Health & Fitness

HIIT Workouts: What Are They and Why Do I Love Them?

HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training.

So if you follow me over on Instagram, you may be aware of my love for HIIT workouts. I’ve never really been one much for long protracted classes like Aerobics, or Step Aerobics which require you to have some semblance of coordination and the ability to instantly know your left from right whilst trying to get your arms to move in sync with your legs. I am a weights girl. I can do the simple movement of the lunge or the squat and more importantly I like things to be done quick. Boom, 15 minutes, workout done and get on with the rest of my day.

So that brings me nicely onto HIIT Workouts: What are they and why do I love them so much? The aim of a HIIT workout is to work as hard as you can for a short amount of time. Then to rest. For Example 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. You work as hard as you can for those 30 seconds then rest to lower your heart rate for 30 seconds. You can, of course, choose any time frame to work/rest for. I just prefer 30 on 30 off as it usually takes me this long to recover before I can even attempt the next workout.

HIIT workouts are an excellent way of burning fat, see why I like them, and unlike a lot of other types of exercise, the practice of raising and dropping your heart rate keeps burning calories long after your workout is over for up to 18 hours! This is achieved by pushing yourself as hard as you can, eg I cannot even move during my rest periods let alone breathe or talk, text or tweet, nothing! Don’t be fooled by the 30-second thing either, if you are doing it right that 30 seconds will feel like 30 minutes by the time you finish!

What exercises should I be doing? 

You can do a HIIT workout with many different things. Like the treadmill? Try walking up an incline or sprinting for 30 seconds before going back to a slow walk. A cross trainer fan? (me too) I always stay on level one and bring my rpm up to between 60-70 before dropping back down to low 30’s. 30 seconds on 30 seconds off. Or you can mix it up with some other exercises too. As I tend to do The Body Coach’s HIIT workouts they are usually a combination of, high knees with punches, mountain climbers, squat jumps, lunges, burpees, ab crunches with knee grab, planks, push ups etc. I do these on Facebook or You Tube in my kitchen.

How long should it last? 

The idea is that you cram it all in fast so a 15/20 minute workout is usually plenty. If you pick 5 of the exercises mentioned above eg planks, burpees, lunges, ab crunches, high knees then do each one for 30 seconds (or a time of your choosing) maximum effort then 30 seconds rest and repeat 3 or 4 times you are then set for the day.

Who can do it?

 Anyone really. You do what you are comfortable with at a pace that works for you. Maximum effort is your maximum effort. My workout partner is much slimmer and fitter than I am so she can do more reps quicker than I can but by putting in as much effort as I can I will still have the same results. Can’t do 30/30? Need longer to recover (like the rest of the day?) try 20/40 and vice versa, don’t need as long a rest just shorten it! A HIIT workout should never be easy it should always be about working as hard as you can.

Why exactly do I love it? 

I love the rush of knowing that I have pushed myself as hard as I can and had a really good workout! Have you ever spent hours in the gym, which I do on occasion too, and felt like you haven’t really achieved much? Or been doing that same workout DVD for yonks and struggling to see results? Don’t get me wrong I don’t see dramatic weight loss or shape change personally as my diet is crap! However, I love how I feel when I have worked out and had a good workout too. That endorphin rush is addictive! This is just the type of workout I personally prefer and who wouldn’t want a good quick effective workout? And with the added benefit of calorie burning for hours afterwards too, sold yet?

Do you do HIIT workouts? Or are like me and try a bit if everything (see my update posts, I’m ridiculously fickle when it comes to working out!)

before and after shake it slim

Results achieved in one week using a meal replacement shake combined with HIIT workouts


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  1. Clare

    May 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    WOW! that before and after shot is amazing! Well done you! This method sounds right up my street if I’m honest! Whilst I don’t need to lost weight, I need to tone up and maybe put on a little bit of weight in certain area’s. A quick burst every day is definitely more manageable than trips to the gym and so on! I hope you continue with the clear success you’re already having! Sorry, I’m a little late commenting on last weeks #KCACOLS xx

  2. Rachel (Lifeathomewithmrsb)

    April 29, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Sounds a bit scary lol! i quite like Zumba and step aerobics. I’m glad you found a workout that works for you 🙂 #KCACOLS

  3. Nicole @ The Professional Mom Project

    April 28, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Congrats for finding a workout that you enjoy and sticking with it. I’ve never tried a HIIT workout but I think you’ve convinced me to give it a try. #KCACOLS

