High Intensity Interval Training for Fat Loss

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High-intensity interval training – more commonly known by the acronym “HIIT” – can be more effective at inducing fat loss than low-intensity cardio. If you’re tired of drawn-out treadmill sessions, check out these high-intensity interval training routines to get more out of your time in the gym.

HIIT is a method of cardiovascular training used by athletes of all levels that involves bursts of high-intensity work alternated with periods of rest or low-intensity work (hence, intervals). Apply this principle to any type of cardio training (cycling, running, rowing, etc.) to help elevate your metabolic rate.

Interval Variation I: Standard

This is a standard interval session that follows a 1:1 ratio with one minute of all-out intensity followed by one minute of lighter intensity work.

  • 3 – 5 mins. warm-up
  • 1 min. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity (repeat 6–8 times)
  • 3 – 5 mins. cool-down
The most important thing to remember is that your intervals should be brief, near-maximal bursts of intensity, alternated with longer intervals of low to moderate intensity.

Interval Variation II: Pyramid

With the Pyramid variation, you gradually increase the duration of the high-intensity intervals by 15 seconds as you progress through your session, peaking at 90 seconds.

  • 3 – 5 mins. warm-up
  • 30 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 45 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 60 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 75 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 90 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 75 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 60 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 45 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 30 secs. high intensity, 1 min. low intensity
  • 3 – 5 mins. cool-down

Interval Variation III: Triads

Triads involve performing a combination of low-, moderate-, and high-intensity intervals spaced out in much the same way as the standard interval variation.

  • 3 – 5 mins. warm-up
  • 1 min. low intensity, 1 min. moderate intensity, 1 min. high intensity (repeat 3-4 times)
  • 3 – 5 mins. cool-down
Because shorter durations of high-intensity interval training can be more effective than extended periods of steady, low-intensity cardio, you can get more value out of your time in the gym. Since high-intensity interval training is considered a strenuous exercise, give your body at least a day to recover before performing it again. Alternate between the different variations to stay challenged, and start maximizing your time in the gym to hit your training goals.
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