HIIT for Beginners – The Fitnessista

We’re sharing some tips on HIIT for beginners and how to implement HIIT into your routine!

Hello friends! How is the day going so far? I hope you are having a beautiful morning. There’s a hint of fall here (FINALLY) and I’m definitely enjoying the cooler mornings. I hope I can go for a walk now that it’s not a thousand degrees outside.

For today’s post, I wanted to share some tips on HIIT (high intensity interval training) for beginners and how to implement HIIT into your routine. You know that I love HIIT (so much that I wrote Two books about it), but it’s something you want to implement strategically, especially if you’re first starting out.

HIIT for beginners

So what is HIIT?

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is not just an exercise; It is a methodology. Picture this: short bursts of intense exercise followed by short recovery periods. It’s like the espresso shot of fitness, offering a powerful combination of cardio and strength training in one time-saving package. There is a lot of incredible research on HIIT, particularly on how it can affect performance, cardiovascular healthand body composition.

The benefits of HIIT: where the magic happens

Efficiency over duration: Say goodbye to marathon gym sessions. HIIT is the master of achieving results in shorter, more intense bursts. HIIT workouts should be short and sweaty. I think a *good* HIIT workout should be no more than 25-30 minutes long.

Afterburning effect: Have you ever wanted to keep your workout going even after you’ve showered? Welcome to the afterburn effect, where calories continue to melt away after exercise. HIIT increases our EPOC (our post-exercise oxygen consumption as our body works hard to return tissue temperature, heart rate, etc. to pre-workout levels).

No gym, no problem: You are the gym team. HIIT celebrates minimalism; no fancy equipment, just a commitment to your fitness journey. One of the best things about HIIT is that you can do it anywhere!

Adaptable to all levels of physical condition: Whether you’re a fitness beginner or a seasoned pro, HIIT can be adapted to your current level. With modifications, HIIT can work for everyone.

Disadvantages of HIIT

Injury Awareness: Intensity demands respect. Over-enthusiasm can lead to unwanted injuries, so finding balance is essential. It’s smart to work at higher intensities and modify along the way.

Rest is part of the plan: Rest days are just as crucial as training days. With all workouts, especially intense ones like HIIT, make sure you have 1-2 days of complete rest each week. Also, because HIIT is so intense, you’ll only want to have a maximum of 3 high-intensity workouts on non-consecutive days.

Not everyone’s cup of tea: As appealing as HIIT may seem, it may not be right for everyone. If you have health concerns, it’s wise to consult with a fitness professional before jumping into the HIIT pool. Always talk to a doctor before making any changes to your physical condition.

How to get started with HIIT:

Start gradually: Start with one session per week and gradually increase as your body adapts.

Warming ritual: Don’t underestimate the power of a good warm-up. This is how your body prepares for the work ahead, increases your heart rate, tissue temperature and helps you get mentally involved in the game. It’s also wise to choose moves that mimic your actual workouts. Perform the same movement patterns and warm up the muscle groups you will use.

Listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to modify as needed along the way.

HIIT Modification for Beginners: A Smart Approach

HIIT is inclusive, but beginners should lower the intensity.

Here’s a strategic guide to smart mods:

Extended Rest Periods: Start with longer rest intervals, such as 30 seconds of exercise followed by 60 seconds of rest.

Lower intensity exercises: Opt for less intense movements initially. Instead of jump squats, try bodyweight squats.

Reduce rounds: Reduce the number of intervals in your session. Quality trumps quantity, especially when you’re just starting out.

Listen to your body: If a particular exercise seems too challenging, swap it for a gentler alternative. It’s your training; set the rules.

Examples of HIIT workouts that you can find anywhere

Tabata Triumph (4 minutes):

20 seconds of squat jumps

10 seconds rest

Complete 8 rounds for 4 minutes of work. Do you feel the burn? Well, that’s the point.

Bodyweight explosion (16 minutes):

30 second push-ups

30 second plank

30 second burpees

30 seconds rest

30 seconds of alternating starts

30 seconds of jumping lunges

30 second mountain climbers

30 seconds rest

Repeat for 4 rounds.

Cardio Circuit (15 minutes)

40-second sprint in place

20 seconds rest

40 seconds high knees

20 seconds rest

40 second burpees

20 seconds rest

40 seconds of squat jumps

20 seconds rest

40 seconds of kettlebell or dumbbell swings

20 seconds rest

Complete three rounds.

If you’re curious about how to implement HIIT into your routine, join us for team fit! I also have a HIIT Bootcamp here including tracking videos, edits, and a full schedule to follow.

How often do you use HIIT in your routine?

hugs and kisses


More HIIT posts:

15-minute HIIT Blitz video (no repeats)

HIIT and Strength video that you can do at home

HIIT versus steady state for weight loss

HIIT/Strength Training Video to Sweat and Burn

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