High Intensity Interval Training
Future of Fitness

Turbulence Training E-bookFind out why high intensity interval training (HIIT) is so popular, and how you can introduce HIIT into your life.

HIIT is simply a high intensity interval followed by a low intensity interval (recovery), which is repeated several times. That's the whole workout, it can be used with any cardiovascular exercise, as we'll see.

All intervals are very short, usually between 15 and 45 seconds, although the low intensity intervals can be longer depending on your fitness level.

Different forms of interval training have been successfully used for years and years, mainly by athletes.

But they've never actually made it to our homes and gyms, as mainstream methods of improving fitness and burning fat, until now.

What's so special about high intensity interval training?

Well HIIT has advantages that fit into our busy lifestyles pretty well:

  • Workouts are very short - can be between 5 and 20 minutes, including the warm up and cool down.
  • HIIT burns fat 9 times faster than long periods of moderate cardio exercise. Several studies have shown HIIT to be extremely effective at burning fat, during and after each workout.
  • The boredom factor doesn't kick in, as each workout is short. And when you quickly see results, your motivation to continue will rocket.
  • HIIT works both aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) body systems. Improving your overall fitness much more efficiently.
  • Interval workouts are well suited for sports where you are constantly stopping and starting. You can adapt your HIIT workouts to mirror the activity in your sport.

High Intensity Interval Training
Getting Started

Anyone can start doing high intensity interval training, either by replacing your existing workouts or in addition to them.

Avoid Injury SideNote

HIIT is by no means "easy exercise". The high intensity means that if you've had health problems, you should start with less intense exercise. See your health professional if you're worried.

If you don't have any health problems, but haven't exercised for a while, I recommend starting by gradually building your base fitness with moderate exercise.

After a couple of weeks, try including some high intensity interval training with short sprints (15 seconds), followed by longer rests (90 seconds). Build from there.

Some people say that HIIT isn't for everyone. I disagree. I admit, yes it is hard exercise. But everyone can adapt it into their lifestyle to suit them.

This is the crucial point, adapt your HIIT workout to suit your body. It's so important, because if you do too much too soon, you'll get disheartened and think it's not for you.

Just like any new exercise, start slow and build from there.
A good starting point is:

  • Warm up (4 minutes).
  • a. 15 second sprint (approx. 90% maximum effort),
    a. 60 second walk,
  • b. 15 second sprint (approx. 90% maximum effort),
    b. 60 second walk,
  • c. 15 second sprint (approx. 90% maximum effort),
    c. 60 second walk,
  • d. 15 second sprint (approx. 90% maximum effort),
    d. 60 second walk,
  • Cool down (5 minutes).

That's 4 intervals and total workout time of 14 minutes. Do that 2 or 3 times a week, with "rest days" in-between.

You could do some strength training exercises, or any other non-cardio exercise like pilates, on your rest days from high intensity interval training.

Don't be put off if 4 intervals is too much to start with. Simply cut it down to 2 or 3 intervals, and build from there.

Progress by either:

  • Increasing sprint interval time (to a max. of 45 seconds),
  • Decreasing rest interval time (5 seconds at a time),
  • Increasing the number of intervals (build up to a max. of 10 intervals).

Make sure you only change 1 of the above factors at a time. Small, gradual changes will keep you injury free and progressing at the fastest pace.

High Intensity Interval Training
Which Cardio?

As high intensity interval training is basically a form of cardio exercise, you can apply it to any cardio workouts - cycling, jumping rope, rowing, stepping... and so on.

In fact, the same principles of HIIT (short periods of alternating high intensity exercise and rest), can be applied to any exercise.

Click here for info on high intensity whole body circuit training - alongside HIIT, they are the ultimate fat burning machine.

As soon as you get started with high intensity interval training, you'll instantly feel the pain and the pleasure!

Pain towards the end of the workout (lasting about 2 minutes), and pleasure after the workout for like a day. Well that's how I feel anyway!

You'll also notice that keeping time gets tricky the more fatigued you get. Check out the Gymboss Interval Timer (ships worldwide). It'll beep or vibrate at each interval that you set.

High Intensity Interval Training

Turbulence TrainingCraig Ballantyne is the author of "Turbulence Training", an e-book that focuses on HIIT. You can download his free 4-week bodyweight turbulence training workout - simply right click on the book and "save target/link as".

Craig was one of the first guys to pick up on the "high intensity exercise" benefits. He's since developed many great resources for high intensity workouts, you can find them all at TTMembers.com, enjoy.

Here's another idea for using HIIT:

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