High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with the less intense recovery period. The HIIT sessions vary from 4-30 minutes. It can be applied to running or to exercises such as squatting. Scientific literature shows that HIIT can burn adipose tissue 50% more effectively than low-intensity exercise.
How does HIIT compare to other training methods?
High-Intensity Interval Training is much more effective than regular cardio for accomplishing accelerated fat loss and improve aerobic and anaerobic endurance. It will give you very fast results in a very short period.
Constant change which allows for higher intensity is the key to HIIT, and it stimulates the body in such a way that cannot be equaled by other cardio workouts.
“The reason that High-Intensity Interval Training works better for fat loss is this: When you do a cardio session at the same pace the whole time, your body goes into what is called steady state. This means that your body has adjusted itself to the speed you are going and tries hard to conserve energy (calories). You will be able to avoid this and burn more calories and FAT by doing the interval training.”
Canadian researchers found that HIIT cardio helped trainees lose nine times more fat than the others who trained the traditional way. Westerblad, a muscle and exercise physiologist, says that when a muscle cell receives a signal to contract, ryanodine receptors which are like tiny pumps open up.
From the holding places, the calcium is poured within the cell into the cellular fluid. The high concentration of calcium signals the muscle cell to contract. If you scale this up for all the muscle cells the whole muscle flexes.
This process which occurs in your muscle cell when you do HIIT brings in faster and desirable results.
HIIT produces great improvements than endurance training in the maximum amount of oxygen a person could consume. This measure is commonly used for cardiovascular health. Scientific literature says these gains in maximal oxygen is called VO2 max (peak oxygen uptake) which means better health.
To be in the top form you have to be fit and this includes even the celebrities. Here are the workout plans of some top personalities who have walked through the hall of fame.
David Beckham’s HIIT workout plan
“While he is still a global icon, it wasn’t long ago that David Beckham was considered one of the best soccer players in the world,” writes Adam Bornstein in Born Fitness. His tough workout routine is what it takes to be a professional football player.
(The 60s on, 60s off)
Source: Workout Muse
- Sprint-sprint shuttle
- Sprint- backpedal shuttle
- Lateral shuffle shuttle
- Lateral shuffle- crossover run shuttle.
Star trainer Kayla Istines HIIT workout plan
The Instagram sensation Kayla Istines who has an insanely toned tanned body is an inspiring 23-year-old personal trainer from Adelaide, Australia. She became a sterling international fitness sensation after she released her first Bikini Body Guide this January 2016, since then she has amassed 1.6 million Instagram followers.
- Medicine ball squat and press
- Laydown pushups
- Tricep dips
- Mountain climbers
- Ab bikes
- Sit-ups with twist
- Straight-leg sit-ups.
Angelina Jolie’s HIIT workout plan
The beautiful Angie’s best physique was in the Tomb Raider and Mr. and Mrs. Smith movies. The training period was a rather intense one. For her role in Tomb Raider, she trained six days per week and 6-7 different disciplines a day for her portrayal as the stunning Lara Croft.
The workout included
- Wide dumbbell squats
- Forward lunges
- Side lunges and twist
- Squat and press
- Stability ball leg curls
- Cable lateral pulldowns
- Dumbbell rolls
- Dumbbell bicep curls
- Close bicep curls
- Reverse crunches
- 30 seconds of mountain climbers, jump rope.
You can check out Angelina’s whole HIIT workout at watchfit.com.
The Ultimate Total HIIT for Beginners
HIIT- Cardio for Beginners
This cardio HIIT is a 10-minute workout; you’ll have to do 40 seconds of exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest. In those 40 seconds do as many reps as you can.
Get ready with hands on hips, abs pulled in, and shoulders down, feet shoulder width apart.
Do ten mini squats with weight in your heels.
Lift your knees up to hip height and repeat.
Back to the mini squats. Raise your hands when you stand and bring it down when you squat.
Keeps your arms going and now lift your knees.
Do the mini squats with increased speed.
Keep your hands and knees on the floor and your feet up. Do the pushups for 40 seconds.
Increase your speed and repeat for 40 seconds.
Do a squat step into the middle and do a squat the other side. Do these reps for 40 seconds.
