High Intensity Interval Training Workouts [Lose Weight And Keep It Off]

Let’s first define what high intensity interval training workouts are and why they’re so beneficial for weight loss. Interval training is a type of exercise that alternates between intense exercise for short periods of time followed by a rest or recovery period. This type of exercise is extremely effective for anyone looking to get in shape, stay in shape, or to just get healthy!

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You can get in and out of an interval session within minutes while burning fat, balancing hormones, boosting metabolism, and improving cardiovascular health. The more intensely you exercise, the shorter your exercise sessions need to be.

As we age our hearts and lungs decrease in size. Interval training can prevent this age-related atrophy while increasing stroke volume in the heart, thereby increasing its strength and efficiency. This results in a lowered heart-attack risk and decreased blood pressure. Other names for this type of exercise include High-Intensity Interval Training or (HIIT), Burst Training, or The Tabata Method.

 How To Do Intervals

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Start by exercising intensely for 20-30 seconds. Go all out when you perform your bursts. Follow this intense 20-30 second period with one to two minutes of walking slowly to allow your heart rate to decrease.

Ideally, you’ll want to perform eight sets of this burst/recovery period, but do what you can according to your fitness level.  Performing this exercise every other day is optimal.

Have you ever noticed the differences in physique between marathon runners and sprinters? Sprinters don’t lose muscle like runners do because they are exercising intensely for only short periods of time with recovery periods in between.

Additionally, they aren’t spiking their cortisol levels, which forces the body into a catabolic state.

Too much endurance training leads to elevated cortisol levels, which results in a breakdown of muscle fiber, thereby, defeating the purpose of your training as muscle is a crucial component of a healthy metabolism.  Sustained levels of cortisol also does a number on the endocrine system, and that’s just the beginning of its negative effects.

You’re In, You’re Out – You’re Done!

Hands down, interval training is the most time-effective type of exercise there is considering the time factor, the hormonal-balancing effects, and the increase in cardiovascular health. These facts make interval training my favorite type of exercise.

With HIIT you can incorporate any type of movement that you are comfortable with. Shake it up and do something different every session – that way you won’t get bored. But since it only requires 15 minutes a session, boredom should not be an issue.

It’s easy to stay motivated because it requires so little time, and your motivation will soar once you start seeing results. Say goodbye to long hours in the gym and boring workouts. Those types of exercise can be in the past if you no longer enjoy them, are not seeing results, or have just lost motivation.

Watch this video if you want to learn more about interval training. It demonstrates The Tabata Method where the bursts are every 20 seconds followed by a 10-second recovery period. Do this method only if you are very fit.

Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.

Engage In Activities You Enjoy

On the days you don’t do HIIT, do something that feeds your soul like walking your dog, dancing, Pilates, or stretching.

With intervals, you’ll get the benefits of longer workouts without the time-drain, and you’ll burn more calories than if you engaged in continuous exercise. And the best part, is you’ll continue to burn calories after your workout due to the intensity.

Another great thing about this form of exercise, is it only needs to be done every other day so we are talking 45 minutes of exercise per week folks. Anyone can do this to optimize their fitness, maintain or lose weight, and improve overall health.

Restricting food for at least one hour after your workout will allow you to take advantage of the hormonal-balancing effects, such as lowered insulin levels, and increased Human Growth Hormone – a double whammy on the fat-burning front.

[Read More: What Is The Insulin Index? [A Tool For Permanent Weight Loss]

High Intensity Interval Training Workouts

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Get creative when doing intervals – remember anything that requires a burst of energy that lasts around 20-30 seconds, and a recovery period of around two minutes to allow your heart rate to come down works. Walking slowly during this rest period is a good strategy.

Benefits Of Interval Training

  • Time-effective
  • Versatile
  • Great for fat burning
  • Preserves muscle
  • Burns a lot of calories
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Increases HGH and testosterone
  • Easy on the adrenal glands
  • Reduces insulin levels
  • Prevents atrophy of the heart and lungs
  • No equipment is necessary
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves fat to muscle ratio

Incorporating intervals into your fitness regime is a no brainer. Because of the intensity variation, you’ll reap the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic training. When you reach around 90% of your VO2max, which is an indicator of cardiovascular health, certain hormones and neurotransmitters increase, such as, HGH, testosterone, and endorphins. These are all anabolic hormones and don’t cause the breakdown of tissue as do other forms of endurance training.

You can start this program at any fitness level just slowly increase your burst intensity, and number of intervals over time. If you haven’t exercised in a while,  start out with three or four intervals, and increase as your fitness improves. Intervals work your fast-twitch muscle fibers which is awesome for increased power, strength, and stamina. What are you waiting for?

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Key Points

I know it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that you can exercise smarter, not longer or harder. Over-exercising can backfire pretty quickly, but intervals are something you can maintain over time. A high intensity interval training workout, paired with a nutritious diet, is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off.

What is your favorite form of exercise? Let me know in the comments:)

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(1) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: High-intensity interval training for health benefits and care of cardiac diseases – The key to an efficient exercise protocol
(2) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Heart Rate Variability in Physically Inactive Adults
(3) National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information: Is interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
(4) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: High-Intensity Interval Training Performed by Young Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
(5) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Sprint Interval Training on Anthropometric Measures and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Healthy Young Women
(6) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: The Effects of High Intensity Interval Training vs Steady State Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity
(7) National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information: Evidence based exercise – clinical benefits of high intensity interval training
(8) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:


4 thoughts on “High Intensity Interval Training Workouts [Lose Weight And Keep It Off]”

  1. I love how you placed lifting weights in there with HIIT as well, since I think many of us forget that lifting can indeed be a HIIT workout within itself. Training in a fitness center for a few years, we utilized an afterburn concept, which was basically HIIT with all sorts of different equipment, including weights, resistance bands, and bodyweight movements. 

    People who are more advanced can even do plyometrics. I would say that sprinting is my favorite, especially between the months of March and December, when it’s generally warm enough for a good sprint workout. For those limited on time, nothing beats a good HIIT workout. 

    • Hi Todd,

      Yes, working out with weights is so important. I use them in my HIIT workouts two or three times per week. That’s one of the advantages of high intensity workouts is that you can tailor them to what you’re in the mood for on any particular day. 

      I like performing HIIT workouts on an exercise bike, doing calisthenics, jumping rope, lifting weights, or sprinting. It’s such a versatile form of exercise. And one of the best parts is you can do these workouts anywhere, including hotel rooms, while on vacation or traveling for business.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. I believe high intensity interval training exercises are so beneficial. I find that in a short period of 30 minutes by changing the exercise, the intensity, the harder my body works and the more I get out of the workout and the more calories I burn.  

    I noticed when I am doing a single exercise at the same intensity, my body tends to get “lazy” and I don’t get a really good workout.  

    • In my opinion, interval training is the most effective form of exercise to balance hormones. When hormones are balanced, the body will drop unwanted weight. 

      The great thing about this type of exercise is it doesn’t take a lot of time so it’s sustainable and people see results, which makes them motivated to keep at it. Thanks so much for reading!


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