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5 essential truths about High Intensity Interval training – HIIT

Burn more fat and increase your caloric burn!

What would you say to a fitness program that is about 5 times more effective that traditional treadmill running?


And it is time-saving as well!


I recently started such a fitness program.


After a broken foot, a surgery, months on crutches and another hospital stay my fitness level was totally down.  I had also gained some weight. First, I was just happy to walk again. But after I while I saw the need to increase my fitness level. Being out of breath by simply walking up the stairs was no situation I wanted to be in any longer.


With the help of a friend, who is a professional fitness and nutrition instructor, I started a program. And she chose ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ for me; short HIIT.

1. What does High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT – mean?


  • HIIT means any workout that alternates between intense bursts of exercise and periods of less-intense exercise or complete rest.
  • Just 15 minutes of interval training (done 3 times a week) is as effective as 60-90 minutes of steady state training.


 2. Why does it work?


  • The secret is in the recovery time! You will actually be burning calories long after the workout is over
  • You use anaerobic exercise
  • Your VO2 max (the maximum oxygen-volume your body can absorb) increases

See the infographic for more information:



 3. How to do it

  •  There are many ways to do this. Intervals can be performed on any type of cardio equipment or by doing old-fashioned sprints. I am using a stationary bike for example.
  •  My program:
    • Warm up
    • 30 seconds cycling as fast as possible on a high level
    • 2 minutes of slow cycling on lowest level
    • Repeat 5 times

 You know you are performing HIIT intervals correctly when it takes your body at least 30 seconds to gain your breath back!


4. Your benefits


  • You burn more fat
  • You increase your caloric burn
  • You see results very fast
  • It is low cost
  • It is ideal for people with a busy schedule
  • It slows down the aging process (by stimulating the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after finishing the workout)


5. What to consider before starting


  • Ensure you are getting proper nutrition
  • Get enough sleep
  • Consult a doctor first if you have any heart condition or high blood pressure



And to wrap it up please enjoy a video from BBC about the University of Western Scotland testing the High Intensity Interval Training method!


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Hi I'm Ilka, a self-development writer and lovable scientist with a knowledgeable expertise in brain science. I help people realize the power our behavior has on our brain - and the other way around.

Ella - February 14, 2015

Hey Ilka!

Interesting topic. I have heard about High Intensity training and always wondered how it works. Good for you for trying it out.

I wish you lots of success with it 🙂

    simplyilka - February 14, 2015

    Thank you Ella!

    Considering the state of fitness I was in everything would mean an improvement; but I am happy to have been pointed to the best program. It seems to work so far. I will let you how how I improve in an up-date if you are interested 🙂

Ella - February 14, 2015

Yes please!

I would actually be very interested!

simplyilka - February 14, 2015


Marylin Warner - February 15, 2015

Perfect timing for this excellent post, Ilka! I’ve forwarded your link to the trainer at the YMCA who is just starting up interval training for a group of seniors. She was looking for information, you’re a perfect source!
Thank you for this
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    simplyilka - February 15, 2015

    Oh that it great Marylin!

    I am happy my post is helping! I am sure the interval training will show fast results.

    All the best to you 🙂

Sherri Matthews - February 17, 2015

I am so sorry to learn of your foot surgery Ilka, but so glad to know that you are returning to glowing health and fitness! Thank you so much for sharing this about HIT, I’ve heard of it but never was quite sure how to go about it. I’ve been stepping up my daily walks but would love to try this. I need to get organised! All the best with it, keep us posted 🙂
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    simplyilka - February 19, 2015

    Thank you Sherri for the well wishes 🙂

    I already feel an improvement. I am more convinced than when I started that this is the right fitness program for me. I would encourage you to try it since you are a busy bee just like me. And it really fits nicely into a busy schedule!

    All the best my friend 🙂

David Hartshorne - February 19, 2015

Hi Ilka,

Its nice to get the scientific reasons behind why this works. Too often you read propaganda about other fitness schemes, but this seems quite logical.

Hope you are continuing your recovery!

– David
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    simplyilka - February 19, 2015

    Hi David!

    You are right. The fitness program has a logical explanation which is comforting.

    The explanation has also a positive influence on me since I know that I will only have my after burn effect if I give it all 🙂

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