      Jerry Jul 10, 2016 - 08:18 #

      I have been doing following routine and has worked well for me. Each exercise 30-35 seconds followed by 20-25 second rest.
      1. Stationary high knee jog- helpful to have box for foot tap. 2×35 sec
      2. Box jump 2×35 sec
      3. Ab bycycle- will switch to other an exercises as well. 2×35 sec
      4. 1 arm kettle ball swings 2x aternatw arm on 2nd
      5. Burpees with knee tuck jump 2×30 sec.
      Then I rest for 3 minutes- maybe walk on treadmill. That is 1 round and try to do 3 rounds. Total workout lasts about 30 minutes – give or take on how long I take between rounds.

    10. profile avatar
      Artur Herbas Jul 10, 2016 - 14:28 #

      Great article, started doing HIIT because of you guys a few months ago.
      I have a specific kind of workout that I do at home: I run climbing up the stairs (about 9 stories, usually takes close to a minute) and then go down with the elevator and rest for a bit (2 minutes of rest) and then I start again. It’s really difficult to do it more than 5 times!
      It’s a lot harder than workouts on the treadmill, especially when you take your time to climb using every step of the stairs.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:52 #

        Stair workouts are killer Artur! You also get a little more glute engagement with stairs that you don’t get with the treadmill which is a nice bonus. Keep it up and keep us posted!

    11. profile avatar
      Samuel Jul 10, 2016 - 20:55 #

      Sometimes I do HIIT following my heart rate monitor. I’ll go at max effort until my heart rate gets to 90%, then maintain 90% (or slightly above) for 10 seconds or so and then stop for a break. My break lasts until my heart rate drops 30 to 40 BPM and then I go again.

      The duration of effort and rest changes throughout duration of the workout. When I start it takes longer to reach 90% and shorter time to recover, and as I get tired towards the middle/end of the workout session, it takes a shorter time to reach 90% and longer time to recover.
      You really need to be tuned to yourself when working that hard, but this form of exercise made me super strong over the past year and I would highly recommend it to anyone who can do it. It is definitely not for everyone thought!!!!

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:58 #

        I like that Samuel, that sounds intense too!

    12. profile avatar
      Anthony Jul 10, 2016 - 23:33 #

      My personal favorite is jump rope. For beginner, I recommend 1:2 (usually 30 seconds skipping and 1 min rest)
      For intermediate 1:1 (1 min each)
      For advanced (my personal choice) 2:1 (1 min work, 30 sec rest)

      Burpees are also a great option that work the entire body.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 22:56 #

        Jump rope is great – simple, travel friendly and deceptively hard. I find that burpees can work well for some people, but I’ve found proper form can really get sloppy when people are fatigued, especially without a strong core and good squat mobility. Thanks for the comment Anthony!

    13. profile avatar
      Gary B. Jul 11, 2016 - 09:47 #

      I stumbled onto HIIT before it was even an acronym. The source was a mountain bike and the driveway and trails on my 23 acres. I wore a Polar HRM to watch heart response during the circuit. At 58 years old, my goal was to achieve theoretical max HR (162bpm). To do this, I had to “walk the pedals” like a stair stepper up small hills with a steady incline to the end of length 1 for HR peak. Then, on the way back, the decline allowed the HR to recover for about twice as long. So, HR cycle continued to escalate with every lap performed. At 30 minutes, I would achieve a peak HR of 178bpm with a recovery low of 138bpm. I only used 2 gears of the 21 speed MT Bike, since walking the pedals out of the saddle was least disruptive to momentum. Lost 25 pounds in 2 months as a result (with dietary changes, too). The problem: Winter in Michigan causes a 15 pound relapse for most of us, so all that work is lost. We really need help in Michigan to keep from weight relapse during Winter. I also do HIIT at the local Aquatic Center with Butterfly laps, rest 30 seconds, etc. HIIT is how most animals operate in nature if you study their motion.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 23:00 #

        Absolutely Gary, it’s all about high intensity and rest out in “nature.”Thanks for sharing!

    14. profile avatar
      Jean Jul 11, 2016 - 13:55 #

      Nick, great article. My question is how may times a week should you perform a hit workout?

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 11, 2016 - 23:04 #

        Hi Jean, thanks. It really depends on what other exercise you are doing and what kind of lifestyle “stressors” you deal with weekly. Of course, you’re exercise history also matters greatly as well. For beginners, I would say 1-2 per week is a good start. I’ve found that most people get great results with 3 HIIT workouts per week. Hope that helps!