  4. Mummy and the Mexicans

    April 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I’d never heard of this before, it sounds like it would be quite effective and time-saving. I’m not great at doing exercise very consistently and these days, with work, toddler and blog, there always seems to be something more important to do. I should probably try something more gentle to begin with, though! #KCACOLS

  5. Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    April 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I’m terribly uncoordinated too. I much prefer circuit training, spinning and weights. Mr Tin Box is a great advocate of HIIT – interval routines really work you hard #KCACOLS

  6. Kat

    April 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I really want to get involved with HIIT workouts but I am actually terrified I will die! It’s great that you love them though and have found something that works so well for you! I want to start at home before moving over to a class! #kcacols

  7. Mommy's Little Princesses

    April 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Can’t say I have heard of Hitt workouts before but it does sound interesting. I can see your getting really good results with your work too, well done hon.xx

  8. Silly Mummy

    April 26, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I used to be exercise obsessed pre-kids. Now have two toddlers and never do any. But I did do these types of workout sometimes back in the day – they are very effective. #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:15 am

      They are good aren’t they I’m hoping they will have quick results x

  9. Someone's Mum (Danielle)

    April 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Ohhh I should so try this. With a job, blogging and two preschoolers I never get time to exercise. This would be ideal… going to look into it. Thanks! #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Its really hard to find the time isn’t it!

  10. To Arizona and beyond

    April 26, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Sounds like it’s really working for you, I like the idea of quick workout as time is always tight! #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Yes they are great I really enjoy them too. Over and done with and I can forget about it then x

  11. Jenny | Jenny on a Plate

    April 26, 2016 at 7:52 am

    I’ve heard of HIIT but haven’t properly tried it before. I’d really like to give it a go. Do you do it at home as well as the gym? #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Yes I do it at home mainly in my kitchen. I save the gym for other workouts

  12. Mummy here and there

    April 25, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    When I have done a workout I feel great. It is.just getting the motivation before hand to them haha X #kcacols

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Oh yes I am there this week I need a kick to get going lol

  13. Allyson Greene

    April 25, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Wow! Great job working out! I have never tried this before but I admit I have seen it on facebook but assumed it was too much or too hard. Now I am thinking about giving it a go. #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 27, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Thanks. It is really tough going bit totally worth it x

  14. Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn

    April 25, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Your results are great! I’ve heard of these after purchasing the lean in 15 cookbook, been meaning to start doing them but I always seem to not find the time *air quotes* your post has inspired me, I mean 20mins is nothing really x #KCACOLS

  15. Tammymum

    April 25, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I absolutely love HIIT workouts. They are by far my preferr e choice, like you 15-30 mins hard work and you’re done! Well done you’re progress looks amazing, you’re doing really well, you’ve made me want to get my lazy butt up and to the gym xx #KCACOLS

  16. Life as Mum

    April 25, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve not heard of this kind of workout before but it shounds great and I shall keep it in mind for after I give birth to baby x

  17. mainy -

    April 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Good for you, can I have some of your willpower, grit and determination please?? Seriously well done!

    mainy – myrealfairy


  18. Jade Lloyd

    April 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    One week? Crikey, I am impressed by your dedication and attitude, I spend so long considering what work outs I may be able to do in what time that I end up doing nothing and am totally crashed on the energy front at the moment so I know I need to sort this out. Time is scarce inbetween work and mummying so I am going to go look at these types of workouts! Thanks for a fab post #KCACOLS

  19. Karen

    April 25, 2016 at 7:14 am

    We do hitt workouts at fit4mums class. They aren’t my favourite but maybe I should embrace them! I get out the house walking or cycling everyday. Maybe I should add in that heart rate riser more often In the week! #kcacols

  20. Jane Taylor

    April 25, 2016 at 12:53 am

    I’d heard of this exercise concept but didn’t have a name for it. I’m tempted to give it a go because it’s hard to fit in regular exercise. Lately I have dusted off my Tai-bo dvd but I do that at 6am bc it takes 45 mins (and that’s after I’ve cut out the floor exercises at the end! A short burst system sounds great! Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  21. Angela Milnes

    April 25, 2016 at 12:27 am

    I hadn’t heard of this workout before but it sounds interesting. I struggle to exercise due to my health but am hoping to get in the pool in the future. Fingers crossed! Angela #KCACOLS
    Angela Milnes recently posted…A New Dog on the BlockMy Profile

  22. Shoebox of Memories

    April 24, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    My wife joined one of these sessions run by a friend of hers by mistake. She was expecting some light low intensity training. She got HIIT instead and couldn’t move for two days! Her session worked on the basis of three times as much exercise as rest so after reading your workout feels a bit cheated!

    Thanks for sharing!

