Anyone for HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training)?



Oftentimes seen simply as ‘Interval Training’ , High Intensity Interval Training is, when undertaken properly and to a set protocol on which you steadily improve is EXTREMELY hard work and demands strong willpower to complete each session you set yourself.

HiiT or Sprint Interval Training consists of a number of high intensity exercises , each immediately followed by periods of recovery. The variation means it can be considerably more interesting when compared to Continuous Training (CT)…or Steady-state training.

To attain the maximum benefit from HiiT , with the least time investment, ideally the high-intensity periods should be EXTREMELY intense…as intense as you can make them. They should fatigue you quickly and you should go for them flat-out. Given that exercising at such high intensities is exceptionally difficult, the duration will be relatively short.

For best results, HiiT sessions are best undertaken on alternate days (and NOT daily or just weekly).

Training modes could include any one or more of the following:

Stair Climbing
Stepping (or cross-trainer)
Battle Ropes
Bodyweight circuits

My personal modes are going to be:

Stationary bike. Indoor Rower. Run/walking uphill and Cross-trainer.

Genuine HiiT sessions are an extremely time-efficient way to optimise your fat-burning mode and studies have shown that when it comes to weightloss, HiiT is far superior to steady-state cardio (I’m certainly not suggesting giving up steady-state stuff, I’ll be doing that also on my other alternate days).

If anyone out there would like to share experiences with me, receive advice and tips (I’m being guided by my stepdaughter, a Personal Trainer and sports scientist) … or simply follow this journey I’ve actually already commenced…maybe you’ll join in later if you like what you read and want results, just let me know… @Noel_Andrews , @TommyD and @Alex_PN .

Even if I simply post what I’m up to it will make me continue doing it!..I started last Friday and am doing it on alternate days…Anyone want to do join in…or follow?


Hi @Zero4,

This looks like a really interesting topic.

I’m keen to do some hiit training and have access to a spinning bike at work which I usually use over the winter so i’ll be having a little dabble.

I see you’ve listed battle ropes can be used for hiit. I was brought a rope in the summer which I’ve never used so any tips or advice would be gratefully received.


On a min for min basis, yes absolutely mate, but matching HIIT & LISS min for min is not actually a real world application

What I mean is, true HIIT will only be sustainable for 10-25 mins at most, whilst LISS can literally go on for hours

So let’s say you do a HIIT session for 20 mins that burns 300 kcal

Now let’s say you do a LISS session for 40-45 mins that also burns say 300 kcal

You’re pretty much exchanging time for efficiency to reach the same overall goal

So it really depends on the variables

Pros for HIIT - Quick & efficient

Cons for HIIT - Hard to recover from & could affect exercise & non-exercise out put on other days (should be limited to 1-3x per week)

Pros for LISS - Easy to perform & recover from, meaning it can be performed daily & thus can potentially burn more calories over the course of the week comapared to HIIT as you can do more of it

Cons for LISS - Takes longer to burn the same amount of calories as HIIT (& can be boring for some people)

So it really does depend on preferences, ability, time available etc

I’m pro both, I did a HIIT sesision yesterday as I was struggling for time, but I usually just walk 60mins every day

Horses for courses & all that :slight_smile:


good points made! especially key for those of us in our 40s and above as well who might be prone to more injuries…


As you’ll have noted in my commentary I’m absolutely not decrying Steady-state, and I’ll be doing this on the other alternate days…as one who lost two-thirds my weight loss these last four MvF groups doing fasted steady road cycling, or on Wattbike, I’m clearly a fan of SS.

Not quite sure why injury gets special mention given that certain injuries can affect any exercise mode if in inopportune place @Alex_PN ! …

PS, I’m 63…So age no barrier… what I do know, from having had a spell a couple of years back of smashing out an extended period of HiiT on my Wattbike, my overall feeling of wellbeing absolutely skyrocketed.

Having belief in the medium and actually DOING it will, I’m confident, bring health, never mind weight loss, benefits for anyone.

Back on subject of SS…I, and any other road cyclist could never bypass SS if you want endurance…as someone who Motorhomes down to Pyrenees for six weeks every summer to do climbs of the Tour de France…and shortly moving to the area permanently, I’m a confirmed SS fan!


