No Time For Exercise? Short, Intense Workouts May Be More Effective

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a form of exercise in which you burn fat in short, intense workouts. You can perform intervals with just about any workout. For example, if you’re running, you can sprint hard for about 15 seconds and then jog or walk for 10 seconds, repeating the cycle 3 to 4 times or however many you can do. Other HIIT workouts can be done with bodyweight workouts as well.

A sample workout could consist of a warm-up followed by:

  • Push-ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats
  • Stationary lunges
  • Burpees

These bodyweight exercises could be done for 15-20 reps. The entire routine can be repeated 3-4 times.

Another HIIT method is the Tabata Method. This works by performing 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). [Source: HIIT]

Why I Like HIIT

I like using interval training for a few main reasons:

1. You get more done in less time – Most workouts last for about 30-45 minutes.

2. You burn more fat – From what I’ve read, the fat burn lasts long after the workout is complete.

3. Boredom is not a problem – There are so many exercises you can do with your bodyweight or free weights. The chances of getting bored are slim.

4. Doesn’t require much – You don’t need a ton of equipment. Your bodyweight is typically fine enough but you can also incorporate free weights.

5. Can be done almost anywhere – You can workout at home, in the park, at the beach – where there is enough space, you can use HIIT.

Two great interval training programs that you may consider:

  • Insanity™ – 60-Day Total-Body Conditioning Program
  • Turbo Fire® – 12-Week Intense Cardio Conditioning Program

Are you a fan of HIIT?


Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

21 thoughts on “No Time For Exercise? Short, Intense Workouts May Be More Effective”

  1. I 100% agree with this post! Interval training was the most effective for me!

    Instead of keep the speed at a constant level for half an hour on the treadmill which was also very boring! I would adjust the speed every 5 mins and I noticed improvements very quickly, particularly on my stomach! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m a big fan of HIIT and circuit training routines. They’re a great way to save time in the gym and still burn a lot of fat. Bodyweight exercises provide a great workout as well. The Tabata protocol is very intense but I try to incorporate it into my workouts every few months.

  3. Great post!

    I’ve been on an HIIT kick for the past year. It has helped me dramatically increase both my long and short-distance cardio.

    It’s a great technique for everyone, but especially those who are in a crunch for time.

  4. Its so important to change up your workouts and keep them fresh and interesting and new. HILT is a great and easy way to maximize workouts and in turn maximize results. Thanks for sharing!

  5. So true! Seems that the number one complaint about exercise is boredom… and this is one of the best ways to counter boredom in a workout! Plus, you’re working so hard that you forget to be bored! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love teaching interval-style to my clients, love using it myself… ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I started HIT about a year ago and love it. It totally transformed my motivation and mindset and made working out fun again. Anyone who’s bored or unmotivated should give it a try.

  7. This is great advice! Interval training really keeps things fresh and makes my work out time fly by. I love it since it really pumps up my cardio while i lift!

  8. Great post. I am always happy to stumble across more and more bloggers discussing high intensity interval training. It’s definitely a way to go, especially for those who are time starved. Another thing I love about HIIT is that it works aerobic and anaerobic system.

  9. I like HIIT training the best! I do 20-25 minutes on treadmill or elliptical then I am done, but when I am done exercising I am exhausted you have to really push yourself on the high intensity parts.

  10. As Denise said: “you have to really push yourself on the high intensity parts”

    I think so many trainers like and enjoy HIIT because they have the level of fitness to do it. As far as the average exerciser, I think too many do not have the fitness foundation to really benefit from HIIT, and need to work up gradually to being able to perform productive HIIT workouts.

  11. I work for a martial arts school that focuses on To Shin Do and I see HIIT-like being used in that context all the time and it really pays off! It also keeps the kids from getting bored.

  12. This is great advice: I sometimes donโ€™t have time to spend my entire lunch hour at the gym and will certainly be following these tips to make the most of the time I do getโ€ฆ many thanks!

  13. The “can be done almost anywhere” is really very true, and is one of the reasons why I love this sort of training method. Great pst!

  14. I really like this idea. The notion that 30 min or 1 hour workouts are the only way to get fit is so not true. It’s good to mix things up and always better to get some exercise than none: high intensity or otherwise!

  15. Not only is HIIT a great way to have an effective workout in a short period of time, but anyone can do it without needing expensive equipment. I also love how easy it is to switch up the workouts and keep things fresh! Short, effective workouts with loads of variety sounds like a recipe for weight loss to me!

  16. The HIIT workout is similar to existing intense training methods that already exists, but with a different name. I was surprise to see that no age group was mentioned for this intense workout nor emphasis on how to warm up prior to HIIT workouts. Also, you mentioned that fat burn lasts long, but how long? I do like the info you provided…just thought I pass on some food for thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *