Don’t Run From Your Problems….HIIT THEM! Part 1 of 3 HIIT Workout Series

Yes, you can look like that too…

Photo courtesy of Laurent Jean Philippe

They say you can’t run from your problems.  Well, I respectfully disagree.  Got a problem with a little extra fat?  Not as tight, toned, and defined as you’d like?  Just want to be able to run a mile without getting completely winded?  For these problems, a little running and/or movement is just what you need.  But I’m not talking any kind of running; I’m talking HIIT.  HIIT is one of the most explosive, powerful, and formidable tools you have in your arsenal.  Knowing how to utilize it properly is the biggest obstacle and the one in which we’re going to instruct you on today.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.  It is a format used with cardiovascular exercise which has you going all out (100% max effort) for a short period of time, followed by a longer and more relaxed period.  The HIIT format can be used on a variety of cardio work; running, biking, swimming, jump roping, and plyometrics to name a few.  An example of HIIT running would look like: 30 seconds max effort sprint/1:30 jog, repeat this 2-minute combo 15-20 more times for 30-40 minutes of HIIT running.


Because it works.  Seriously, the HIIT format is the best way to do your cardio.  Study after study has shown HIIT to burn more calories, result in great fat loss, and improve endurance faster than steady state cardio.  You know steady state cardio…chugging along on the treadmill at a set pace for 45 minutes to an hour.  HIIT will boost your post exercise caloric burn by increasing your EPOC.

How to Use HIIT Most Effectively

Going out and doing HIIT sprints, biking, etc. without a method to the madness isn’t going to be as effective as a well-designed HIIT plan.  A well-designed HIIT plan takes into account opposing muscle groups, has tried-and-true interval times that have been carefully calculated, and offers the variety of a cross-training program so you continually make gains.  Lucky for you, we’re going to give you exactly what you need to get started.

Photo courtesy of audiovisualjunkie

The HIIT Workout

Who’s it for? This workout is for anyone looking to burn serious fat in a hurry.  HIIT is great for maximizing caloric burn and jump-starting your metabolism; two things absolutely necessary if you want to make any meaningful weight loss progress.  Additionally, due to the explosive nature of this workout, it could be ideal for non-overweight individuals looking to go from ‘average’ to TONED.  Quick aside; “toned” is simply less body fat covering your muscles thereby making them look more defined, pronounced, etc.  That’s all “toning” is….burning body fat.

The Workout

I told you this workout would deliver fast results right?  Well, that comes with a small caveat.  You’ve got to put in the work required of you.  Your progress will be directly correlated to the amount of effort you put in.  Simple as that.  This is a 5-day a week, INTENSE routine.  Great thing is, many before you have attempted this workout, and I’ve been able to refine and calculate the best intervals and schedule…so rest assured, there will be rewards for all of your labor!

Day 1 – HIIT Running

In Day 1 we’re going for a pretty standard :30/1:30 split.  We’re shooting for 30-40 minutes of HIIT running today, which is 15-20 repetitions of the above combo.  Whether you’re running outside or on a treadmill, go HARD during your sprints and bring things down to a slow jog and really catch your breath.  After 8-10 reps, you’re going to need that rest time to make it through the sprints.

Day 2 – HIIT Jump Rope

A jump rope is a great tool that will help deliver fantastic results.  Even better, you can obtain one for less than $5.  Make the investment.  On Day 2 we’re going to be doing a boxer-esque workout.  A good starter split would be 1 minute straight jumping/30 seconds rest.  Your goal will eventually be 3 minutes jumping/30 second rest; just like a boxing round.  Shoot for 3 minutes to start, but work with what you can until your endurance progresses.  Go for 30-40 minutes total.

Day 3 – HIIT Cycling

Day 3 involves you getting on a stationary bike or road bike if you’ve got one.  With cycling, we’re hitting our body in a low impact manner, which results  in the ability to push the sprints a little longer.  Let’s shoot for a :45/1:15 split today.  You may need to bump the resistance during the sprint to fully allow you to max yourself out.  Shoot for 40-50 total minutes of HIIT cycling, which is 20-25 repetitions of the above combo.