    #KCACOLS –

  23. Ali Duke

    April 24, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I love going to the gym, but my cardio is awful. When it gets a bit better I am aiming to start adding HIIT to my workouts.
    Well done you.

  24. becca farrelly

    April 24, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I love HIT workouts as I only manage to grab about 20mins to do my own thing before Mia wants my attention or ‘needs’ a snack! They are great to fit into your day and give you as good a workout in a short time as I found going to the gym for an hour did before I had Mia! 🙂


  25. The Pramshed

    April 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I had no idea what a HIIT workout was Tracey until I read your post! I have heard them mention but thought they were a more complex workout. I really need to do some exercising and HIIT workout sound like a quick way to do this, especially when you have a demanding baby. Good luck with the co-hosting this week. Claire x #KCACOLS

  26. Carol Cameleon

    April 24, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Hmmm not sure about this! I can feel my legs getting heavy just thinking about it… I did the couch to 5k a couple of years ago which I surprised myself by really enjoying. That’s interval training but not as intense at HIIT sounds. To be fair I think I’ll stick to my yoga and swimming. good luck to you though 😉 #kcacols

  27. Right Royal Mother

    April 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Right, I’m looking into this. I’ve never heard of them either but like Becky from CuddleFairy, I find it almost impossible to leave the house without the children as NW works away during the week. Looking them up tonight! #KCACOLS

  28. Fran @ Whinge Whinge Wine

    April 24, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Good on you! This sounds like a great idea. I’m always saying I don’t have time for exercise when the truth is I’m just very, very lazy.


  29. laura dove

    April 24, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Wow you look great, what a transformation! I’ve never heard of these but clearly they are working for you! #KCACOLS

  30. Pickinguptoys

    April 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Ooh never heard of them before but sounds ideal as I never seem to have time or enthusiasm for longer workouts these days. You’ve done really well in a short space of time x #kcacols

  31. Jessica Powell (Babi a Fi)

    April 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before, but it sounds really good. I normally do aerobics DVDs but it’s a fair chunk of time and difficult to fit in around everything else. x #KCACOLS

  32. Rainbowsaretoobeautiful

    April 24, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    The rest times always seems really short when doing sprint toe exercises! I agree! #KCACOLS
    Rainbowsaretoobeautiful recently posted…Favourite Friday: Turning fears into fanciesMy Profile

  33. Squirmy Popple

    April 24, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I used to do HIIT workouts before I got pregnant, but after only doing moderate exercise for so long, I’ve been afraid that my body can’t handle it! I’m 10 months postpartum now and getting back to the gym, so maybe I’ll be brave enough to give it a go again soon! #KCACOLS

  34. Bread

    April 24, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I like weights – I don’t like anything else. The cross trainer was okay. I’m not a big fan of exercise as a whole. But good luck to you and your workouts #KCACOLS

  35. Emma

    April 24, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I love Hiit workouts!!! There are amazing and clearly in one week already making a difference for you so well done! That half hour is torture but I would rather do that then an hours session! :- )#KCACOLS

  36. lisa

    April 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I started this just before I got pregnant and lost 2stone!!
    Keep it up!

  37. Emma Jones

    April 24, 2016 at 11:45 am

    I keep meaning to give it a go but I’m not a natural exerciser I might have a browse on YouTube your results are fab. #kcacols lifeinthemumslane
    Emma Jones recently posted…St George’s Day Childrens StoryMy Profile

  38. Sara Skillington

    April 24, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I love this kind of work out – anything that gets it over with quickly! Great that it is so effective 🙂 ~KCACOLS

  39. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    April 24, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Wow – Congratulations! What an amazing achievement after one week. I have heard fabulous things about hitt workouts & will definitely look into them. I need something I can do from home because I just can’t get a chance to leave my house to exercise. Your results are fabulous, keep up the good work! #KCACOLS
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…March 2016 at a GlanceMy Profile

  40. Pen

    April 24, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Wow, i am impressed. I am a yoga and pilates and swimming girl myself. I don’t like sweat. Well done you. Your before and after photos are really impressive. Pen x #KCACOLS

  41. Becky at PinksCharming

    April 24, 2016 at 9:54 am

    To be honest this sounds like hell on earth to me, but it’s obviously working for you, brilliant! #KCACOLS xx

  42. veronica lee

    April 24, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I’ve never heard of this before! Did you say short and effective? SOLD!

    veronica lee recently posted…Wearing Clothes Right Off The RackMy Profile

  43. rachelbustin

    April 24, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I have never heard of a HIIT workout, but I will mention it to my friend as she is a real gym bunny! xx


