Many of us want to avoid change, especially in our workouts, because it can be overwhelming to make a change and venture into unknown territory. Even when you know that change is needed, or that it can take you to a new level of success, we fight it. We fight the unknown.

A cardio workout that makes us sweat some is called HIIT workout or high intensity interval training. Here is some of the guidelines to making the most of your time and energy.

stair climbing for hiit workout

Here we will look at the simple ways to begin implementing high-intensity training into your routine. This is for beginners and is a simple way to start-out.  The provided workout is an aerobic, or cardiovascular, workout. You can use this type of workout on a treadmill, stationary bike, etc.

Please note: If you have any health concerns, conditions, or if you are on medications be sure to consult your doctor prior to making changes in your current exercise routines.

How to begin building your fitness cardio with a HIIT workout?

Many wonder where they should begin when it comes to HIIT training. What equipment do you need? What exercises should you know?

Each HIIT workout, you will want to be sure to have the following items ready to go prior to starting:

  • Water
  • Heart rate (HR) monitor, Fitbit, Apple Watch, or other device for monitoring your HR and calorie expenditure
  • Phone or other wireless device – with app open, ready and workout completed
  • Towel

Setting Up Your Interval Fitness Workout

Setting up your first high-intensity, aerobic workout will require flexibility. High-intensity interval training is different than most workouts that you are used to as there is no “down time”. You will be working consistently for the duration of the workout, so be sure to listen to your body and keep an eye on your heart rate.

Below is a sample workout for you to use, however, if you are only able to complete 10 of the 20 minutes of interval training, that is fine. It will always be more effective for you to finish what you can successfully and then work to increase the number of sets you complete as you go.

Please note, HIIT, or any other type of high-intensity training, will require a longer period of recovery. It is suggested to allow 1-3 days between workouts in the initial phase of training in this manor to allow for full recovery.

Sample HIIT Workout – Level Beginner

You can set your workout up in the app just as I show below. The intervals are shown as “High” and “Low” Intervals. The level at which you begin is completely up to you and should be specific for your personal needs, fitness level, and (if applicable) your medical conditions.

Please choose a piece of equipment to use during this HIIT workout, or if you prefer to be outside and are comfortable in that environment, then that will work as well. The sample workout below is an aerobic focus. You will help you become acquainted with how interval training works and feels.

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This will also give you more control as you begin to feel how your body responds. To re-iterate, you are in control of what your settings are, so your high intensity bouts and low intensity bouts will look different than mine, your friend’s, co-worker’s, etc.

Warm-up: Duration 5 minutes

Your warm-up should be active and allow for you to begin increase your heart rate in a controlled manor. It is also important to include an active stretch during this time as well.

  • 3-minute Walk
  • Frankenstein’s (30 sec.)
  • Butt-kickers (30 sec.)
  • Forward, Walking lunges with overhead reach (30 sec.)
  • Carioca – two sets of 20 sec. each

High-Intensity, Aerobic HIIT Workout

1. Warm- up: 5 minutes.  6. 1-minute High Interval   11. 1-minute Low Interval   16. 2- Minute High Interval
2. :30 sec High Interval 7. 1-minute Low Interval   12. 1 ½ -minute High Interval   17. 2 – Minute Low Interval
3. 1min Low Interval 8. 1-minute High Interval   13. 1-minute Low Interval   18. 5 – minute Cool Down
4. :30 sec High Interval 9. 1-minute Low Interval   14. 2- minute High Interval Total Interval Time: 20-minutes
5. 1-minute Low Interval   10. 1 ½ – minute High Interval 15.  2- minute Low Interval   Total Cardio Time: 30-minutes