May 4, 2018 Nico Mentz

A quick intro to HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

Time to HIIT it? A quick intro to HIIT

HIIT has been all the hype in the fitness world for the past few years, along with body-weight and functional training.  HIIT workouts are popular because they are effective for weight loss and fitness, don’t take a lot of time, and can be done anywhere with no equipment.

In my own practice I have seen the benefits and results of incorporating HIIT workouts with my clients and I personally prefer this type of training for most of my clientele who all have busy schedules and want to work hard and see results faster.  With my advanced clients I like to add resistance and core workouts to make the sessions even more challenging.

There is a lot of information and studies out there on HIIT, but below I have summarized the crux of what you need to know to get you interested.

What is a HIIT workout?

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique where you have training intervals of all-out/maximum effort (80-90 percent of your heart’s maximal rate), followed by resting or recovery periods in-between. Workouts are structured with varying activities, with three to ten repetitions, depending how fit you are. The intervals of training vs. rest period can also differ, to suit the fitness level of the trainee.  Examples of HIIT workouts look something like this;


  • Beginner: Time intervals of 30 sec high intensity, 30 sec rest, 5 activities, 3 reps
  • Advanced: Time intervals of 50 sec high intensity, 10 sec rest, 10 activities, 3 reps

A workout should not last longer than 45-minutes. Beginners can start with a 20-minute HIIT session.

HIIT routines are meant to be intense and short, as these place great demands on the heart.  HIIT workouts are generally considered safe, but if your heart health is not what it should be (i.e. you have been living a sedentary lifestyle, history of family heart problems etc.)  a doctor should be consulted first.  Generally, a basic level of fitness should be established before attempting proper HIIT programs, just to be safe.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

  • Metabolism booster
  • Burn fat even after the workout is over – the after burn effect / Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)
  • Quick, convenient and effective
  • No equipment needed
  • Improves stamina
  • Improves the body’s ability to use oxygen
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Releases muscle-growth and fat-burning hormones
  • Improves body composition

So there you have it folks.

Like anything worth it in life, there aren’t any short cuts, but you can have a shorter, more intense workout and get awesome results.

If you have any questions around HIIT or want to see me for some personal training sessions, please email me on

Until next time!