HIIT it! (What is HIIT and why is it so good? + examples of workouts)

December 29, 2016 Mona 6 comments

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This training method consists of short, intense periods of hard work followed by a shorter low-intensity exercise or even rest. It’s perfect for a busy schedule and it’s been proven to burn more fat than standard cardio workouts, while still keeping your lean muscle mass. Since you work so hard in such a short period of time your body burns more calories, your heart beats faster and you’re improving your athletic endurance!


After this type of workout something called “the afterburn effect” happens! This afterburn effect is also known as Excessive Post – exercise Oxygen Consumption or simply EPOC. It means that the more intense your exercises are, the more oxygen your body will consume afterwards. And that means that after you finished your workout, you’ll continue to burn fat (after burn). The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your metabolism and increased metabolism helps burn more calories at a faster rate.


If you’re new to this type of training then start with a 1:2 work – rest ratio. For example, you work hard for 30 seconds then rest for 60 seconds. If you’re familiar with HIIT and practice it regularly then I have some workout examples you can try out next time you do your workout!


HIIT Workout Examples


‘HIIT the stairs’ workout

Run up the stairs as fast as you can (don’t skip steps)

Walk down

Run every second step

Walk down

Run sideways (left)

Walk down

Run sideways (right)

Walk down

Repeat 12 – 15 times


Sprint HIIT

20 seconds sprinting

10 seconds slow walk

Repeat 8 – 10 times

Sprinting is a great way to build leg muscles and great exercise to add to your HIIT routine

Running HIIT

1 minute running/jogging

30 seconds walking

Repeat 10 – 12 times


Jump rope HIIT (50 seconds work, 20 seconds rest)


Single leg skips (25 seconds each leg)

High knees skipping

Feet together side to side

Repeat 4 times


Bodyweight HIIT (30 seconds active work, 15 seconds rest)

Pop squat

Jumping lunges

Tap push up (tap left shoulder then do a push – up, tap right shoulder then push – up)

Jumping jacks


Repeat 4 times


Abs and core HIIT (35 seconds work, 20 seconds rest)

Ab bicycles

Straight leg sit ups

Spiderman plank

Heel touches

Diagonal mountain climbers

Repeat 4 – 5 times


At home lower body HIIT (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest)

180 degree jump squats

Reverse lunge to jump (left leg)

Reverse lunge to jump (right leg)

High knees

Side lunge to jump squat

Broad jumps

Repeat 4 times


HIIT training comes with many benefits that I mentioned in the beginning of this article and here’s more: it’s great because you don’t need any equipment at all. You can do it outside, you can do it in the comfort of your own home. It boosts your metabolism, it’s challenging and there’s so many exercises you can experiment with meaning you’re more likely to stick with this type of training. On the other hand, because of its intensity, you shouldn’t do a HIIT workout more than 2 or 3 times a week. And like with any other workout, make sure you warm up properly before starting and cool down when you finish your workout. Have fun, 

M, xo

6 Comments on “HIIT it! (What is HIIT and why is it so good? + examples of workouts)

  1. I will try the jump rope circuit, thanks 😀 but why should you not perform HIIT more than 2/3 times a week?

    1. HIIT is a very intense type of workout and if you do it every day, it can become very tough on the body. You won’t have enough time to recover properly, there’s a high chance you will feel drained and exhausted. And if it’s combined with weight lifting every day, it can lead to overtraining. I hope that helps 🙂

      1. Oh okay, that makes sense, thank you. If I do weight training 6 times a week and HIIT 3 times a week. Do you think this can work?

        1. It could work, but make sure to take care of your body and listen to it. If you’re on a low calorie meal plan then I would recommend 1-2 short HIIT sessions per week and do HIIT before your weight training!

          1. Understood, gotcha :D! My calories are at a reasonable amount atm so I’ll start of with 2 times a week and I’ll see how it goes 😀

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