  44. Laura's Lovely Blog

    April 24, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Wow you can really see a difference, I’ve not heard of Hiit workouts before, so I need to go an research them. Well done you 🙂 #kcacols

  45. wendy

    April 24, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Never heard of this. .sounds good though. Iove that it’s so quick and keeps burning fat once you’ve finished!xx #KCACOLS

  46. Fi - Beauty Baby and Me

    April 24, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Love the idea of this – I’m always pushed for time! Will definitely give it a go xx #KCACOLS

  47. Jules Pondering Parenthood

    April 24, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I’ve never tried a HIIT workout but they sound great for anyone short on time and I like the idea that you can do them at home so don’t need a gym membership. #KCACOLS

  48. justsayingmum

    April 24, 2016 at 7:58 am

    what an excellent way of keeping fit – all that adrenaline rush in a short hit – I can see why it could come quite addictive – exercise is like that isn’t it? I don’t do HIIT but I do high intensity Pilates – ha ha sounds so soft in comparison but its what I enjoy and works for me but I like the sound of your regime too. Great use of photos too. Thank you for hosting #KCACOL today – I’m new to it and really enjoying it so far!

  49. Fran Back With A Bump

    April 24, 2016 at 6:48 am

    I’m a massive gym fan but recently started doing HIIT at home when I can’t get to the gym. Thanks for sharing this as some great ideas #kcacols

  50. Lori @savedbythemommy

    April 24, 2016 at 5:47 am

    I’ve done these workouts before and they are great! But just like you I like to change up my workout routine. I get bored easily doing the same thing over and over, but this is usually always in the mix. #kcacols

  51. Savannah

    April 24, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Oh wow, I’ve never heard of this, but this is COOL! And wow, look at your results-amazing! The thing I’m really liking about this idea is how it can be trimmed and tailored according to each person, and I think workouts like that are the absolute best! Keep at it, you’re doing wonderfully! I may have to give my own HIIT workout a try (: #KCACOLS

  52. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    April 24, 2016 at 2:47 am

    I’ve never heard of this before, but can’t argue with your results. Something I may have to look into #KCACOLS

  53. Julie S.

    April 24, 2016 at 1:21 am

    That’s some amazing results in just one week. You get it girl!

  54. Amanda

    April 24, 2016 at 12:18 am

    That is quite a remarkable difference in 1 week! Well done. I do a 7 minute workout each day, it is a 30 sec work then 30 sec rest. I didn’t know it was called HIIT workout, but it certainly sounds like what you are talking about. I like it as it is easy to fit in during my busy days. Keep up the good work.
    Amanda. #kcacols

  55. Fiona - Coombe Mill

    April 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I’ve not heard of HIT before, sounds very effective ans wow look at you after a week! #KCACOLS.

  56. Natasha Mairs

    April 23, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I have heard these kind of workouts work really well, has they keep your metabolism high even after you have finished the workout #KCACOLS
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…In The Night Garden All-in-one from Zippy Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    1. tracey bowden

      April 23, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Yes they really do! I do around 3 a week to help speed up the fat burning process although I doubt the chocolate helps xx

  57. Michelle G

    April 23, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I love the sound of these workouts. Nice and brief and impactful. I always mean to go for a run but never get round to it because of time so these sound fab #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 23, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      These are great for when you are short on time xx

  58. Nadia - ScandiMummy

    April 23, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Wow! Well done you! And this sounds like the kind of workout I would do, as I hate when exercise take up too much of my time. Thank you for introducing the concept #KCACOLS

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    1. tracey bowden

      April 23, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you 🙂 it’s a great way to cram it and get it over and done with xx

  59. Nicky Kentisbeer

    April 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    I’ve never heard of HIIT but it does sound a bit similar to one of the Davina DVDs I have. There is something very comforting about knowing that an exercise session is going to be a short and manageable time. I find it keeps me going, is more enjoyable and you are far more likely to go back again and, more to the point, find the time to fit it in – particularly if it’s done at home #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 23, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      I love HIIT workouts I find them a great way of squeezing exercise in xx

  60. Crummy Mummy

    April 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before but I love the idea – especially as I’m always short on time! #KCACOLS

    1. tracey bowden

      April 23, 2016 at 10:35 pm

      They are so great if you are short on time, totally recommend Joe The Body Coach as well xx

  61. chantelle hazelden

    April 21, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I love HIIT workouts, they are a great way of boosting fat burning and brilliant to add in exercise for someone who has a busy schedule. You’re doing a fab job!

    1. tracey bowden

      April 21, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks, they are great when you are short on time aren’t they!

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