    15. profile avatar
      Daniel Reynolds Jul 12, 2016 - 18:26 #

      Thanks. Great article.
      I’ve been doing 30 minute sessions on an elliptical, 30 seconds all out 60 at moderate pace, a bit of time for warm up and cool down. Every few days cut that down to 15 minutes and then do 15-20 minutes of kettlebells or clean and jerk

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 12, 2016 - 22:29 #

        Hey Daniel – I appreciate it and thanks for sharing. I’ve never been able to really crank my heart rate as high as I want to using an elliptical. I always feel awkward and off balance when I go all out! Have you ever tried an airdyne bike? If you have access to one, I would give it a shot for your next HIIT.

    16. profile avatar
      Dean Jul 14, 2016 - 08:43 #

      How is it possible to perform at 170% of your VO2 max? If the measure is a maximum, how can you perform above that level? Everything that I have read so far usually says HIIT should be performed at 85-90% capacity. What am I missing here or not understanding? Thanks.

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 21, 2016 - 12:21 #

        Hey Dean, good question. Here’s the deal – VO2 max is a measure of how your body consumes oxygen during exercise. It’s generally a measure your “aerobic” fitness, again we’re talking about oxygen. When you are doing high intensity exercise, like a short sprint for example, you are working “anaerobically”, without oxygen. So it’s very possible that when you are at 85-90% capacity (here we’re talking % of maximum heart rate) that you can be well over 100% VO2 max.
        That make sense?
        At the end of the day, I wouldn’t worry too much about the specific numbers. Here’s a better way to determine if your intensity periods are high enough – if you can talk or tell a story, it’s not intense enough. When you have the “gasping for air” sensation, that means you’re working anaerobically. Hope that helps Dean!

    17. profile avatar
      Markus Jul 16, 2016 - 10:18 #

      5 mins. warmup (brisk walking), 10 crunches, 10 pushups, 10 pullups/chins, 10 deadlifts at 50% max (no rest in between sets), 1 min. slow walking, whole circle x 3, 2-3 times a week (53 years old). The idea behind: a combination of whole body workout and cardio (for muscle maintainance and fatloss)

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Jul 21, 2016 - 12:25 #

        Hey Markus, I like it. The only addition I’d make is some kind of squatting movement. Maybe add some goblet squats to the mix? That would give you both a quad dominant exercise and improve your lower body mobility as well. Other than that, keep it up and thanks for sharing!

        1. profile avatar
          Markus Aug 09, 2016 - 12:58 #

          Hey Nick, thanks for the advice. I thought I was “all in” with the deadlift (inc. quads), but i’ll definitely give the goblet squats a try!

    18. profile avatar
      Pamela Jul 23, 2016 - 18:58 #

      Why you can’t alternate body-building with HIIT?

    19. profile avatar
      chopstix Aug 14, 2016 - 14:35 #

      question…what of a 50 plus yr old guy getting back into fitness after a 6 mo hiatus…is it best to get general conditioning (4x/week weights and moderate aerobics each section is 30-45 min/day) and then when you have a base in the 2nd month to introduce ihit? and then how often …2x/week?…i have a signif leg lenth diff, scoliosis and stenosis so running isn’t comfortable on the right side (longer leg side)…would love more links for 50plus people too…there is a growing host of us who want to remain in great shape into our later yrs.

    20. profile avatar
      Tam Oct 24, 2016 - 21:43 #

      Just what I needed to read…I am what you call skinny fat…been doing cardio + restricting calories for the last 6 weeks but have had next to no change in my body composition. Last week I began HIIT 20mins 3x per week and strength training twice per week and I tell you what, this is the first week where I am feeling it work thanks for the great article.

      1. profile avatar
        Kristin Rooke, CPT Oct 25, 2016 - 11:16 #

        Hi Tam,

        So glad to hear you’re experiencing the physique changes you want! Yes, HIIT and strength training are incredibly effective at building a lean and strong body. Keep up the good work!

        -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

    21. profile avatar
      Mushtaq Alzuhairi Nov 12, 2016 - 14:27 #

      I go up and down the stairs for 30 sec and rest for 30 sec. I usually do 10 min of it post workout but according to this article this is not enough so ill try to push it up to 20.

