High Intensity Interval Training and Tabata Workouts


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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a way of exercising in which you alternate short periods of intense bursts of activity with shorter periods of rest for recovery.  HIIT workouts are usually short intense workouts lasting anywhere from 4 to 20 minutes. They have been proven to improve athletic ability as well as glucose metabolism and fat burning!  They are a great strategy to use to lose weight as with these workouts you lose weight from fat, but not muscle. In fact, these can be effective in building muscle also. HIIT is an excellent way to build and strengthen your cardiovascular system and help you build a healthier heart. You will become healthier all around as driving oxygen into your body benefits all of your organs and systems.  

One of the wonderful benefits of HIIT is that it can be done with or without using weights.  It is an ideal workout to do with many bodyweight exercises and these can be done anywhere. No need to go to a gym; you can do them in your living room or in the park or wherever you are. So you never need to go without your workout.  HIIT is an ideal way to get the most out of your workout quickly and from anywhere.


The Interval Timer

The one piece of equipment that is really beneficial to have for doing HIIT workouts is a good timer. I have and love my Gyboss timer.

Read more about it and options for it here.


High intensity interval training and tabata workouts



10 Great Benefits of HIIT

1. Quick – HIIT workouts are usually under 20 minutes!

2. Do it Anywhere –  HIIT can be done at home, outside, in the office, at school, in your hotel room, in the jungle or anywhere!

3. No Equipment – HIIT can be done with jus bodyweight exercises or can be done using weights. They are very adaptable and versatile.

4. Challenging – Bodyweight exercises can be harder than they appear and they are easy to modify  to make them more challenging, for instance make the work intervals longer or add weight if you want to increase the challenge. If it is too challenging modify so that you are still challenging yourself but not making it too hard to do, for example do push ups from your knees, reverse lunges for jump lunges etc. or make the work intervals shorter. This is your fitness journey. You want to challenge yourself in a way that is encouraging and make the workouts work for you.

5. See Fast Progress – If you keep track of your reps and scores you will be amazed at how quickly you will build strength, stamina and endurance. Always write your workouts down in a journal to keep track of your workouts and reps for each exercise so you can see your progress.

6. Efficient – You will notice changes in your body quickly. Do it regularly and keep an eye on the mirror. It won’t be long until you see the nice lines and shape you are developing.

7. Fat Burning – Studies have proven them to be the most effective workouts for burning fat!

8. Increase Metabolism – The high levels of oxygen brought into the body during a HIIT workout leads to an increased post-workout metabolism rate. These short workouts are proven to rev up your metabolism and keep it running for several hours after your workout.

9. Cardiovascular Health – Studies have shown them to be very effective at increasing healthy cardiovascular levels which leads to a stronger and healthier heart!

10. Build Muscle – HIIT is one of the quickest ways to not only lose weight but also build muscle fast.

Bonus benefit: Stimulates HGH –  HIIT has been shown to stimulate production of Human Growth Hormone, which helps to slow down the aging process, by up to 450 percent during 24 hours after you finish your workout. HGH helps to burn calories also while making your body act younger and making you feel and look younger too!



 Tabata Workouts

What is Tabata training?

Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training. It is a training method that was originally used by a Japanese Olympic speed skating team and studied by Izumi Tabata. Tabata studied its effect on a group of male college PE major students who played on different teams and found it to have amazing results. It had dramatic effects and showed huge improvements in both their aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels.

Tabata workouts were originally designed to be one exercise done at a very high intensity level during each of the 8 intervals. It is very intense and very hard to do. Most of us cannot sustain doing high reps of exercises for 8 rounds in a row. Try it timing yourself doing push ups in a tabata session: 8 rounds of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds work doing as many as you can during each work interval. For me, and for most, the numbers will dramatically reduce for each round; more so for more intense exercises; less so for less intense exercises. For this reason I often will alternate exercises during a tabata round providing a bit of recovery from each exercise and getting more reps in overall.  I find this the most effective way of doing tabata workouts.

Alternating exercises for tabata intervals can be done different ways; alternating bodyweight exercises with weighted ones, alternating cardio exercises with isometric ones or alternating exercises focusing on one major muscle group with another one, and so on. The options are endless and it has become a very popular and very effective strategy for working out. Did I mention that it is great to help boost metabolism? It is one of the best workouts for this. Tabata is a form of high intensity interval training, which has been shown to be the best type of training for burning fat as well as for improving cardiovascular endurance.

My workout for today – Butt Blasting Tabata Workout – has 3 rounds of 4 minute tabata intervals – Try it out!


To your highest fitness performance and to your optimal health!

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