Ok @Athumwoo …I know with your injury setback you’re not yet able to get stuck in as yet, but to give you a taster, here’s my schedule for tonight to be undertaken on my Wattbike.

The advantage of a Wattbike and using wattage output as opposed to using heart rate (chest strap and monitor) is that your watts output shows immediately on screen, like the speedo in your car, whereas there is a couple of more seconds delay in your heart rate being accurately reflected on screen.

Tonight’s protocol is:

Ten minutes warm-up… immediately into 15 second full-on sprint…which I will hold at 600 watts for that 15 second duration. Two minutes recovery…then bang into 15 seconds again holding at 600 watts.

I put together a sheet providing the time that should show on my monitor as, experience has shown, it is £uckin’ hard to calculate where you are when your eyeballs are on your knees!.. The sheet is blue tacked near screen:

It may be a bit Heath Robinson, but if my Wattbike allows me to put in such schedule, I’ve not learned how! All I have to remember when starting say the sprint on 10.00 minutes is that I’ve got to go like £–k til 10.15…i then have til 12.15 to go again.

Observations on this schedule: Last week when I recommenced HiiT on the Wattbike I was aiming for 20 second sprints with the same 2 minute recovery before 20 seconds again. This would have made 13 x 20 second sprints in the 30 minutes of the actual HiiT set.

What I found on both Friday’s and Sunday’s session was that although at the commencement of each sprint I was hitting 650 watts (indeed 720+ at start of the earlier ones), after about 15 seconds of the 20 I was fading down to around 530/540 watts. I was also baling out of whole session after eight of the target thirteen sprints and thus only completing 17 minutes of HiiT.

The dilemma then is whether it is better to maintain the aim of 13 x 20 second sprints even though the sprints were facing AND I was not completing the set - or to alter things. Hence tonight is an experiment…having reduced the sprint efforts to ‘just’ 15 seconds I am hoping to maintain above 600 watts. I am going to hold it at 600 plus a few and not press for higher in the hope that this 600+ can be maintained for the WHOLE 15 seconds and the FULL 14 sets planned (in fact the final, 14th is to be held for as long as possible up to the end of the 40 minute (30 of HiiT) period.

These…and your, assuming you do indeed join me, early sessions are experimental… you’ll work over the first, I’d imagine, four to five sessions to establish the most accurate and challenging sets…to last between 20 and 30 (max) HiiT minutes, whilst challenging one’s body and fitness in full within that timeframe.

I’m imagining that the two minutes ‘recovery’ (where if my memory serves me correctly I chug over around 140/150 watts) may prove too long a period… we’ll see. I’ve yet to mentally press myself to complete the full 30 this year, so I’ll continue to monitor and fine-tune the whole protocol.

All HiiT sessions should be MAXIMUM of thirty minutes…After 30 minutes the law of diminishing returns comes into play. There’s also the issue of glycogen stores which, when working at high intensities, will deplete quickly. The 30 minutes excludes your warm-up, cool-down and any stretches etc.

As one improves, the aim will be to decrease the duration of recovery periods, and by default increasing the quantity of intervals within the existing 30 minute session.

Session to be reviewed after completion!!!


Thanks to my missus stopping her car, turning engine off, so she could have a ‘little chat’ with a mate on the phone with headlights still full blaze and subsequently calling ME out to jump start her because RAC were going to be 2 hours, my HiiT session last night has been postponed until tonight…

@Athumwoo when do you / will you have access to spin bike at work? Are you considering pre-work, lunchtime or after-work crack at HiiT?

Regarding battleropes…snap! I bought 15 metre rope/s in the summer… specifically to take to France in motorhome to stand in as part substitute for not being able to do weights in gym. Once we got to camp site it was too public to be seen doing them, so they remain in my home cabin gym unused…as I now have a hernia tear on which I await medical/physio advice. I’m thinking, and hoping, that ropes will be an exercise I can still undertake as it appears that it would not place strain on that area.


I have access to the bike all the time but the shower at work is not very good so I’m limited to evenings only and then I’m limited to the kids social life.

I’ll be squeezing some sessions in when I can over the next couple of months


All sounds very interesting. Personally I’m not sure HiiT does anything more for weight loss than any other form of exercise. 90% of weight loss is about eating less.

