We all know HIIT can produce incredible results with fitness and fatloss. But HIIT for beginners is incredibly strenuous, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. So how exactly do you start?
Here’s where most people go wrong.
The head off to the closest field, fondly remember the days of the high school athletic prowess. Then without too much prep, sprint as hard as they can…….
Then end up back at home, nursing their injuries with ice….
Here is what you should do instead.
Use HIIT workouts with progressive difficulty to get fitter.
Start off easy, and gradually build according to your level, using progressions.
Where can you begin?
The HIIT interval in this video is a great place to start…
Does this work?
It works incredibly.
Before I started this site, I ran an Interval training site called the lose belly fat workout. It was an HIIT workout for beginners.
(I’ll include the nuts and bolts of the workout below.)
Over 60 000 people participated in the workout. On average most people lost around 20 pounds and got fit.
I had three people who lost over 100 pounds each, just using these HIIT progressions.
Unfortunately, I don’t have their emails anymore, but I did find these comments on one of the youtube videos.
Well, before you do, lets go over a few things, like how fast do you have to go….
How fast is fast?
Ok, let’s discuss intensity.
In HIIT we normally measure Intensity on a scale from 1 to 10.
1 is pretty much standing still,
5 is a light jog
10 is running as if a lion was chasing you for dinner.
A lot of the exercises, especially the HIIT routines on this website ask for the athlete to give it everything (10) on the sprints.
If you are doing HIIT as a beginner, going from sitting on a sofa for ten years to all of sudden belting it like you made the 100 meter Olympic final may not be the best thing for your body.
This will let your body ease into pace of an interval sprint.
Also “All out” or 10 on the scale is a relative term.
To Usain Bolt all out means going faster than any human being has in the history of time… to us it may mean walking as fast as we can until we start losing our breath.
It just means going as intensely as we can….like this 🙂
So be kind to your body and learn to distinguish what it feels like between pushing it hard and pushing it over its limit.
Remember that in HIIT, especially in the beginning, slow is fast… Its no use sitting on the couch waiting for an injury to heal.
15 minutes is easy…
Now let’s chat about sets, particularly HIIT sets.
When doing HIIT for beginners, 15 minutes can feel longer than a year.
When I first started HIIT I ignored all the above advice and went at it harder than a hammer.
After I did my second sprint my legs and chest were on fire, apart from that I felt dizzy and was gulping for air, there was just no way I was ever going to complete the whole workout… but I tried…
By the time I got to 8 sprints it was more like a slow crawl.
Old grannies with walkers were asking me to scoot over.
It was a pointless exercise.
If you haven’t got the juice yet to make a full workout, do what you can do now with intensity, then hit the showers….even if that’s just two sets
When you come through the next week try adding two more sets. You will gradually build up to the whole workout.
For Maximum Benefits make sure you are using Major Muscle Groups
There are a range of activities that you can do with HIIT. When choosing an activity try to pick one that safely uses the largest muscle groups in your body. (ie legs and back)
High Intensity Interval Training will try and tap the energy sources found inside the muscle.
The larger the muscle group being exercised, the more these energy sources are tapped…. the more the benefit.
The absolute best for HIIT is sprinting.
If however you have injuries or other problems which prevent you from sprinting by all means pick something else which you can manage safely.
You can try this on a treadmill, but ultimately running on a track or field will give you better results.
The second best would probably be a stationery spinning bike.
Here are a selection of exercise you can choose from.
You can even select more than one for a routine:
HIIT for Beginners: The Workout
If you are starting off with an HIIT interval training for beginners routine, the best workout is the “Lose Your Belly Fat Fast” Interval workout.
It builds from a beginners HIIT workout with 6 sets and lots of rest to the Standard HIIT routine with 15 sets and a lot less rest in a period of 8 weeks.
This program will get into interval shape in no time, and make some incredible changes to your body while you get there.
Originally the workout started out pretty tough, and just got tougher, so I’ve scaled it down a little. Its still tough but its a lot easier to get into now
|Weeks||Sprints||Rests||No. of Sets|
|1||30 Secs||90 Secs||4|
|2||30 Secs||90 Secs||6|
|3||30 Secs||60 Secs||4|
|4||30 Secs||60 Secs||6|
|5||30 Secs||30 Secs||6|
|6||30 Secs||30 Secs||8|
|7||30 Secs||30 Secs||10|
|8||30 Secs||30 Secs||12|
|9||30 Secs||30 Secs||14|
|10||30 Secs||30 Secs||15|
OK, here is what the table means:
The sprint represents how long you sprint for. This is consistent over the whole program. You will always exercise hard for 30 seconds.
Next is the rest period. So week 1 will have a rest period of 90 seconds where you can catch your breath.
Then comes the number of sets. This just represents the number of times you repeat the cycle. So for week 1, you repeat it four times, your routine will look like this.
Lastly is the weeks. This is important!
You should not progress according to the weeks!
You progress according to how you feel and how you are coping!
So if you do week 1, and you are barely coping…. Stay on week 1!
Only progress when you feel like you can.
There is no race! Got it?
Be nice to your ever improving, constantly toning body 🙂