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High intensity interval training - How to make sure fit defeats fat

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Created: 21 December, 2016

Updated: 22 December, 2017

If you’re pushed for time and unable to get to the gym regularly, find out why HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) should be your new best friend.

If you’re pushed for time and unable to get to the gym regularly, HIIT is your new best friend. It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and involves short bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest.

You can do it in the comfort of your own home, you don’t need any equipment and an average workout lasts no more than half an hour.

Now that we've introduced you to your new best friend, it's time to look at some example HIIT workouts you can try. But first...

A quick warm-up

We all know that you need to warm up before you exercise, so this 10-minute routine will have you raring to go and reduce your risk of injury.

As you might expect, this involves some stretching. However, forget the static stretches you might have learned at school, those are great for flexibility, however, dynamic stretching will help you get the most from your training. Put simply, you need some movement in your stretches, standing still is no good.

That’s why your warm up needs to contain dynamic stretches that work right through the human movement system (your kinetic chain), followed by one minutes of light jogging, one minutes of star jumps, and four 20-second bursts of fast feet, 10 seconds rest to gradually raise your heart rate.

If you’re not sure what any or all of that means, our handy video will show you:

If you’ve never done HIIT before

This workout is a good way to introduce yourself to the world of HIIT. Don’t get us wrong, these exercises will definitely test you, but it’s a nice starting point before you progress to some of the more complicated moves.

It's best to do your workout first thing in the morning, before you have breakfast. Training after a period of no food (in a fasted state) will kickstart your fat metabolism and HIIT will have you burning fat for hours after you’ve finished. You can attack the rest of the day knowing that you’re still on track to achieve your health goals!

Don’t worry if you're unable to train before breakfast, you can workout whatever time of the day that suits you.

You’ll need to complete 20 reps of each of the exercises below, with 30 seconds of rest in between each one:


Kneeling step-ups with knee drive (10 each leg)

Press-ups (kneeling press-ups are fine)

Reverse lunges (10 each leg)

Hip bridges

Plank (30 seconds)

Repeat this routine four times and you’ll have your 20-minute HIIT fat-burning exercise routine! Once again, there’s a walkthrough video for you below.

This time we're really going to get your heart pumping

This routine is performed at a higher intensity.

Start with the warm-up routine above and then decide how you want to split your periods of work and rest. For example, you might want to perform each exercise for 20 seconds at first, followed by 40 seconds of rest, before working your way up to a split of 30 seconds each.

The exercises this time are:

High knees

Mountain climbers


Fast feet stepper

Squat jumps

Straight arm plank

However long you choose to spend on each exercise, the key to getting the most out of this routine is to work as hard as possible during your work periods. Once again, complete the routine four times for your full workout. Each individual exercise is explained in this video.

For a really effective, manageable workout, try performing each of these sessions twice per week, alternating between each session for a bit of variety. That’ll mean four fat-burning workouts per week, which should be more than enough to help you achieve your goals!


We want to hear your HIIT story

Have you noticed an improvement in your weight or fitness levels as a result of HIIT? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment in the box below and share your success with others who are chasing their own health goals.

Topics: Weight loss, Fitness