Dip and bridge
Keep your arms behind you and take one dip and one bride up. Repeat.
Bend buff legs, stand up and alternate your legs.
Keep your elbow underneath your shoulder, knees in line, lift up and hold. Come down and repeat. Alternate sides.
Squat and lift your knee and kick. Repeat for 40 seconds.
Jump rope out and in. Increase the speed as you go.
Keep your elbows down, pull your hips under you and up. Look in front of you. Move your ribcage.
HIIT Tank Top Arms Workout
Tutorial: Fitness Blender
You’ll be doing seven different exercises at 50-second intervals.
Things needed: Dumbbells.
Warm up before you start.
Toning Trio- Arms, shoulders and upper back
Bring your arms straight, shoulder high. Roll the elbows back behind you and relax. Keep your back straight.
Bicep curls + 2 hooks
Do a traditional bicep curl. Bring your arms nice and wide and make a hook motion.
Reverse fly pulses for posture- Bend and keep your back flat. Slightly bend your knees. Do the fly pulses motion with both your hands.
Chest squeeze and overhead press combo
Bring elbows to shoulder high. First, make a chest squeeze motion and bring the dumbbells straight up your shoulders.
Windmill + Tricep Extensions
Bring your arms laterally straight about your sides. Bring your hands straight back behind. Lift up and slowly bring your arms down.
Keep your arms straight from the shoulder. Make a circle along the shoulder joints. Do the circles in a constant pattern and motion. Switch directions.
Single arm fly
Come into a side lunge squat with your left elbow on top of the knee. Your chest parallels to the wall. Open your right arm up and bring it down to the left hand. Switch sides.
HIIT Workout for Abs and Obliques (Variation 1)
Source: Fitness Blender
Slow butt kickers + Arm swings
Bring your heels up to your butt and swing your arms.
Lateral jumps (60 seconds)
Jump back and forth, side to side to warm up the muscles.
Switch to the butt kickers (60 seconds.)
Toe Touch Jacks (60 seconds.)
Squat, touch your toes and come to a jumping jack position.
For each workout, you have to be active for 20 seconds and take 10 seconds rest. Do 3 reps of two rounds each.
Keep your legs as straight as you can and flutter back and forth. Press your back against the floor.
Bring your right elbow to the left knee and the left elbow into the right knee altering back and forth.
Keep your feet moving nice and fast. Bring your knee up to your chest as high you can.
Toe Touching Crunches
Keep your legs as straight as you can. Slowly crunch up and try to touch your toes.
Keep your feet on the ground. Lean back and rotate your shoulders from left to right.
Take active rest for 2 minutes and start the workout again.
Belly Fat Burner- HIIT (Variation 2)
Tutorial- Fitness Blender
Workout structure- 20 secs on and ten secs off
Three times through with each exercise and no equipment needed.
Do a burpee with X at the bottom and X at the top.
2 Jack Jumps + 4 High Knees
Do two jumping jacks followed by four knee raises using alternate legs.
Flutter kick squats
Hop forward, backwards and sideways and do a squat.
Do a burpee followed by two jumps and repeat.
This exercise is a simple cardio move. You can take a water break.
Do butt kickers as quickly as you can.
Cursty Jump Lunge
Move your leg crosswords and do a jump.
Up and Out Jacks
Jump and swing your arms, front, and sideways.
Do static squats gently.
3, 2, 1 Lunges
Make the lunges to the count of three.
HIIT Total Body Burn Workout For Beginners
Try the plank walks and jumping jacks for warm up.
Squat/Hammer Curl/Shoulder Press
Chest up, squat, squeeze curl, press it up and all the way back down.
Move your legs apart and row in the dumbbells.
Do jumping jacks.
Curtsy –Chop With Squat
Hold a dumbbell with both your hands do a squat followed by a curtsy.
Arms overhead and smash over your knees.
Circuit 2 Lunge with Chop
Forward lunge and then make the chop motion with your hands. Switch sides.
Plie Squats/Triceps Extension
Hold one dumbbell with both hands, move your hands from behind your neck to the front and do a squat.
Tap your toes from side to side.
