High Intensity Interval Training & Why It’s Worth Your Time



If you want to burn fat without spending hours upon hours at the gym, then High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is a must for your daily workout routine. This quick and effective method of training consists of intense exercises with short recovery intervals in between. Studies go so far as to show that a 4-30 minute HIIT session can burn as many calories as someone who’s been running on a treadmill for about an hour.18


How It Works.

The way this method works lies in its ability to keep burning fat even after you’ve stopped your workout. This phenomena is known as the afterburn effect. By keeping your rest periods brief and short, your body can’t take in all the oxygen it needs while you push yourself during these high intensity sessions. Your body begins to accumulate a need for oxygen, and in doing so, you start to burn calories even after you’ve stopped your workout. The more intense the exercise, the greater the afterburn effect is and you’ll end up burning more calories in the end.


Popular H.I.I.T. Regimens.

Tabata Regimen. Based on a 1996 study by Professor Izumi Tabata, well known for his research in the field of high-intensity interval training. Tabata involves 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of roughly 170% of your peak oxygen uptake) is then paired with 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is then done continuously for about 4 minutes, or 8 cycles.

Little Regimen/Gibala. Developed by Drs. Johnathan Little and Martin Gibala of the McMasters University of Kinesiology in 2009, this workout is done by performing 60 seconds of high intensity training (at an intensity of roughly 95% of your peak oxygen uptake) , followed by 75 seconds of low intensity training. This is then repeated for 12 cycles, totaling about 27 minutes.

Turbulence Training. This method was founded by Craig Ballantyne, a former athlete and exercise physiology researcher. Wha8209662_st this method does, is it implements weight training with cardio. To do this, an 8-rep set is followed by 1-2 minutes of a cardio exercise.

Methods: Exercise Cycle: Total Time: Frequency:

Best For:


  • 20 sec. High Intensity- 10 sec. rest
  • 8 cycles

4 minutes

2-4x per week

The extremely fit who have little time.


  • 60 sec. High Intensity-75 sec. low intensity
  • 12 cycles

27 minutes

3x per week

Intermediate level.Flexible routines with 30 minutes to spare.

Turbulence Training

  • 8rep. weight training sets-1 to 2 min cardio set
  • alternate high-weight/low-rep strength training with high-intensity cardio

45 minute

3x per week

Intermediate level.For those who want to incorporate strength training into HIIT.


Other ways to focus on H.I.I.T.

If creating an exercise routine doesn’t come naturally to you, then there are other ways to incorporate high intensity interval training into your daily workout regimen. With so many fitness classes and videos being created, finding a routine that fits your lifestyle doesn’t have to be so difficult. Insanity is a great a fitness DVD that focuses on cardio and high intensity interval training. Aside from videos, there are a number of online workouts that guide individuals through their workout. Check out 30 Days of HIIT if you’d prefer pictorials on the exercises for your HIIT program.


Whatever high intensity interval training method you choose to follow, stick with the program and you’ll see results well worth your time.

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