Day 4 – HIIT Plyo

Day 4 we’re going to hit our body in a completely different way than we have so far.  We’re taking 2 different plyo circuits and repeating them 10 times each, for a total of 40 minutes of HIIT cardio.  Move from exercise to exercise, only resting when instructed.  Check out the combos below…

  1. 30 seconds Burpees/30 seconds Mountain Climbers/30 seconds Squat Jumps/30 seconds rest – repeat 10 times
  2. 30 seconds Turbo Lunges/30 seconds Line Jumps/30 seconds Boxer Kicks/30 seconds rest – repeat 10 times

Day 5 – HIIT Brick

Brick workouts are frequently performed by triathletes during their training.  Working out in this format has been a tried-and-true method to increase endurance and effectively tax your muscles.  We’ll be starting on the bike then transitioning to a run with little to no rest during the switch.  We’re shooting for 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes on the run, for a total of 1 hour.  On the bike, shoot for a :30/1:30 split. On the run, we’re going to go for 1 minute sprint/2 minutes slow jog.  Not everyone will be able to sprint for 1 full minute.  If you can’t just go as long as you can and ramp things up over time.

Looking Ahead…

Keeping things fresh is the key to making progress and avoiding burnout.  Give this HIIT workout a try for 6 weeks.  By then, your endurance should have noticed a nice spike.  After 6 weeks, we’ll start to lengthen the times of your max effort segments of the above splits.  Some things I’ve found to be very effective and what you’ll be looking forward to…

  • 800m sprint/800m jog
  • 1 minute “slow” sprint on full stationary bike resistance/2 minute slow pedal
  • 30 second max effort row/30 second slow row
  • 10 second sprint/15 second total rest

This is a three-part plan taking a total of 18 weeks.  If you stick to this plan you’ll have lost a significant amount of body fat, built explosive and lean muscle mass, and exponentially increased your endurance.  Subscribe to our blog so you’ll be alerted when part II is released

Like This Workout?  This is just a taste of the kinds of workouts you get with our Premium #FITPLAN…completely customized to your goals and current fitness level!

We also feature hundreds of free OnDemand fitness classes at Share It Fitness that are a great supplement to this, or any, workout plan with our Forever Free membership option.  We’ve got live health and fitness professionals on the ready to answer your questions, and a database full of other workout ideas when you get bored or simply want a change of pace.




91 thoughts on “Don’t Run From Your Problems….HIIT THEM! Part 1 of 3 HIIT Workout Series”

  1. Oh! I’m excited to do this!!  I love love love HIIT workouts! They are killer and oh so worth it!  

    1. I would suggest adding a weight training routine to this plan 2-3 days a week. Consider adding about 30-40 minutes of compound lifts, circuit style, before Day 1 and 3. If you want a third day of weight training, I would suggest adding a 6th day. The other HIIT workouts are especially intense and you might have a little trouble doing an effective weight training routine PLUS the HIIT workout. Try it out and see what works…just be sure to give your muscles time to recover after the weight training, i.e. no lifting the same muscles back to back days. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!


  2. I know I need to add more cardio so this is great. But my husband travels (and we have 2 kids), I’ve been running when he is in town, but when he is not I am assuming I can sub the bike for my run (we have a trainer I can put my bike on)? 

    Do you suggest the cardio first thing in the morning and weight training in the afternoon?  I dont think my kids will give me enough time to do both together… 🙂

    1. I would use the bike to get your cardio, but I would also aim to incorporate other forms of cardio into your routine. The people I’ve seen have the greatest successes have engaged in a cross-training type plan. This involves various forms of cardio + weight training. If you haven’t already, you should check out our full site, We’ve got hundreds of OnDemand fitness class videos that you can work out with. We’ve got some particularly intense cardio classes that have been designed to maximize your caloric burn and boost your metabolism so you’re burning tons of calories. I would suggest doing your bike training 1-2 days a week, a couple of our OnDemand cardio classes another 2 days a week, then perhaps a jump rope workout on the 5th day.

      To answer your question, I prefer to do my weights earlier in the day and cardio later if I’m doing a two-a-day, but it really comes down to preference. If you like the cardio first, then weights..I say go for it. Exercise really isn’t an exact science and if this is what keeps you working out and staying motivated, all the better. Any other questions, please feel free to ask, we always do our best to get back within 24 hours. Thanks for following the blog and hope to see you around the site.


      1. To break a plateau, it really takes a balanced effort of intense cardio workouts PLUS weight training. Using one alone, usually isn’t enough to help get that fat burn started up again. My suggestion would be to jump over to and take a look at FitPlan. We’ll build you a personal workout program, complete with the right balance of cardio/strength workouts for your personal body type and goals. Let me know if you have any other questions!


  3. Just finished up the HIIT Cycling! Whoo doggy!  That was awesome!  It was really tough the first 10 rounds and then the last 10 were still tough but I was able to go even harder on the spin-ups.  Seriously loved it!  Sweat was pouring off me, but I had a huge smile on my face (when I wasn’t in the midst of a hard spin-up). When I was done I felt like I could’ve done a few more rounds.  Next time I’ll shoot for 5 more.  

    1. Sounds good! This workout should really help you build even stronger more powerful legs. Additionally, I find that a lot of long distance runners who incorporate short HIIT sessions once or twice a week, realize an exponential increase in their endurance. Keep up the good work and let me know if you have any questions along the way!


  4. I will be starting this today – any recommendation for the levels on the treadmill or on the bike at the gym? I also would like to incorporate weights to this program (beginner with the weight lifting) any good programs for 6 weeks?

    1. Hi Allison – everyone is different, so it’s hard to say exactly where you should be at. A good gauge would be setting it at a level that leaves you feeling *very* winded after your 30 second sprint interval. The entire purpose of HIIT is to quickly raise your heart rate during the max effort interval, then give you some recovery time during the longer, and slower, interval. If you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough to raise your heart rate significantly, you technically aren’t doing a HIIT workout. Just keep that in mind.

      As far as weights go….why only a 6 week program? Combining both cardiovascular plans with a strength component will lead to MUCH better gains overall. I’d consider a 2 day a week weight training plan to start. For an idea of workout ideas, I’d search our “strength training” workouts found in the menu bar on our blog. Any other questions, please send them over. Thanks for writing in!


    1. Hey Becki –

      Part 2 is found right here:

      In case you didn’t know, we test out all of the workouts on our site on our team here at Share It Fitness, on our willing clients, and on our other fitness buddies. We don’t put anything on the blog that doesn’t produce results for the overwhelming majority of this group. That said, we’re still playing around with the third part of this plan and I simply haven’t found something that I’m ready to blast out to all of our readers yet. My guess is we’ll have something finalized in the next month or so. In the meantime, give part two a go and by the time you’re done with that, part 3 should be perfected. Any other questions, please feel free to ask! Thanks for checking us out.


    1. Hey man, awesome to hear you’re just starting this routine – I think you’ll really enjoy the workouts as well as the results.

      I’ve been working on part 3 for way too long trying to perfect things. I think we should be finished with it by the end of the month, so count on it being ready to go and posted by the time you get there.

      Feel free to give me a shout if you’ve got any questions/concerns along the way. Thanks for checking us out.


  5. Hi Matt. Quick question, could I sub one day of kickboxing or swimming instead of running? I have an ongoing knee problem so running really hurts it. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hey Alex – feel free to sub out lower impact cardio for anything that causes your knee an issue. Swimming is great, so I’d alternate between that and kickboxing or other high-intensity cardio. You should check out our OnDemand library on our full site ( for cardio classes that will make great substitutes for running. Let me know if you’ve got any other questions. Thanks for checking us out.


  6. I’ve just stumbled on your blog & I have to say that I’m impressed! I have a 14km road run (with killer hills) in 7 weeks time and have been slack on the training. I’d like to incorporate this programme into my training, how would you suggest I include my longer runs? Also I don’t have access to a bike can I sub it with something else?

