Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's been suggested to me that I perhaps haven't delved quite expressively into HIIT, as in offered programs and run throughs for and on  it. This blog will be an attempt to rectify that.

Important note: all these programs are phase 1, level 1, beginner programs, many of my clients will have progressed past these, but I would recommend your average person reading this blog, give them a try, with your preferred piece of cardio equipment.

Beginners Intervals
Warm up- 5-10mins progressive intensity steady state
  • 1 minute @ maximum intensity (usually done on the X-Trainer at a resistance of 14)
  • 2 minutes active recovery (with a resistance of 6-8)
Repeat 5 times
Cool down- 5-10 minutes

More Advanced Intervals

Warm up- 5-10 mins progressive intensity steady state 
  • 30 seconds @ maximum intensity (usually done on the X-Trainer at a resistance of 14)
  • 1 minute active recovery (with a resistance of 6-8)
Repeat 7 times
Cool down 5-10 minutes

General protocols for beginners run something along the lines of  a 1 work to 1-2+ ratio of rest. You can use all kinds of different protocols, for example:  15 seconds on with 45 seconds active recovery, 3 minutes on with 6 minutes active recovery (burgeoning closer to aerobic intervals which are fine, but I consider them inferior to anaerobic ones) etc, as long as the above ratios are being (roughly) met. I will prescribe shorter rest intervals over a 3 x4 week (12 week) program to keep the intensify of the workout sufficiently difficult to match the clients increasing fitness levels.

You can use just about any piece of equipment you like, you can box, sprint, do kettlebell swings, burpees etc. Anything that elicits a metabolic response will do fine. You can even use weights in a circuit fashion to do interval style training, for example:

Weight Interval Circuit
1 minute on, 1 minute off
  • Jump Squat
  • Goblet Squat
  • Pushups
  • Inverted row
Repeat x 4

You can also do bodyweight circuits as finishers after your main workout:

Bodyweight Intervals Circuits (Props to Craig Ballantyne for this workout)
  • Y-Squat- 12 reps
  • Diagonal Lunge
  • Offset (Kneeling) Push up- 6 reps per side
  • Spiderman Climb- 8 reps per side
  • Jumping Jack- 60 jumps
Rest 1 minute at the end of each circuit performed, no rest between exercises.
Repeat 2-3 times

Exercises in the bodyweight circuits can be substituted for pretty much any bodyweight exercise, with the repetitions varied to maximise intensity with the degree of difficulty of the exercise.

As you can see from this very small snippet of information there are many variations of intensities, formats and routines for HIIT. I have offered extensive justification for the use of HIIT, particularly over steady state in the various hyperlinks in this post (and here), as you can see from the above programs, it offers functional programs that ramp up metabolism, affectionately labelled "the afterburn effect".

It should be obvious to the reader of this blog that abs are made in the kitchen, but it's important to note: that any training, no matter how great, is only as effective as your diet, so please, before we even get into a debate about what is better at optimising fat loss, make sure your diet is at least on it's way to being what you need it to be.

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