    22. profile avatar
      Eve Dec 08, 2016 - 16:01 #

      I love HIIT. Find it to be the most challenging fat burning activity. As a person who loves running but also like lifting weights to get cut up it can be hard to keep a balance of enough muscles verses losing extra fat. I use 1:00 high intensity to :30 seconds rest mostly but have tried other interval times as well. Here are a set of workouts I do that for me are pretty hard and kick my ass.
      2 Jumping jacks proceeding 2 high jumps
      Bear crawls
      Jumping lunges
      Lizard push-ups
      Burpees with jumps
      Jumping squats
      Mountain climbers
      Those are some of the workouts I use hiit!

      1. profile avatar
        Kristin Dec 08, 2016 - 16:36 #

        That sounds like a great workout! Good exercise selection, and definitely tough with 1 minute of work and only 30 seconds of rest. I’m not surprised that workout kicked our butt – it’d kick mine too! Keep up the great work.

        -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

    23. profile avatar
      Hannah Dec 23, 2016 - 12:37 #

      One of the best HIIT workouts I ever did was in preparation for rugby. We had an indoor 200M track so I would start about halfway across the short side (just where there was a little workout area) jog the long side, accelerate the short side, sprint the long side. Slow down coming into the area, then do 10 pushups. I would keep doing this as a ladder for the pushups so it was 10,8,6,4,2,2,4,6,8,10. Absolutely dead by the end of it, with the combination of jogging sprinting and strength. It also ended up being about a mile of sprinting and 60 pushups. Really got me in shape for both jogging and being able to immediately sprint then use force, for anyone that knows stuff about rugby it’s pretty much jog, sprint, hit for 80 minutes.

      1. profile avatar
        Kristin Dec 26, 2016 - 11:49 #

        That sounds like an awesome workout, Hannah! I’m definitely going to add that to my workout routine. I’ve been looking for an effective and fun sprint workout, and this one sounds perfect. Thanks!
        -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

    24. profile avatar
      Metka Dec 30, 2016 - 12:26 #

      I have been doing hiit with 5 exercises in the workout. Usually I was doing an exercise around 8 times (20/10) and than moved to another exercise. By that I was really tired when the exercise was finished. I wonder if I would get the same result if I did every exercise once and that repeated that 8 times (still 20 min total)? I tried that once, but at the end I wasnt that tired as usually. Is it the same if I just want to lose fat? What about if I want to gain muscle?

      1. profile avatar
        Nick Holt Dec 30, 2016 - 15:43 #

        Hey Metka! Good question. Really depends on what exercise you are doing. You want to really push the intensity on the work period and if you do 2 exercises that work the same body part, you wont be able to push as hard. That make sense?

        I like to do an upper body exercise (let’s say a push-up or row) and combine it with a lower body exercise (say a squat or KB swing) and alternate between those 2 moves for the duration of the HIIT. I would say that’s the best for fat loss.
        If you’re looking to gain muscle, I would switch out a HIIT workout and do more of typical strength training set where you are doing heavier weights, set reps somewhere in the 8-12 range, and resting longer between sets. Of course nutrition on both the fat loss goal (slight calorie deficit) and the muscle gain goal (calorie surplus) would have to be on point as well.
        Hope that helps!!

    25. profile avatar
      Barney Foley Dec 30, 2016 - 15:07 #

      Hello! I’m just starting to review your material and it looks fantastic!
      I’ve just started this program based on your articles and am on the waiting list to actually start the program.
      My question is about HIIT.
      I have a back issue that prohibits my doing sprints, bicycling, and most aerobic workouts. I am able to use a recumbent stationary bike and will be doing the HIIT workouts on that.
      My question/s is/are:
      – How many times per week should I be doing the HIIT workouts?
      – I was thinking of doing HIIT on MWF and then a stretching workout I use (Tai Cheng) on Tue/Thu/Sat. Is that OK?
      – I thought I’d do them in the mornings and then a weight training workout at lunch. Is that advised?



      1. profile avatar
        Kristin Dec 30, 2016 - 15:24 #

        That sounds like a great approach, Barney. You can absolutely do HIIT on a recumbent bike. In terms of how often you should do HIIT, I would recommend starting with 1-2 HIIT workouts per week for the first 2-3 weeks to allow your body to adapt to more intense workouts. Listen to your body, and if you feel like your body is ready for more, add another day of HIIT.

