High intensity interval training is known for its effectiveness, especially when it comes to improving fitness and increasing fat loss.
That said, many beginners shy away from this method of training since it’s so intense.
And that’s a big mistake.
The fact is, regardless of your current fitness level, there is always a way to dial down (or up) exercise intensity to fit your current conditioning level.
And today I’m going to show how to take on HIIT without hurting yourself.
I’ll also share with you a few workout routines for the complete beginner.
So, are you excited?
Then here we go.
But first things first, what’s the HIIT?
HIIT is a form of training that alternates intervals of all-out exercise effort, such as sprinting or high-intensity bodyweight work, with recovery periods of low to moderate intensity, such as walking, or complete rest.
This contrasts drastically with the continuous steady-state, moderate cardio training that most people do for 45 to 60 minutes.
Here is the truth: you don’t need to be an elite athlete to take full advantage of interval training.
In fact, being a complete beginner does not inherently mean that high-intensity interval training is not for you.
But, be warned.
HIIT, by definition, involves intense work.
So, you’ll be causing more wear and tear on your body if you don’t follow sense safety and injury-free training guidelines—some of which I’m sharing with you here today.
The Beginner Tips You Need
Here is how to take on high-intensity interval training workouts most effectively as you work your way toward achieving your fitness goals.
And just because the routines shared below are for beginners, that does not mean, by no means, they’re easy.
Form is Key
When it comes to efficient and injury free training, your technique is paramount—whether you’re prepping for your first 5K, or taking up resistance training as a complete beginner.
In fact, proper form is more important than reps performed. You are better off not exercising if you’re going to do it with bad technique.
So, please, as you get started, focus on your technique.
“Form first, speed second” should be your motto. Otherwise, don’t bother.
Stay Within your Fitness level
If you’re taking up HIIT for the first time—or starting over after an injury or a long layoff—the key to success lies in staying within your fitness level.
This is the golden principle of injury-free training. It’s the overarching principle that’s true regardless of your current fitness levels or training goals.
Of course, HIIT workouts are all about intensity, but pushing too much and too hard too early can lead to injury and painful burnouts. And you don’t want that.
This strategy is simple—just listen to your body and be willing to readjust your training approach as needed.
Also, as a beginner, keep an eye on your heart rate, and stop when you need to. No need to try to match your expectations.
Don’t do HIIT every day
Since HIIT style workouts are usually short and intense, it can be quite tempting to try to do them every single day of the week without taking any sort of rest.
Yet, that’s a big mistake.
And doing so will only cause more harm than good—and you don’t want that.
For the complete beginner, I would say two HIIT classes a week would be a good starting point.
Next, gradually work yourself up to three to four sessions a week.
This helps ward off overuse injuries and overtraining when starting out. It also allows your body time to properly recover.
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Before each interval style session, start your training with a proper warm-up.
The right warm-up sets the tone for the rest of the workout.
It helps increase body temperature, raise heart rate, and get your muscles ready to fire up at top speed— critical ingredients in injury-free and efficient training.
An ideal warm-up sequence should comprise the following:
5 to 10 minutes of slow jogging (or spinning,) to raise heart and breathing rate. You can also jog or march in place *.
Once you feel warmed up, perform 12 to 16 reps of the following dynamic stretches:
- Standing crisscross crunches
- Side lunges
- High kicks
- Leg swings, front to back, and
These moves fire up all of the major muscle groups—including those of the upper body, lower body, and core.
5 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners
To kick off your HIIT journey without a hitch, here are five fat-burning, muscle-building interval workouts to try.
These routines can take any beginners into elite HIIT beast in just a few months.
Each routine involves performing easy-to-master and convenient exercises, made just for you.
All you need is basic equipment, a mat, water, and some willpower. The rest is just details, as the saying goes.
Workout I – The 15-minute Simple HIIT Full Body Routine
The following workout combines basic cardio and bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere, anytime—hence it’s ideal for the complete beginner.
Complete the following circuit five times, resting one minute between each round.
20 Jumping jacks
10 Modified Burpees
Workout II—The 15-Minute Kettlebell Routine
In my experience, kettlebell training is the ideal HIIT tool for pushing heart rate to the max, especially when you’re pressed for time.
The following routine calls for three minutes of intense work followed by two minutes of complete rest. Do as many reps as possible in each three-minute round. Complete five to six rounds.
American Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell Clean and press
Kettlebell Goblet lunge
Workout III – The 20-Minute Lung Busting Routine
Consisting of mainly cardio-based move, the following routine will increase your heart rate like nothing else. Perform each exercise for one minute, moving from one move to the next with no rest.
Once you finish the circuit, rest for two minutes, then repeat two to three times.
High knees jog
Workout IV—The Lower Body Sculptor Routine
If you’re looking to build up your lower body strength and endurance while getting in some fat-burning cardio, the following routine is ideal.
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, taking a 30-second break between each. Shoot for five rounds.
Workout V—The 30-Minute Total Body Feast
This is a challenging routine, so be careful.
Complete 12 to 16 reps of each with 30 seconds rest in between. Repeat the circuit as many times as you can in 30 minutes.
Weighted Russian Twists
Here you have it!
These beginner HIIT workouts are all you need to get you started on the high-intensity training path. So, what are you waiting for?
Take action now. The rest is just detail.