A Beginners Simple Guide to HIIT Workout: What You Need to Know

Hiit workout is an excellent way to keep fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Everyone wants a trimmed, well-toned body. It is an undeniable fact that we all desire the elegant shape of models. We do wonder how they were able to achieve that shape and maintain it. Some of us don’t like our over-sized body, apart from the health issues related to it; you won’t be able to wear those fitted T-shirt and jeans.

There is also the misunderstanding that skipping foods can help you to burn fat. While it is essential to adjust your diet to aid your workout, not eating at all would contribute nothing positive to you losing weight or burning fats.

However, workout or exercise is not just about looking good; it also makes us healthier. By burning those excess fats, you are saving yourself from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

There are a lot of exercises that you can get involved in like cardio, but may not be as effective as HIIT. What HIIT is, its benefits, how you can start, how long it should be, and more will be discussed in this article.

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What is HIIT? 

HIIT refers to High-intensity interval training. It is a type of exercise where you alternate between intense burst of short activities and fixed periods of less intense activities. An example of HIIT is when you switch continuously from running at a very high speed for two minutes to jogging slowly for some time until you decide to stop. HIIT exercise is basically about making your body work harder than it does when you do steady cardio exercise.

HIIT training is not new, but it has not been fully taken advantage of. HIIT helps you to be stronger and more flexible. It also enhances your oxygen consumption, which helps to improve your fitness than moderate exercise. The activities involved with HIIT may include biking, sprinting, rope jumping, or any bodyweight exercises. The time you spend on your exercise and how quickly you recover will depend on the activity you choose and how intensely you exercise.

The rule of HIIT is to work very hard, rest, then work very hard. You don’t need a gym or any equivalent to get started. What you need is an activity that increases your heart rate. If sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 10 seconds is intense for you, go for it.

Why does it matter?

You may be wondering how exercising within a short interval can achieve a great result. It has been scientifically proven. A study by Dr. Izumi Tabata where his subjects cycled intensely for 20 seconds and rested for 10 seconds repeatedly for eight times (five times in a week for six weeks) showed that they improved their VO2 max and their fitness more than those that engaged in moderate intensity for one hour.

The beauty of HIIT is that it doesn’t require a longer period, unlike cardio training, where you will need to run for an hour to see any meaningful changes. Within short periods, HIIT will help improve muscle building, increase circulation of blood, and enhances skin tone.

Benefits of HIIT Workout

HIIT offers a wide range of amazing benefits, which are twice as much as moderate-intensity exercise. From physical to health, here are some of the benefits of HIIT:

HIIT Workout is more effective and efficient

HIIT is the perfect workout for you if you have a very tight schedule. You can squeeze a session of workout during your lunch break and still get results. According to research, 15 minutes of HIIT three times in a week gives you better results than jogging on the treadmill for 60 minutes. Also, a 2011 study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine affirmed that two weeks of HIIT enhances aerobic capacity.

HIIT Workout helps you burn more calories even after you have stopped training

HIIT is very effective for burning calories within a short period. It helps you to consume 25-30% more calories than any other form of exercise. When you are doing HIIT, your body is functioning anaerobically or without oxygen. This causes excess oxygen consumption after the training or EPOC. When you are resting, it will take some time for your body to recover itself. During this period, your body consumes more oxygen, and your metabolism will work at a higher level, thereby burning more calories in the process. 

HIIT Workout improves health conditions 

HIIT has health benefits. It burns both visible fats and visceral fats that compress your internal organs. It improves insulin sensitivity, cholesterol profile, and cardiovascular health. Studies have discovered that HIIT reduces blood pressure in obese people and blood sugar in diabetic people. It also improves insulin resistance. Research has shown HIIT to help reduce the growth of cancer cells.

HIIT Workout boost your brain and fights aging  

Your brain also gains from HIIT. It promotes plasticity, which is essential to the memory and protects the nerve cells.  It is more efficient at impeding aging. This it does by enhancing the production of and synthesis of protein in the body.

You lose weight and build more muscle

Dieting and continuous cardio exercises make you lose your muscle mass as you lose weight. HIIT ensures your weight loss comes from excess fats, thereby preserving your muscles. It produces anabolic hormones that build muscles.

HIIT Workout increases your metabolic rate

Another benefit of HIIT is that it increases your metabolic rate for hours after you have stopped exercising; several studies have proven this. In some studies, HIIT can cause your body to use fat for energy rather than carbs, while another study demonstrated that two minutes of HIIT sprinting could increase metabolism over 24 hours as much as running for 30 minutes. An increase in your metabolic rate helps you to burn more calories after exercise.