Take one of your dumbbells and do a pop squat.
Double hop and squat
Hop and squat and try to reach the floor.
Plie Squat/Curl/Overhead Press
Do these exercises with your dumbbells.
Single leg row
Foot back, squeeze your shoulder blades together and look down. Do a rowing movement. Switch legs.
Push and swish to the other side.
Triceps Kickback With Toe-Tap
Toe tap and move your hands. Alternate sides.
Quick feet to High Feet
Move your legs as though you’re in hot sand.
Do a burpee stand up and squeeze.
Use your dumbbells, bend, stand up and curl.
Mountain Climbers with Hold
Do mountain climbers and a hold.
Squat with reverse chop
Finish off your workout in style with the jumping jacks.
HIIT Chest and Back Strength Workout
Tutorial: Millionaire Hoy
You can modify this workout just by using dumbbells and yoga mat.
Start warming up by jumping ropes, followed by light jogging.
Increase the speed and start doing high knees.
Do the jumping jacks for 20 seconds.
Hands up, do a jump and touchdown. Alternate sides.
Flex your right knee and kick your right heel up towards your glutes. Bring your feet down. Alternate sides.
Rotate your neck from one side to the other.
Stretch arms out and do small circles. Repeat in the opposite direction.
Bring your right arm into your left elbow and stretch. Fold both your arms back and stretch. Alternate sides.
Bend down and rotate your right arm clockwise. Rotate anticlockwise. Alternate sides.
Do a palm stretch keeping your arms in the front. Repeat backwards.
Take a water break.
Do regular pushups in increasing order.
Bent back flys
Step forward with your right leg, do a slight bend and flap your arms. You can use dumbbells for this exercise. Alternate sides.
DB Chest Press
Lie down on a yoga mat and do pushups with dumbbells.
Bend your right leg forward and left leg backwards and do push up with your left hand. Switch sides.
Place your legs on a high surface like a table or a firm sofa and do pushups.
Grab the pull-up bar and move up and down with your whole body. Keep your arms wide and your legs one over the other.
Start like a regular pushup. Shift your weight back, so that your hips come up. Swoop your way down and look up. Try to take the same path back.
Lie down on a high surface. Stretch one of your arms and lift weights using the other. Switch sides.
Sit in an inclined position and lift weights with both hands. You can repeat using dumbbells.
Come up in the pull-up bar, move left, move right, middle and come down.
Come to plank position, walk back with your hands and do a pushup, walk your way in and do a pushup.
You can try with dumbbells. Keep your right leg forward and do the inverted rows. Switch sides.
Do a pushup rotate your arm and do another pushup. Alternate sides.
DB Chest Flys
Lie down, with weights in your hands, squeeze your chest and come up. Repeat.
Sit and with weights flex your arms back. Repeat.
Keep your feet apart and your hands down and do pushups.
Bend with one leg forward and do alternate rows with weights.
Do a pull-up and a pushup. Increase the order.
Do a push up and pull down. Increase the order.
Lie down and swim it out.
Viola! You have completed the workout.
Yoga Cardio HIIT
Tutorial: Fitness Blender
Workout structure: 1 yoga inspired exercise + 30 secs of the cardio interval.
Do the jumping jacks for 30 seconds.
Tricep Pushup to Child’s Pose
Drop down to the floor, come back up and do a tricep pushup.
Squats +Heel Taps
Drop down to a nice deep squat, Come up to a full extension, take your right heel up and touch with your left hand. Alternate sides.
Leg lift pigeon sequence
Drop your hands down, one leg back and then the other. Bring the left leg behind, tuck it underneath your body and back up one more time. Tuck underneath and drop down to the pigeon pose.
Get a nice wide jump going from right to left. Bring left leg to your back every time you jump to the right. Alternate sides. Start with something small and build wider as you go on.
Warrior Pose Lunges
Drop down to a runner’s lunge. Take the right leg out back behind you and up into a warrior position. Hold for a second and drop down to runner’s lunge. Repeat.
Extend your arms straight and out to a 45-degree angle, tuck them back in really nice and quick while doing the jumping jacks.
