The Best HIIT for You

Parallelo Health - your source for health, workouts, food, supplements and more - blog - The Best HIIT for You

Ever heard of the killer cardiovascular exercise strategy which improves your health & endurance, and also successfully whip you into shape amazingly within a shorter period of time when compared to other regime? You are probably wondering what the heck is HIIT all about?

Well relax, you are about to acquaint yourself with one of the best modern workout sessions and a trendy fitness regime, as voted by fitness professionals in a recent American college of sports survey. Without further ado, let’s dive right in and talk about the best HIIT for you!

What the heck is HIIT?

HIIT is an acronym which stands for High Intensity Interval Training – don’t be intimidated by the name, it’s actually more interesting than it’s sounds. Of course all exercises burn fat, but as already suggested by the name of this particular training – “High Intensity”– is a more intense exercise that will definitely burn more stubborn body fat.

HIIT, also known as High Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) or Sprint Interval Training (SIT) typically involves a series of intense cardiovascular exercises with interspersed short periods of rest or recovery periods. The intense periods of exercises are designed to push you to your limits, usually at 80-95 percent of your maximum heart rate.

These truly are short bursts of truly ruthless, and arduous exercises – of course, if done properly! This is immediately followed by the recovery phase performed at a relatively lower intensity (not total rest), usually somewhere around half of your maximum heart rate, then you basically keep repeating the whole process. But how can you tell you are hitting the 50 percent or 80-95 percent mark? Using a heart rate monitor or a Fitbit can help you monitor your intensity effectively.

Best High Intensity Interval Training Workouts

HIIT Workouts – when done right – are without a doubt, one of the most time efficient forms of full body exercise. They absolutely will get you shredded and confident enough to show off your tight physique on the beach during summer. Little wonder they have been used in the past couple of years by a range of athletes to alternate between different training sessions, build strength and endurance, and also improve their overall performance.

Now before we launch into the different HIIT Workout circuits, if you are an absolute beginner – since you already got your HIIT invitation here anyways – it’s important to know what work to rest ratio means.

Work to rest ratio is simply the comparison between the amount of time you spend during the period of intense exercises to the time you spend during period of reduced exercise intensity. As a beginner, we advise and totally approve that you start your HIIT journey with a work to rest ratio of max 1:2. Example,  20 seconds of intense work to 40 seconds recovery (less intense).

This allows your body to adapt well and get prepared for your newly found love (regimen). But for it to truly qualify as an HIIT Workout, your work periods really have to be WORK periods. As you get more accustomed to the HIIT regimen, you can gradually increase the ratio to an equal time frame of work and rest– 1:1. Example,  20 seconds of intense work to 20 seconds of recovery, and eventually hit the 2:1 all time sweet spot. Example, 40 seconds intense work to 20 seconds recovery phase. Here are some incredible HIIT Workouts categorized based on different purposes/goals.

HIIT Workouts for Fat Loss

Different types of high intensity cardio can be used to burn fat, the secret to achieving a success in this is to combine various exercises effectively but most importantly try stepping up the intensity! Try combining these exercises for each of your circuits. Don’t forget though…a quick warm up is necessary. Want to learn about other ways to lose weight? Read our article here.


The intense workout

High knees; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

Burpees; 10reps, 20 seconds.

Push up; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

The Recovery period

Skaters; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Mountain climber; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Butt kick; 10 reps, 40 seconds.


The intense workouts

High knees; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

Burpees; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

Push up; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

The Recovery period

Skater; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Mountain climber; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Butt kick; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Parallelo Health - your source for health, workouts, food, supplements and more - blog - The Best HIIT for You - mountain climbers

HIIT Workouts to improve endurance levels

Different HIIT Workout protocols have been used by athletes in varying sports, to improve both aerobic and anaerobic endurance levels. The workouts utilizes both your aerobic and anaerobic systems to increase your body’s exercise sustaining ability. Although this sustaining or endurance ability mostly depends on genetics and level of fitness, it can however be improved with focused training.

