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HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training Routines

Get ready to HIIT the gym with Dual FIT as we lay down the law on high intensity interval training.

High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short) is a wildly popular method of exercising that focuses on short bursts of high intensity activity followed by short periods of rest and recovery. You can view our thorough write-up regarding the benefits of high intensity interval training by clicking here.  A typical workout utilizing HIIT would consist of sixty seconds or so of high intensity training followed by ninety seconds of rest, repeated for fifteen minutes or so. This style of workout has been proven very effective at increasing cardiovascular health and studies have shown that in just two weeks of HIIT training, young men developed significant increases in resistance to insulin, helping prevent Type II Diabetes. Another benefit of HIIT training is an increased capacity for oxygen in your lungs. If you train via HIIT, you will find it much easier to climb a flight of stairs or go on a light jog without becoming winded.

If you’re looking to get swole’, then you might be overlooking HIIT as a method for bulking up. Studies have shown that in the twenty-four hours following a HIIT workout, the body produces 450% more human growth hormone than normal. HGH is the stuff that encourages your body to build lean muscle mass. High intensity interval training has also been shown to increase your metabolism substantially in the 24 hours following the exercise. Anytime you have the opportunity to increase your metabolism, do it. It not only aids in weight loss, it keeps the body healthy on the inside as well.

Below, we list several high intensity interval training routines that’ll get you going. After reading this post, you should take action by choosing the routine that is right for you and doing it! The faster you begin, the faster the results start pouring in. You will need a heart rate monitor in order to perform these exercises with maximum effectiveness. For the strenuous part of the exercise, your goal should be to have your heart pumping at 85% of its maximum rate.

To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220 and you will have a decent estimate.  Training beyond 85% of your maximum heart rate increases the risk of injury without providing any added benefit. Without further adieu, lets “HIIT” the gym!


This one has sets that are a bit longer than most HIIT routines but is good for those looking to emphasize Lance Armstrong style  leg endurance. You will find yourself biking the French Alps in no-time.


  • Do a 3-minute warmup period at medium pace with no incline/resistance. (60-80 RPM)
  •  Thirty seconds in, increase the resistance and add a level of steepness but keep the RPM above 80.
  •  Keep repeating until you cannot hold a pace above 80 RPM.
  •  Rest for two minutes and repeat as desired. Your goal should be to work up to a fifteen minute cycle workout. The fifteen minutes should include the five minute warm up and cool down.



  • Bike for five minutes to warm up.
  • Cycle at maximum intensity for one minute.
  • Coast for one minute.
  • Repeat the maximum intensity set for one minute.
  • Rinse and repeat for fifteen minutes with a five minute period of light activity at the end.

HIIT Routines


This one combines the Earth and your feet to create a powerful workout that will have your glutes set ablaze’. In other words, we will be sprinting.


  • Do a light jog for five minutes to warm up.
  • Sprint for thirty seconds (if you’re new) or one minute (seasoned vet) at near maximum intensity.
  • Go back to a light jog for one minute to a minute and a half.
  • Repeat for seventeen minutes, at the end of your routine do a five minute cool down.


If you are on the row team at Princeton, or just want to build back and shoulder strength while maintaining cardiovascular health then try this HIIT exercise on for size.


  • Warm up for three minutes or so.
  • Immediately after the three minutes are up, go hard for sixty seconds.
  • Take a sixty second break .
  • Do another sixty second, maximum intensity set.
  • Repeat for seventeen minutes while allowing for a five minute cool down.


For this one you will need either a stairmaster or a set of stairs that takes you roughly sixty seconds to climb. Your butt will be a masterpiece after doing this for a couple of months. Since we are going to be putting a lot of stress on our legs and glutes, lets make sure and stretch before-hand with this one.


  • Ascend and descend the stairs for five minutes or so. Do this at a light pace, as this is our warm up.
  • After your warm up, climb the stairs or stairmaster at maximum intensity for forty-five seconds to a minute.
  • Rest for one minute. If you are really looking to build those legs do some LIGHT lunges during your rest.
  • Do another set of high-intensity stair climbs.
  • Repeat for five minutes, then do a five minute long cool down (continuous and light.)


It’s common knowledge that most people do not like doing pushups. It’s a hard exercise, and if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength it can be especially strenuous. Perform this HIIT exercise if you want to build upper body strength while maintaining cardiovascular excellence.


  • For this one, we are going to break the mold and warm up with five minutes of jumping jacks. If you don’t know how to do jumping jacks then ask a friend or co-worker to demonstrate it for you. You will feel like a kid again.
  • After your warm up, plop down and pound out a set of pushups at maximum intensity for 60 seconds. I’m talking maximum intensity here.
  • Take a minute and a half break.
  • Keep doing sets of pushups/breaks for five minutes.
  • Do another five minutes of  jumping jacks for your cool down (light.)


This one is a staff favorite here at Dual FIT. Our favorite lifting routines call for a rest day consisting of cardiovascular exercise and abdominal work. This high intensity interval training routine combines the best of both worlds. Utilize this workout if you are looking to build up core strength while maintaining cardiovascular fitness.


  • Much like with the pushup routine listed above, we will start by doing a five minute light jog to warm up.
  • Head over to your gym’s power tower (or captain’s chair) and do sixty seconds of full out, high intensity knee raises. You will feel the burn, I assure you.
  • Rest for sixty seconds.
  • Do another set of intensity-filled knee raises and rest. Repeating for five minutes.
  • Do a five minute light jog to cool down.


As you can see, high intensity interval training is very versatile. You can mix and match and even create your own routines. The HIIT Routinesmain emphasis for someone new to HIIT should be a routine that goes hard for sixty seconds and then breaks for a minute to two minutes, depending on the exercise involved. As you get accustomed to HIIT, you can lower the work to rest ratio from 3:1 to something like 2:1 and eventually even 1:1. Just make sure that you are ready before jumping to the next level. Since you are going to be performing these exercises at a very high rate of speed and intensity, you will want to make sure to stretch THOROUGHLY beforehand. You know how easy it would be to pull a hamstring during sprints or to pull a quad on the cycle without stretching and warming up? Very easy.  Since we are going to be pushing ourselves to the maximum, warm ups and cool downs are extremely important as well.


If you have heart disease or a family with a history of heart problems, you will want to consult a doctor before beginning a high intensity interval training program. If you currently smoke, are sedentary, are overweight, or are over the age of sixty then it would be wise to consult a doctor before jumping into an exercise like this. If you are out of shape, start out slow and gradually work your way up to a fitter, healthier you.