Calf Raise Planks
Come to a full plank position. Keep your hands directly under the shoulder joints. Do a calf raise motion and repeat for 30 seconds.
Squat+Toe Touch Kicks
Squat nice and deep, bring left leg up reaching with a right hand and alternate sides.
Walk down pushups
Starting from the standing position reach down like a toe touch, walk down with your hands to a full plank position. Do a pushup and slowly walk it back out.
5 Mountain climber steps +Getups
Drop down to that pushup position. Hit your feet back and forth five times. Stand back up and repeat for 30 seconds.
Full body stretch + Jackknife Crunches
Start with a Jackknife crunch, crunching up to the toes, arms and legs back down. Do ten reps for 30 seconds.
HIIT No Equipment Home Workout For Beginners
Tutorial: Millionaire Hoy
Start warming up by jumping ropes.
Hop and roll your arms front and then back.
Swing your arms and start jogging.
Jog from side to side.
Butt Kick Hops
Hop twice and do the butt kicks twice. Repeat.
Arm Circles F
Keep your legs apart and do the arm circles.
Arm Circles R
Repeat the arm circles backwards.
Shoulder STR L
Bring your right arm to the left side and do an elbow lock. Keep pulling, switch sides.
Push yourself back into the invisible chair, stand up and repeat.
Bend and walk your hands from left to right.
Runner STR L
Come into runner’s position and lift your right hand. Bring it down towards the right side of left foot. Switch sides.
Repeat the above steps on the right side.
Bend your left foot and touch with your left hand. Stretch your right hand. Change sides.
Repeat the above steps.
Side Knee Run
Do stretches on your right side and do some fast running. Do stretches on the left side. Repeat.
Do a jumping jack and a kick. Repeat.
Squat Ab Lunge
Squat, twist and come forward with one knee and back.
Jump and switch your feet. Increase speed.
Do two pushups and come to plank position. Repeat.
Step Up Knees
Step up your knees in plank position. Stand up and again step up your knees. Switch sides.
Make four sprints forward and come back. Repeat.
Jog and sprint over to the right side. Switch sides.
DBL Squat Kick
Do two squats and kick.
180 Knee Run
Jog and do four knees. Change sides.
Bring your right knee up and over along with your left hand. Repeat sides.
Bring your knees down, do a push-up, raise your right arm and come back to starting position.
Tri Jab Knees
Do three jabs, raise your right knee and change sides.
LVL 3 Sprints
Do three high knees followed by four mountain climbers.
S2S Jab Sprint
Make sprints followed by box kicks.
Do a squat, come up stretch your arms and fold one leg. Change sides.
Do four sprints, four butt kicks, and four jumping jacks.
Jump and crisscross your knees.
Knees down, walk through your hands, do a pushup, walk back and hop.
Do a push-up, rotate your arms and change sides.
180 Quick Knees
Do four quick knees in all four directions.
Lie down with hands and legs stretched out. Touch your left leg with your right hand. Change sides.
DBL High Taps
Lie down, keep your feet at 90-degree angle and tap your toes. Repeat.
Lie down, come up and punch. Change sides.
Keep left leg on top of the right knee and pulse up for 15 seconds on the right side and then the other side.
Stretch your arms and lie down. Bring your feet six inched off the ground and rotate.
Lie down put your hands under your glutes and flutter your legs.
Lie down and do the crunches.
Hug and Love
Open your arms and motion like you hug while moving your feet.
Exhale while standing up and inhale while coming down.
Bend down with wrapped up arms and swing from left to right.
Come into a four legged position, and inhale and exhale.
Come into child’s pose, bring your left hand to your right hand and move the hips back and forth.
Repeat another side.
Bend down and pull your toes. Change sides.
Touch your left foot with left hand. Extend your right hand out. Switch sides.
Great! You have completed the workout
HIIT helps you to burn more fat, builds a healthier heart, tones your muscles, increases your metabolism, needs no equipment, can be done anywhere and is more challenging.
Touted for its metabolic benefits, HIIT isn’t exactly a walk in the park. You have to consider your current diet plan, your weight workout volume and intensity, your primary goals and above all your recovery ability before starting your HIIT regimen.