HIIT successfully achieves this by improving the efficiency of your hemoglobin in your blood to do the work they were designed to do – further optimsing your oxygen and carbon dioxide cycling and enriching your tissues with higher levels of oxygen. Try completing this HIIT Workout circuit sample combinations to get started. You can totally include other exercises to tailor yours to your preferences. It is important to warm up for a few minutes at a comfortable pace of exertion before smashing these full intervals.


The intense workout

Burpees; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

Kettle bell swings; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

Jumping squats; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

The Recovery period

Fast jog; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Dumbbell squats; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Scissors; 10 reps, 40 seconds.


The intense workout

Burpees; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

Kettle bell swings; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

Jumping squats; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

The Recovery period

Mountain climber; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Dumbbell squats; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Scissors; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

HIIT Workouts for muscle gain

There has been a lot of talk as to whether the HIIT Workouts protocols actually work to build that ripped back, bigger, broader chest and a bulging biceps. Really want our take on this? The fact remains that all exercises build a particular set of muscle groups or the other. In the case of HIIT, those short bursts of intense activities would require your body to develop more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are somewhat vital when it comes down to muscle growth and strength.

Thus, if your muscle goals are to build lean muscle mass, HIIT leads the way. If yours are to be somewhere around the poster child – Arnold Schwarzenegger, then you should really think of more effective and advanced routines and lift those weights, all the while incorporating HIIT in your routine and also trying out body part specific body part isolation workouts. Again, doing warm ups before diving into these exercises cannot be overemphasized.


The intense workouts

Push-ups; 20 reps, 20 seconds.

Reverse lunge & knee drive; 10 reps, 20 seconds.

Plank; 15 reps, 20 seconds.

The Recovery period

Squats; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Battle ropes; 10 reps, 40 seconds.

Dips; 10 reps, 40 seconds.


The Intense workout

Push up; 30 reps, 30 seconds.

Reverse lunge & knee drive; 15 reps, 30 seconds.

Plank; 20 reps, 30 seconds.

The Recovery period

Squats; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Battle ropes; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Dips; 10 reps, 30 seconds.

Parallelo Health - your source for health, workouts, food, supplements and more - blog - The Best HIIT for You - kettlebells

Health Benefits of HIIT

Aside from HIIT being a verified method to get you shredded, it has been proven by a slough of top-level researchers to improve your overall health.

Below are some important benefits of HIIT regimen to your health:

  • It improves cardiovascular fitness

One of the core organs in your body that really benefits from this training is your heart – that explains why HIIT is considered to be a form of cardio. The “work, rest, repeat” structure allows HIIT’ers to maximize their cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness – thus improving VO2 max. It improves your heart’s health by increasing it’s capacity to send blood all around the body.

  • Loss of Fat

This is arguably one of the most common reasons people embrace the HIIT regimen – and of course, it’s a good one! HIIT sets your calories on fire both during workouts and even hours after the workouts. The more reason HIIT is such an effective fat burner than most of other exercises, is linked with the ubiquitous “after burn effect”– an EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) effect that keeps torching your excess fat even after you are done exercising. The more time you spend doing HIIT Workouts, the more you induce the magical effects of EPOC! More good news; it not only reduces body fat, but also reduces visceral fat – the stubborn fat around your internal organs.

  • Reduces blood pressure and blood sugar levels

A research journal by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine reveals that HIIT can reduce blood pressure in obese and overweight individuals, who usually are at a higher risk of high blood pressure. But according to the study, it appears not to change the blood pressure of normal weight individuals with usual blood pressure.

Also, HIIT can effectively reduce blood sugar levels (while also improving insulin resistance) in both healthy individuals and type-2 diabetic patients.

Another important advantage that HIIT offers is the incredibly short period it takes to achieve a typical HIIT Workout. You just might not have the time for a long full workout at the gym. But with the typical 30 minutes HIIT Workout per day, you get to enjoy the benefits listed above, still leaving you with enough time for other important daily routines. You can also do HIIT at home. Want to learn more about working out at home? Please read our article here.

We encourage you alternate your daily sessions well within the week, thus giving you about 3 solid days of HIIT Workouts per week.

There you have it! Parallelo Health will keep helping you push your limits.

Have you been around in the HIIT world for a while? Or you just started HIIT’ing? Comment and let us know the workouts combos that really got you shredded!


Author : Marco

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