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. 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. 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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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 –

  16. 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.

  17. 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! 🙂


  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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!

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

    1. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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