HIIT Workout helps you maximize your time

The long hours spent in the gym or workout is the reason a lot of people skip workout. HIIT is done within a few minutes, and research has proved it that you can achieve more within 15 minutes of HIIT than jogging on the treadmill for one hour.

HIIT Workout increases your endurance

HIIT is effective at increasing your endurance. HIIT workouts push your body to its maximum, which increases your heart rate and oxygen consumption. As you continue with the exercises, you will notice that your body can recovers after a workout faster than when you started. This means you can endure longer periods of running or jogging. It will also improve your stamina.

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HIIT workout programs

There are varieties of HIIT workout that you can go for that will suit your individuality. Whatever your goal is, muscle gain, athletic performance, or fat loss, HIIT can help you get the best results. Here are complete workout programs you can choose from: 

Squat jumps

Do squat jumps as fast as you can for 30 to 90 seconds. Make sure your thigh is parallel with the floor and swing your arms up as you jump. After 90 seconds, stand up or walk for 60 seconds. You can squat as many times as you want for each cycle. Repeat for 10 to 20 minutes.

Walk and sprint 

This is a simple HIIT workout. You walk for 30 seconds, sprint for 30 seconds, and walk again for 30 seconds. You can start with 10 cycles and gradually increase your cycle depending on your physical ability and level of your stamina

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Push up

This may not sound new to many. For this HIIT workout, you do 10 pushups per cycle and rest for 30 seconds before you start another cycle. You can complete as many cycles as you want.

Sit-up and jump

For each cycle, do 10 sit-ups, then stand up and jump vertically into the air for 30 seconds or more. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the cycle.

Bike sprint

Using a stationary bike, pedal as fast and hard as you can for 30 seconds, turning your legs quickly. Then, pedal slowly for 60 seconds and increase the speed again. Repeat this 10 to 20 times, depending on the number of cycles you can complete.

Mountain climber

Starting in a pushup position, draw your leg as close as you can towards your chest and repeat with the opposite leg. Do it as fast as you can for 30 seconds and rest for 10 seconds before you start again. You can repeat this for 10 to 20 times.

How you can start and how long should HIIT Workout take? 

You don’t have to push yourself too hard. Since you don’t need any equipment and going to the gym is not that necessary, you can do it anywhere that is convenient for you. You should warm up a little before you get into full action. This will increase blood flow and prepare your body for HIIT.  However, You can get a personal coach to give you a solid foundation and keep you motivated.

There have been different opinions on how long HIIT should be. While some have suggested one hour, some believed it should be less than 30 minutes, while some are of the opinion that it should be more than one hour to get the best result.

Also, another common opinion is that if you spend more than 30 minutes than each session of HIIT, you have not exercised intensely enough, and the afterburn effects would be minimal. However, the time you spend during HIIT depends on each individual to a large extent.

The energy you consume for HIIT is more than what you consume when walking a treadmill. The time interval you spend for each cycle of your HIIT depends on your ability and stamina. If you are starting, you may be getting tired quickly, but as time goes on, you will have the ability to spend a longer time.

The ideal HIIT interval should be 20-30 minutes, but it still depends on you. If you have the capacity for a longer period of HIIT, you can go for it. But if you are not, you can start at your pace and increase the interval gradually. Due to the physical demands of HIIT, you must consult your doctor before you start to confirm there are no health conditions that can put you at risk.

Diet Plan for HIIT

While HIIT is effective at burning calories, building muscle, and improving your stamina, it is necessary to follow a diet plan that will aid your HIIT training.

If you want to burn fats: Your calories should be 500 below 2000 required calories per day, high protein, and high fat should be 40% of total calories, while low carbs should be 20 of total calories.

For muscle gain: Your calories should be 500 to 1000 more than 2000 required calories daily, high carbs should be 45-50%, high protein should be 30-35%, and low-moderate fat should be 15-25% of total calories.

For bodyweight and anaerobic endurance: Your calories should be 2000 required calories per day, moderate carbs of 40%, high protein of 35%, and moderate fat of 25% of the total calories.


A misconception about exercise is that you need to spend long hours to lose weight, build muscle, and stay healthy.  HIIT is the best workout to burn calories and lose weight faster. It is more effective and efficient than a longer period of moderate-intensity exercise. It keeps you fitter and improves your stamina level.

However, to achieve great results during HIIT, it is important to stay motivated and be consistent. It may take time, but with consistency and doing the right things, the results will manifest. In order to stay motivated always, do not compare yourself with others and move with people that will motivate and encourage you to remain focused on your fitness journey. Now that you know about HIIT, you choose the HIIT workout that is suitable for you. You can also combine different HIIT exercises and create your plan. No matter how busy you are to work out, a few minutes of HIIT three to five times a week can give you your desired results.

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