    1. Thanks for the kind words Pixie!

      Personally, and maybe I’m just an oddball, but I exclusively used HIIT workouts for my half-marathon a couple of months ago. For 14km I think you’d be fine to use this without a heavy reliance on long runs. If you want to do long runs, i would suggest doing a long run on the weekend, then giving yourself a solid 48-72 hours off, before resuming the standard schedule set out in this workout plan.

      Any further questions, please ask! Thanks for checking us out and hope to keep seeing you around here!


  7. Hey Matt,
    I have a quick question. For someone who has done weight training, and low intensity cardio for a long time but has hit a fat loss wall, and is wanting to start this HIIT program, for the first time. Would this be something good to try to help me break through the wall? If so, should i start out slow 10-15 min sessions and then work my way up in time?

    1. Hey there John. This HIIT program would certainly help get you past that fat loss wall – it’s high intensity and is likely something your body isn’t accustomed to.

      That said, I would highly suggest you supplement this HIIT plan with one of our uptempo strength plans, i.e. MetCon Challenge for instance.

      By using weights in a fast-paced, circuit fashion, you’re going to further boost your metabolism in a way HIIT training alone, cannot. If you’d like some other suggestions or need further assistance, feel free to leave another comment – I’m happy to help.


  8. I did the first day of this program this evening. I’m supplementing the program with your superset upper body and lower body programs. The way I’ve planned it is to do the upper body program in the morning and Day 1 of this program in the afternoon on one day, then Day 2 of this program the next, followed by lower body program in the morning and Day 3 of this program in the afternoon the next day, followed by a rest day, then Day 4 and Day 5 of this program on the following two days, followed by a second rest day. My idea behind doing two sessions in one day for two days is to give myself 2 rest days in the week. What are your thoughts on this? I don’t want to overdo things but I want to keep doing weight training while on this HIIT program. However in saying that, I’m not sure how I’ll go with Day 5 of this program – it looks intense, especially when 30 mins of HIIT normally wears me out! I might be a bit tired by day 5 🙂

    1. Sounds like a pretty good plan – I would just be careful not to overtrain. Maintaining two-a-days can wear you out pretty quickly. Keep in mind, it’s not necessarily about how many workouts you’re doing each week, but more about the quality of the workouts you complete. Make sure you’re giving 100% max effort and the plan you’ve set up should do some great things for you.


  9. Hi Matt,
    I just learned about HIIT. I was a runner for years and last year had to have hip surgery to repair a 1 inch tear in my labrum muscle. Needless to say long runs are a thing of the past for me so I have been searching for an alternative that can give me that endorphin boost I need to relieve stress. I am very excited to try this. Do you have any recommednations for an elliptial with this plan? Mine has different resistence and inclines so I cant be sure of the best way to maximize the workout via the elliptical.

    1. As far as HIIT goes on an elliptical, you could do it a couple different ways. I’d either leave it set to one incline/resistance, then bump up the intensity for about 30-45 seconds every couple of minutes.

      Or, you could follow along with the Treadmill Interval Workout, and bump the resistance when it calls for speed increases, while matching the inclines as prescribed. Obviously, you wont be able to do exactly the same workout, but it should provide similar benefits. Hope that answer helped!


  10. Hi Matt,
    I’m working on loosing weight. I have to loose a total of 80 lbs and I’ve already lost 35 lbs. My current workout is great but since I’ve been doing it for 2.5 months, my body is starting to adapt to it and I keep reaching plateaus in my weight loss. I’ve been reading up on HIIT and I found that it is something I want to add to my workouts. My question is, is it safe to do HIIT workouts and another cardio workout on the same day

    1. Hey Ashley –

      First off, congrats on losing those 35 pounds – that is no small feat!

      I would say yes, it is safe to do HIIT and another form of cardio on the same day….but you really don’t need to. My suggestion would be to go all out, max effort on your HIIT sessions, then include an uptempo weight training routine ,i.e. metabolic conditioning, circuit training, etc. This will help you continue to burn more calories, build muscle, and spike your metabolism. This format will result in better, faster, and longer lasting gains (or in your case, “losses”).

      If you would like a fitness program created custom for your specific needs and goals, just let me know and we can get something put together.