        Alternating between HIIT workouts and stretching is a great way to keep your body limber and injury-free while doing more intense training. And you can definitely do HIIT in the morning, and a strength workout later in the day. Pay attention to how you feel during your strength workouts though – HIIT is intense and can take a lot of energy out of you. If you notice that you’re not as strong during your strength workouts after doing morning HIIT, consider doing strength and HIIT on alternate days.

        Does that all make sense? Let me know if you have more questions.

        -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

      2. profile avatar
        Tim C. Jan 01, 2017 - 19:31 #

        Hi Barney. I read your comment and wanted to express how great your workouts will be on the Builtlean program and my experience with it. I am currently on week 5 of the program and am loving every minute of it. I am sure you will too.
        As far as the HIIT question, their workouts get your heart rate plenty high, especially the finishers at the end of the workout.
        Also their workouts are very effective at targeting many muscle groups. I notice that various movements I do on a daily basis at work are becoming easier. My body overall is moving better and I am increasing strength.
        The warmups as well as cool downs they do also include stretching. No doubt with your experience in a stretching regimen already that part will be a breeze for you. Have fun with their program. Take care.

        1. profile avatar
          Kristin Jan 02, 2017 - 11:19 #

          Thanks for sharing your experiences with BuiltLean Transformation, Tim! It’s awesome that you’re finding that daily life activities have gotten easier. Keep up the great work, and Happy New Year!
          -Kristin, BuiltLean Coach & Managing Editor

    26. profile avatar
      Ankur Singh Jan 09, 2017 - 01:49 #

      My HIIT is as follows :
      1A : Barbell Deadlift (12reps, 3 sets, 45 secs between sets)
      1B : Dumbbell Bench Press (12reps,3sets, 45 secs between sets)
      2A : Dumbbell Reverse Lunges (12reps, 3 sets, 45secs bw sets)
      2B : Barbell Shoulder Military Press (12reps, 3sets, 45secs bw sets)
      3A : Goblet Squat ( 12reps, 3sets, 60secs bw sets)
      3B : Kettlebell Swing ( 12reps, 3sets, 30secs bw sets)
      4A : Decline Dumbbell Fly (12reps, 3 sets, 45secs rest)
      4B : Decline Dumbbell Pullover (12reps, 3sets, 45secs rest )
      It takes around 45 – 50 mins. At the end of workout i am sweated and feel a bit exhausted (eyes feeling closing down, body demanding water) and i dont take any meal for next 1 hour.
      I am feeling that i should decrease rest time between sets in 1A,1B,2B,3B,4A,4B to 20 secs and 30 secs for 2A. However Squats really make me feel like vomiting if i try to increase the reps or decrease the rest time.
      Your suggestions are most welcome, but these are the only exercises i want to do in my HIIT, cant go for running cycling etc etc.
      No stress in my lifestyle, Healthy eating proper sleeping is there.
      Main aim : Shredding fat at first, once thats done, building a medium toned physique

      1. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jan 16, 2017 - 18:55 #

        Hi Ankur, if you want to lose body fat, it’s mostly a nutritional challenge. I recommend creating more precision with your nutrition regimen. If you decrease rest between exercises, that will help make the session more effective, but you also don’t want to make yourself feel like you are going to throw up. Consider moving the KV swings until the end of the workout as they are a challenging exercise to combine with squats.

    27. profile avatar
      Ankur Singh Jan 17, 2017 - 01:17 #

      Thanks for response Marc, as per the body adaptations i have modified the workout session as :
      1A Barbell Deadlift (3 sets, 12reps, 10 secs rest)
      1B Dumbbell Bench Press (3 sets, 12reps, 15secs rest)
      2A Dumbbell Reverse Lunge ( 3sets, 12 reps, 15secs rest)
      2B Barbell Military Press ( 3sets, 12reps, 15secs rest )
      3A Goblet Squat ( 3sets, 12 reps, 45secs rest)
      3B Dumbbell Single Arm Row( 3 sets, 12 reps, 15secs rest)
      4A Barbell Good Morning (3sets,12reps, 15 secs rest)
      4B KV Swing( 3 sets, 12reps, 10secs rest)
      5A Dumbbell Row Incline Prone (3sets, 12 reps, 20secs rest)
      5B Incline Dumbbell Fly (3 sets, 12reps, 20 secs rest)
      Between two supersets a rest of 60 secs.
      Enough of sweating and pumped up heartbeat.
      I am comfortable as well as pushing myself in this workout form, and nutrition is wholly balanced with minimum amounts of fat and carbs and maximum amount of green leafy and protein rich food, milk etc.

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