I’m currently working my way through the British Cycle off season base builder 12 week programme. I has its fair share of intervals though not all HiiT. Also a long way from your fitness levels. I wouldn’t call 200 Watts easy.

I’m no expert but your programme seems to be more intensive than others I’ve seen. I wonder how well you maintain the watts on the later stages than in the earlier ones.

@ilpirata or @miniwomble might be able to advise.


I find all this stuff interesting and I love how much @maxnas brings to the forum with his common sense no bs info. All power to you.

BUT, for us farties/fatties ie never going to be athletes, I fear we are in danger of over-analysis. As @Adrian says, losing weight is 90% eating less. Not only that, it’s as simple as that. Green tea, protein only, 5:2, skip breakfast/don’t skip breakfast, it doesn’t matter. Just eat less. Find a way to eat less and do that. Don’t make it more complicated than that

FWIW, I Zwift. A lot. I cycle outdoors as well. I do it because I like it and it’s sustainable. I’m never going to win the tdf. In fact half the time I struggle to keep up with my cycling club mates. I don’t tend to do workouts like @adrian, because I don’t really enjoy them. I like racing and I like doing hills so I race and I do hills.

At the end of a session, normally an hour i’ve burnt some calories, normally between 600 and 1,000 depending. But it doesn’t matter. It helps create a calorie deficit which means I lose weight. I’m not looking to be an athlete so I don’t need it to be more complicated. Life is complicated enough isn’t it?


Apologies for confloating green tea with 5:2 etc. I wasn’t suggesting 5:2 is a fad, unlike green tea. I was trying to say that you should do what works for you. Personally I can’t do 5:2, but plenty can


Yep. Thats the key for me. Do what exercise you enjoy. If you enjoy HiiT then that’s great. Enjoying exercise means different things for different people. I don’t enjoy doing any HiiT on the turbo trainer. However I have been on the track with the local cycling club. Some of what I’ve done there could be decribed as HiiT, though I’ve just thought of it as good fun.


amen brother (hulk hogan voice)


I’ve written earlier in thread about my experience of NOT being able to sustain over 600 watts for a full 20 seconds AND not completing the planned 13 sprints that would make up a full 30 minutes of HiiT. In fact the sets I did on Friday and Sunday I only completed 7 sprints, and on each the watts dropped from 650 down to about 530 between 16/20 seconds…

As a result I decided from last night’s session to drop the sprint to 15 seconds with the Intention (successful) of maintaining 600+ for the full sprint…and get 14 sprints in the 30 minutes…on the latter I cracked however, and ‘only’ did 10…but that’s actually the whole point - this training is all focussed on improvement, with each session being improved upon.

Once I can hold 600+ for the full 15 x 14 sets, the next sequence could be either to aim to hold 625+, or maybe increase 15 seconds back up towards the 20.

What I DO know from the bashing I gave this type of HiiT training a couple of years back (I think an unrelated injury got me out of habit/hobby)…is that after just a couple of weeks following a plan, my general health and fitness wellbeing absolutely skyrocketed…which is why I was happy to introduce it to anyone wanting to give it a whirl.

Enjoyment!! …as I’ve said above, and others have commented on same thing… enjoyment is what anyone’s exercise should be about.

Maybe this HiiT stuff is something reminiscent of my old rugby sprint training…having a strong-voiced coach yelling you up grass terracing and getting you to do it over again!.. I love pain! …


@miniwomble …These HiiT sessions are reminiscent of taking the front of our cycling club rides and winding the pace up on the flat sections and waiting for the mutter from the back “Who’s that on the front upping the pace!?”…and they’re glad of the shelter…the wheelsuckers!


in our club it’s normally " this is supposed to be a cappucino run, not a f*ing double espresso!"


Hi all, ive done Insanity a few times once all the way through and a other times just dipping in and out. It as its called Insane, tough and ive never sweated more. If you follow the diet plan it can bring huge results but as mentioned you have to be extremely dedicated. When I did it I didnt follow the diet plan or even change my eating habits yet i Lost over a stone. Currently I jog 2/3 times a week and do insanity once or twice