  11. Hey Matt,
    Read about HITT a couple of months ago, and I have decided that I will start it this week. Would you suggest any type of diet to go with this workout plan? Thank you!

    1. Definitely depends on your goals/current body type. This plan is no doubt intense, so if you’re not going for dramatic weight loss, just an overall reduction of body fat while maintaining muscle mass, I’d suggest a diet plan that has you eating roughly 13-14 calories per pound of body weight. But again, all bodies are different, so I’d likely need more information to give you a more accurate answer.


  12. Matt- What is the best way to do HITT on an eliptical? I blew my knee few years ago so only use the elliptical. I used to run alot but now when I use a treadmill it hurts alot so I just stick with the eliptical. Im trying to loose 20 lbs. Also do I do just do the elliptical 3x a week and then I want to workout 2 more times but what should I do for that. Thanks AF

    1. For HIIT on an elliptical, I’d recommend bumping the resistance every 90 seconds or so, continuing for 30, then lowering. Just like if you were raising speeds on a treadmill.

      As far as a total weight loss program, I’d suggest more uptempo metabolic conditioning routines, mixing in some stationary bike/row machine, and perhaps one heavy, compound lift day a week. If you want more information/help designing an exact plan, just let me know!!


    1. Personally, I’d shy away from the standard, steady state cardio. Without knowing your specific body type and/or goals, I’d go for treadmill HIIT a couple of times a week, followed by metabolic conditioning circuits, and perhaps a once a week heavy compound lift session. If you want something customized for you specifically, just let me know!


  13. Hi Matt-
    Im a slender but athletic guy, 5′ 10″ 162 lbs. I’d like to tone back up and lose the little extra weight that kids and turning 30 have put on me, but I wouldn’t mind toning up my muscles with the traditional weight workouts. Can you mix a traditional weight training workout with a partial HIIT workout and find good results? For example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday hitting the weights and targeting all muscle groups and mixing in moderate cardio. While on Tues, Thursday doing the running HIIT routine. Is this pointless? Does it have to be HIIT all the way?

    1. Hey Justin – you sound very similar to myself. I’ve always been athletic and lean, and also stand 5’10” and weighed right around 160-ish for a long time I’m up to about 172 at the moment and have been able to add a significant amount of muscle mass by incorporating a few different training methods. I found best results from limited HIIT (us hard gainers often waste away our muscle gains in attempts to tone up), a few compound lift sessions a week, and metabolic conditioning work.

      If you’re looking for something specifically tailored to you, check out this post (and video):

      See what you think and then shoot me a message and we can talk about the right fitness program for YOU.


  14. Hi there!
    I’m 5’3” and I weight about 127 lbs. I’m not overweight, but I have this belly fat that seems literally impossible to get rid of. I’ve been trying to get rid of it for what seems like 2 years now, but nothing is improving. Am I doing the workouts wrong? or am I not doing the right workouts? what do you suggest is the best method to burning belly fat?

    1. Hey Kennedy! Without knowing exactly what you’re doing as far as your workouts go – I’d guess you may actually be doing too MUCH cardio. Moving from straight cardio workouts 3-5 times a week, to once or twice per week while supplementing with metabolic conditioning routines would probably help jump start your progress.

      I use our FitPlan program to help people with all sorts of fitness goals. If you want to get serious about starting to cut that belly fat, sign up for FitPlan so we can get your assessment test started. Any other questions, please let me know!


  15. Hi Matt!
    I am about 6’0” and I weigh about 73 kilograms. I’m not overweight, in fact I think I am very safely within the acceptable category. However I tend to store fat in my thighs and can’t seem to put on muscle lean muscle mass easily. Will this workout plan help to burn off the fat stored in my thighs? Btw, I am a guy. Look forward to hearing from you soon!

    1. Hey Divian –

      This will help build muscle, and should lean out your legs. That said, there are going to be more effective ways of doing this than our standard HIIT workout program. I think a total body conditioning workout, making heavy use of metabolic conditioning workouts, moderate HIIT, and a comprehensive full body weight training schedule will help you make the most progress, in the least amount of time. If you’re interested in something customized to your needs, let me know and we’ll get something that suits you well.


