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Fitness Mind + Body

Attain Your Body Goals This Summer with this Epic Guide to HIIT Workout

Want to achieve your body goal and look and stay great this summer? HIIT is a great exercise method to help you get there. But before you get started, here is everything you need to know about HIIT Workout.


12 Things You Need to Know About HIIT

  • High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a cardiovascular exercise technique that is gaining traction for 2018. This training involves highly intense exercise (usually at near maximum intensity) for short periods of time to the point of exhaustion, followed by a recovery period, where less intense exercise is performed.
  • While there is no specific duration for HIIT exercise, each session is normally between 4 to 30 minutes.
  • The aim of HIIT training is to keep your heart rate up, burn more fat and improve glucose metabolism in short space of time. HIIT is a great and effective exercise for people who are time poor but would still like to achieve maximum results for their effort
  • The effectiveness of HIIT highly relies on your ability to achieve the targeted heart rate. High-intensity exercises should put your heart rate above 80%  and up to 95% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). While during the recovery period, your heart rate should sit between 60% to 70% of your MHR
  • The most popular and widely followed HIIT exercise regimen is the Tabata Regimen. Introduced by Professor Izumi Tabata, the principle of this method is 4 minutes of exercise involving 8 cycles of 20 seconds ultra-intense exercise. This is followed by 10 seconds of recovery period. The best practice for Tabata period is a total of 16 minutes or 32 cycles of exercises.
  • Advantages of HIIT: boost metabolism, burns calories, and fat in a short period of time. Also, improve insulin resistance and good for your heart health.  Do it anywhere; with or without any equipment.
  • HIIT may not be suitable for people with chronic diseases and heart problem. If not done right, this method could also lead to injuries due to its difficulties and coordination factor.
  • HIIT exercises vary based on your interest. There is HIIT running, weight training, Body Weight Training, Core Workout or a Circuit. On top of that, You can perform HIIT at home, anywhere outdoor and the gym
  • HIIT exercise is best performed between 2 to 4 times a week for maximum benefit, allow for recovery and to prevent injuries.
  • CrossFit is an example of an exercise regimen that incorporated HIIT. However, Crossfit has other elements as well. To find out more about the difference, check out this article from Tabata Times
  • While HIIT is a great exercise technique which promotes weight loss. Moreover,  the best results are often gained when combining consistent HIIT with a healthy diet
  • In Australia, one of the fastest growing HIIT regimens is the Functional 45 or F45 . This consist of 45 seconds of intense work out with 15 seconds rest that goes for 45 minutes in a circuit.


HIIT Tabata 4- Week Workout Plan

The Tabata Regiment Training Plan is great for HIIT Free Weight Training and HIIT Body Weight Training, which can easily be done at home. You can also utilise this training plan at your gym using available exercise machine to create a HIIT circuit.

hiit exercise plan

Note: Warm up is only done once at the start of exercise.


HIIT Body Weight Exercises

This workout plan is a collection of routines using only your own bodyweight. Believe it or not, these bodyweight exercises will increase your strength, stamina and help you lose weight. As a beginner, remember to use the above training plan schedule to slowly build up your exercise routine. Feel free to mix and match different exercises to create a set that works best for you.

hiit body weight training

Note: You are not required to pick 4 exercises. You can always start with 1 or 2 exercises, followed by working your way to more.


HIIT Free Weight  Exercises

You can also complete a power-packed HIIT exercise with free weight. Kettlebells, dumbbells or a barbell are a great tool to use. Introducing free weight will increase your strength, lean and tone,  as well as accelerate fat loss.

HIIT freeweight training

Note: If you do not have any of the above, feel free to replace the weight with whatever you have at home. (eg: 2/3 L milk plastic bottle filled with water, gym ball, tension band)


HIIT 6-Week Plans for Cardio Workout

Cardio-style exercises are great and can easily be modified to suit the HIIT requirement. You can do interval training on just about any forms of exercises anywhere. Some of the best cardio-style exercises turned HIIT method training are; track running, cycling, mount climbing, long stairs running and box jumping.  Nothing gets your heart racing hard than sprinting your guts out Usain Bolt-style! HIIT for cardio exercises tends to be longer as you require longer warm up and cool off time, as well as the time it takes to bring your heart rate to the appropriate state.

HIIT Training Plan for Cardio


Combination Exercise HIIT Workout Plan

It is possible to incorporate all free weights, bodyweight and cardio-style exercises into a HIIT regimen. Just bear in mind that at the start, coordination may be an issue. So you may need to take it easy for the first week until you are fully confident about switching from one style of exercise to another.  Below is an example of HIIT exercise that incorporates all the abovementioned movements. From experience, the gym tends to be an excellent place for combination HIIT exercise, where you can use various cardio-machines alongside the weight machines one after another.

HIIT training exercise Plan


16 Tips For a Successful HIIT Workout Session

  • Wear the right shoes and clothing – unsuitable shoes and clothing may contribute to injury
  • Get the most of our HIIT by investing in a heart rate monitor and a stopwatch.
  • Record and study your HIIT training results. So the best way to do this is via HIIT exercises app. This way, you can track your progress.
  • Use the first quarter of your High-Intensity exercise time to increase your heart rate to above 80% MHR
  • Don’t rush. You will find that the first and the second cycle, the target heart rate will be all over the place. That is fine, once you are in the zone – it will regulate better.
  • Roughly determine your Maximum Heart Rate: the rule of thumb is 220 minus your age. For a 30 y .o, maximum heart rate should be roughly 190 beats per minute (bpm)
  • It’s a good idea to stretch before and after exercise to get your muscles ready for whats coming.
  • Take small steps, make sure you don’t overdo. This is important to avoid injuries like pulled muscles or sprain.
  • Listen to music that has high and low beat that goes well with your regimen. By getting in the groove certainly help push your body and your mind.
  • During the recovery period, try not to come at a complete stop. Move at a much slower pace, try to control your breathing.  Regulate your heart rate and relax.
  • It is important to observe your heart rate during this exercise, your ability to relax and control your heart rate will more beneficial in this type of exercise. If you lower your heart rate to under 120 bpm during the recovery period and 80% of your MHR is 160 bpm, you will get more benefit from your work out as opposed to only lowering it down to let say, 150 bpm.
  • Hydrate your self well before,  during and after your work out.
  • Make sure the free weight is suitable and sustainable for the high-intensity burst. If you are not able to sustain it for that amount of time, it is too heavy.
  • Utilise the full range of movement, to make sure you activate every muscle fiber in that area of your body.
  • Concentrate on the area you are working on. Lack of focus due to fatigue or pain may you use other muscles instead. For example, using hip flexes instead of abdominals to end crunches contraction.
  • Perform warm up and cool down before and after the exercise



How HIIT Workout Has Benefitted Us

  • It is a great buddy system workout; having someone else to train with you helps you push through that difficult high-intensity seconds
  • As a seasoned active lifestyle and fitness freak, HIIT gives Sam the variation his body needs to kick-start his metabolism.
  • 6 weeks of HIIT saw a reduction on his muffin top.
  • Spriting affected Sam’s hamstring. In order to manage this, he drinks plenty of water and straps his knee/thigh area with compression band to maintain form when exercising (thus reducing injury/pain)
  • HIIT training benefitted differently for Ida. She increased her stamina and energy levels by ten folds.
  • Within 6 weeks, she is seeing a better definition on her tummy and legs.
  • On HIIT days, Ida has difficulty sleeping at night; despite being tired. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea 40 minutes before sleep time solves this.








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