Turn up the HIIT


Happy Friday, all you beautiful people!

Fun fact: Interval training is FREAKING AWESOME!

I probably already gave it away but today I’m talking about my favourite type of workout – high intensity interval training (aka HIIT or simply interval training)!

Let me just say that interval training kicks my whiny ass every single time I try it, but there has never been a day that I didn’t leave the gym feeling like an absolute boss because of it. Before I get into my experience with interval training I’d like to outline what it is along with some of its benefits (apart from the fact that it induces feelings of world domination).

What’s HIIT?

High intensity interval training involves alternating quick bursts of movement and slower recovery intervals for a set number of times. For example, you go all out running as fast as possible for thirty seconds and slow it down for the next minute. Then repeat ten, fifteen, twenty times – whatever you feel good doing.

You needn’t necessarily run when doing HIIT – any aerobic activity should fit the bill just fine. I personally really enjoy running, stationary cycling, elliptical training.

Why would I put myself through that?

It is common knowledge that high intensity interval training helps burn fat faster and for a longer time after you’re done hitting the gym. According to BodyBuilding.com, HIIT kicks your metabolic rate up and keeps it there for much longer after you’re done clutching your sides and gasping for breath.

Get-Fit-Guy, Ben Greenfield, digs deeper into the science behind HIIT. He tells us that interval training creates something called an oxygen debt that helps us burn from 12-100 calories per hour for 24 hours after we finish exercising, depending on how severely your butt gets kicked. Fellow university kids will agree when I say that this is one kind of debt I’d dive right into!

Need even more science-y facts? Click here.




Before I go any further, I did promise you that I would never knowingly dish out harmful advice.

On that note, it is of utmost importance that you know this: If you are not used to intense intervals, or high intensity cardio and are more comfortable with slower, steady paced workouts – DON’T jump into HIIT! I don’t want you damaging yourself.

Remember… always ease into things.

If you’re looking to get started with interval training without prior experience, think of lengthening the duration of your recovery interval at first. Ace Fitness has a great chart to get you started on the one exercise we love to hate.

My HIIT workouts

Moving on…

Usually I integrate HIIT into the cardio sections of my workout and stick to regular, steady strength training. I do a two-minute walk (under level 3) followed by a minute long run (level 5+) and repeat that 10x.

Today, to mix things up, I’m going to suck it up and do a full fledged strength and cardio interval workout (seriously though, talk me out of this before I’m dead). The We Can’t Stop – Pop HIIT workout is designed by the one and only, Cassey Ho (pilates instructor, Blogilates founder and all-round awesome person). Cassey packs a whole lot of ass-whooping into an hour long workout to get maximum benefit out of the time you spend working all that cheesecake off at the gym.

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We Can’t Stop – Pop HIIT workout video:

And here’s the checklist if anyone’s feeling gutsy and preparing to head to the gym right now. Good on you!

I really don’t know how Cassey pulls off looking as ecstatic as she does while doing this workout sent straight from the gates of hell, but I can assure you that I will look much, much worse.

Wish me luck!

Next week, I will be chronicling my grocery store adventures so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by, you’re awesome!

(P.S., As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say so go on and write me something in the comment box below.)

Photo credit:


About Karuna Israni

Going into my third year at UofT, aspiring writer, desperately trying to get back into shape, traveller, amateur photographer (aka iPhone owner/ Instagram account holder)
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2 Responses to Turn up the HIIT

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