      1. Hey Matt-

        Thanks for the prompt reply! Actually I would not mind doing something that is customized to my needs. Is there any ways by which we can discuss this that will be convenient for the both of us?

        Anyways, thanks again and I hope to hear from you soon!


      2. Hey Divian – not sure if you got my email, I sent you a response last Thursday..but hopefully you’ll get it here!

        If you get this message, could you kindly send me an email and we can take your fitness program planning from there! You can email me at:

        Thanks and look forward to working with you!


  16. 5’5″, 165lbs. I’m needing to shed about 10lbs in the stomach. I’m completely satisfied with how I look everywhere else I just cant keep the small gut off. What would you recommend for diet? I workout twice a day at least 5 days a week. I’ve tried chicken and rice but it doesn’t get me far.

    1. Hey Jason –

      Before I get to your diet, I’d first say, I think you’re running into issues, potentially, because you’re actually over doing it. Twice a day is just too much. The right fitness program is only going to require you to do one workout a day, and assuming it’s been well designed for your needs, that’s all it should take. Without knowing what you’re doing now, I’d say a program heavy on metcon workouts and a couple of heavy lift sessions a week would be enough to jump start your metabolism and burn away that stubborn stomach fat. As far as diet goes, just opt for a lot of fresh vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs. I think a lot of people make the diet seem more complicated than it needs to be. Really, it’s just about common sense – forget the sugar, simple carbs, junk food, and you’ll likely get the results you want.

      If you want to talk about a specific program (like I mentioned above) just let me know – happy to help.


  17. Hey Matt! I’m almost 5’9″ and weigh 130 pounds (not much as muscle). I would like to tone up a lot but I have very small children and don’t have the opportunity to be away from them for very long periods of time. I currently do a home cross fit program I found online but the workouts are only lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes at most and I am not seeing or feeling the results I want. Is there anything you can recommend for home total body workouts, maybe 6 days a week, for 30 minute time frames that are challenging and that will push me harder?

    1. Hey Danielle –

      We created our FitPlan training system with people like you in mind. Workouts are customized to your needs and goals; i.e. fat burning/toning workouts, completed all in the space of your living room, roughly 30 minutes max length. On top of that, I’ll actively be able to adjust your workouts as you progress so you’re sure you’re always getting workouts that are right for you. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll get you a health assessment to fill out so we can get started creating something for you.


  18. hello my name is Desmond i am 16 year old and i have man boobs also know has man moobs i want to lose it badly i have tried a lot of exercise but is not working can you please give me some tip how to lose fat in my chest

    1. Hey Desmond –

      Spot toning a specific area of your body just isn’t possible. What you need to do is make sure your diet is in check, then stay consistent with whatever program you’re on. I would recommend a high-intensity cardio routine combined with a serious weight training program. Please let me know if you need some more specific ideas. Thanks for checking us out!


  19. Hi Matt, I have a question. I am a pretty heavy guy (260 lb) and I have about 195 lb lean body mass) I am trying to get off the excess fat. I have recently changed up my diet to 50% protein, 30% fat and 20% carbs. My question is, do you think HIIT is right for me? I am a little bit worried about starting with HIIT because I am worried about excess stress on my knees, back, etc. Right now I just lift heavy 4 days a week .

    1. Hey Christopher –

      Excess stress on the knees is always a possibility with any form of intense high-impact cardio. Without knowing your health history it’s hard for me to advise you on whether or not HIIT is right for you. That said, if you’ve had joint issues in the past, the stationary bike, MetCon workouts (my favorite), and the row machine are all great ways to burn fat and build/maintain lean muscle.

      Any other questions, please let me know.


  20. Hello!
    I was wondering if this is a good workout for someone as a starting point. Also can you possibly do it without a bike?

  21. Hi!
    So I really want to give this a try, but I was wondering if I can incorporate some strength training as well? Or will that effect the overall point of this program??
    Thank you!!

  22. hi matt im 5’6 and weigh about 220lbs and i really need and want to get fit what do you recommend would be a good fit for me i need to lose about 60 lbs in about 2 months

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