High-intensity interval training has received more attention in recent years. It is so popular mainly because it is said to be very efficient, requires little time and, with HIIT training, many workouts can be completed without equipment at home or outdoors. The fat loss effect should also be optimal during high-intensity interval training. But does the HIIT workout training method keep all of these promises? What needs to be considered and is HIIT training suitable for everyone?

What is HIIT training? What biochemical processes are behind it?

HIIT originally comes from English and means “high intensity interval training”. In German, however, the abbreviation works just as well with the translation, because high-intensity interval training is very close to the English explanation. At this high intensity, training is sometimes carried out at a maximum heart rate - at least for short periods of time.

The HIIT training method is all about getting maximum intensity from every exercise. It is not the number of repetitions that is considered, but rather the time in which the exercise is performed per set. This time is relatively short and is always followed by a break - even a very short one. With classic HIIT training, the exercise time is usually 30 seconds, but the exercise time could range from ten to a maximum of 60 seconds.

The break time is only ten to 60 seconds, which ensures the maximum fat loss effect. This will be explained physiologically at the cellular level in the next section. At this point, however, it should be mentioned that it plays a central role due to the high total volume (the entire time in which the muscle is under tension), which is maintained at a very intense level (high-intensity interval training). good effect is created.

HIIT training explained physiologically

At the cellular level, it's about staying in the anaerobic range of energy production during the exercise period. This means that direct ATP, then creatine and then glucose (sugar) from the stores are used as energy sources. These processes “burn” much more energy (calories) per second than when the cell is in aerobic energy production. This takes place with the addition of oxygen and is significantly more “energy-saving”. The body needs it during longer periods of stress; it is particularly important during endurance training. There is no maximum intensity there, because you couldn't maintain it for that long.

So it's a clever mechanism of the body. You can think of it like a car that uses a lot of fuel per second during a quick kick start, but uses less fuel per second during a long distance driving at medium speed.
In order to reduce body fat and burn a lot of calories, the intensive kickstart makes sense. The so-called afterburn effect is also very high with HIIT training and is almost more relevant than what is burned during training. By the way, it is physiologically correctly referred to as EPOC, which means “Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption”.

Perform HIIT exercises correctly

So-called bodyweight exercises are ideal for HIIT exercises at home and outside - i.e. exercises that do not require any equipment such as weights, bands or other devices. In the HIIT workout, the exercises are performed as quickly as possible and with a lot of force (so-called explosiveness).

Typical HIIT exercises without equipment include push-ups, squats, wall sits, burpees, Superman, sprint drills, rope skipping, lunges, jumping jacks, various jumps, plank variations, hip hinges, sit up/crunch variations , leg raises and many others Abdominal exercises !

However, a HIIT workout can also be completed in other ways, using equipment and weights. Especially in CrossFit, but also in Modified strongman training and in athlete sports, further variants are carried out. Exercises can be used there on equipment such as air bike, ski jerk, rowing machine, skill mill, sled sprints on the artificial turf, goblet squats, lunges with a weighted vest, battle rope, slam ball, Olympic weight lifting and much more. These ensure an even higher intensity, which is created by the high mechanical tension created with weights.

Your HIIT training plan – This is what an effective HIIT workout can look like

As already explained, there are numerous variations and forms of HIIT workouts. Supz Nutrition presents a very classic high-intensity interval training that does not require any additional equipment (except for a training mat if necessary) and does not contain any exercises that are too advanced:

This HIIT workout is done like this:

1. Warm up

Warming up is very, very important for HIIT workouts, because with the high intensity with which the exercises are performed, you can otherwise quickly injure yourself.
The Supz Mobility Routine is ideal as a warm-up:

2. The HIIT workout

The exercises are carried out as quickly as possible, explosively but still cleanly and with conscious body tension for 30 seconds per set. After every 30 seconds of stress there is a break time of 30 seconds. From A1-A8 2-5 rounds are carried out. It is important that the HIIT exercises can all be performed with high intensity and quality. As soon as this can no longer be guaranteed, you should stop as the desired effect will then no longer be achieved.

  1. A1 Push-up (if necessary on your knees or with raised hands as an easier version)
    30s break

  2. A2 jump squats (or normal bodyweight squats as an easier version)
    30s break

  3. A3 folding knife (possibly with bent knees as a lighter version)
    30s break

  4. A4 dips on the chair
    30s break

  5. A5 forward lunges
    30s break

  6. A6 Sit Ups with arms stretched upwards
    30s break

  7. A7 Jumping Jacks
    30s break

  8. Hold A8 plank
    30s break then start again with A1

The problem with HIIT workouts

The problem with HIIT workouts is that the majority of people for whom such workouts are advertised on social media platforms do not yet have the physiological basics. In order to be able to put really high intensity into an exercise, you need a base of basic strength, performance and fitness. Beginners should first build up this strength over a longer period of time through targeted strength training. Even if people are already relatively fit, it is questionable whether they have enough fitness and strength to carry out such workouts. However, it is recommended to use so-called SIT units as a kind of warm-up extension to strength training instead of HIIT workouts. SIT stands for Sprint Interval Training. For example, three sets with breaks in between of fast sprint drills, sprints on the treadmill, pushing the sled or air bike are carried out for a period of 10 to 60 loads. Possible starting workouts for building strength are...

  1. plan

  2. to do pull-ups


...and here's the theory Home workout and the Body fat reduction to find.

But if you want to get started with the HIIT workout slowly, you can start with just four exercises instead of eight and then continue to improve. It is important that the exercise is really carried out with maximum power and high quality. To do this, it may also be necessary to start with simpler exercise variations (e.g. instead of a regular push-up, do one with your hands raised). The number of rounds should also be adjusted. And if you want a cool one Outdoor workout with fat burning effect has, clicks here !

HIIT Tabata – an outlook

Tabata workouts are a variation of HIIT training. They are much more advanced because they usually involve a load time of 20 seconds and a break time of just ten seconds. More about Tabata workouts will follow in the next Supz article...

Ines Schulz
Ines Maria Schulz, born on December 1st, 1992 in Basel, Switzerland, also completed her Master of Education in Biology and WAH there, laying the foundation for the understanding of physiology and anatomy as well as nutrition. She is also a trained primary school sports teacher. For two years she has been a coach at MTM Personal Training, the most successful personal training studio in Berlin. There she supports customers every day who want to exploit their maximum potential in terms of mental and physical health and performance. In cooperation with doctors like Dr. Dominik Nischwitz and a laboratory for intestinal health as well as the constant exchange within the team, she can provide her customers with optimal advice about training, nutrition, micronutrients and lifestyle. She has already written a breakfast book and a large part of a lifestyle booklet for MTM. She also writes the weekly newsletter, which publishes nutritional tips and recipes she has created. Ines has completed seminars and certificates with a variety of successful coaches and specialists and is constantly expanding her skills. The young trainer has been writing blog articles for Supz Nutrition since January 2019.

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