Interval training is one of the best ways to lose weight. It involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods. When you do interval training, your body burns more calories than it would during a continuous workout of the same intensity. Interval training also helps you build muscle and improve your cardiovascular fitness level.

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Best Interval Workout For Weight Loss

Looking to lose weight through exercise? Intense workouts not only are more efficient with your time, they burn off the pounds faster, too.

Interval training such as running sprints is more effective for weight loss than continuous, moderate exercise like brisk walking or biking under 10 miles per hour over long distances, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tabata sprints — running hard for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest — and burpees, or squat thrusts, with pushups are examples of interval exercises that can be performed at home, said Josh Jarrett, chief exercise officer of Quantify Fitness of Nashville.

“The best part about this kind of exercise is how brief the sessions can be,” Jarrett told Healthline. “We have people that get results coming once a week for 10 minutes, with the average being 45 minutes a week.”

The recent study was an analysis of previously published studies. It runs somewhat counter to most physical activity guidelines, which tend to emphasize duration of exercise — an hour or more per day for weight loss, for example.

“Few people meet these guidelines,” noted the study, which was led by Ricardo Borges Viana, a faculty member in the physical education and dance department at the Federal University of Goiás in Brazil.

Researchers concluded that a short bursts of activity interspersed with brief recovery periods can reduce both body fat and overall weight.

“During the intervals, the muscles burn a significant amount of their sugar stores, which triggers a reaction causing them to rapidly re-fuel by sucking glucose from elsewhere in the body,” said Jarrett. “This process requires insulin, and over time the body responds by becoming more sensitive to small amounts of insulin. If insulin levels are high, the body is unable to burn fat as efficiently, so by making the body more sensitive to smaller amounts of insulin you are able to re-engage the fat-burning machinery.”

Intense exercise depletes the oxygen available to the muscles, forcing them to burn fat for energy instead, added Jarrett.

The body burns calories for hours after the workout ends in order to make up for the resulting oxygen debt, he noted.

HIIT the trail and sprint

The study didn’t recommend any particular exercises.

However, the two most common forms are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training, such as running, jogging, speed walking, and cycling.

Regardless of gender or starting weight, both moderate exercise and interval training reduced weight and body fat over a four-week period.

However, interval training produced 28 percent more weight loss, with sprint interval training shown to be the most effective and efficient way to reduce body weight quickly.

Alternating four minutes of jogging with 30 seconds of all-out sprints is an example of sprint interval training.

Other workouts can incorporate hill climbing and varying the length of sprinting and running intervals as well as the number of sets performed.

Among the major sports, hockey comes closest to giving a sprint interval training workout with its short, high-energy shifts on the ice alternating with brief rest periods on the bench.

Experts say you don’t have to totally overhaul your current workout if you want to burn fat more quickly.

“Interval training can be performed doing the same exercises you are already doing, whether it’s running outside, doing cardio in the gym, lifting weights — anything that is already steadily elevating your heart rate,” Adam Padgett, a certified personal trainer from Rancho Cucamonga, California, told Healthline.

“However, to perform interval training you need to be focusing on alternating your pace and intensity,” he explained. “If you are running outside, instead of just running at a steady pace most of the way, run as fast as you can for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by maintaining a jogging or walking pace, or just stopping completely depending on your skill level. If you’re lifting weights, line up two to four exercises to perform back-to-back without resting, before again resting or slowing the pace. A recommendation would be perform four to five intervals before stopping.”

Emma Green, PhD, a certified personal trainer in London and online fitness coach, cautioned against overstating the study findings.

“Although the difference in weight loss was statistically significant, the actual amount was tiny,” she told Healthline. “Interval training resulted in 1.58kg fat lost (less than 4 pounds) and steady state cardio resulted in 1.13kg lost (less than 3 pounds).”

“It’s important to note that because interval training is so tough on the body, it is not suitable for those who are beginners or those who are injured,” said Green.

The study authors also advised consulting a doctor before beginning interval training, noting that it carries a risk of injury and greater cardiovascular stress.

The bottom line

Both moderate, continuous exercise and high-intensity interval exercise can reduce body fat and weight.

However, interval training is more effective and efficient at promoting weight loss.

Interval exercises can include running sprints alternating with light jogging or rest periods.

To avoid injury, talk to a doctor before taking on an intensive interval workout.

8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals

Workout 1

Courtesy of Mike Duffy, owner and head trainer at Mike Duffy’s Personal Training Studio.

Round 1:
1. Burpees
2. Mountain climbers
3. Jumping jacks

How to do it: Complete 3 circuits of Round 1, performing 10 reps in the first round, 15 reps in the second round, and 20 reps in the third round. Take no rest.

* Jump rope for 3 minutes *

Rest 1 minute

Round 2:
1. Walking lunges with kettlebell exchange under your legs
2. Pushups
3. Lunge jumps
4. Walk-outs (inchworms)

How to do it: Complete 3 circuits of Round 2, performing each exercise for 45 seconds, taking a 15-second break between each exercise and circuit.

* Jump rope 3 minutes *

Rest 1 minute

Round 3:
1. Traveling kettlebell squats
2. TRX pullups
3. Box jumps
4. TRX jack knives

How to do it: Complete 3 circuits of Round 3, performing each exercise for 45 seconds, taking a 15-second break between each exercise and circuit.

* Jump rope 3 minutes *

Rest 1 minute

Round 4:
1. Traveling side lunges
2. Dips
3. Speed skaters (lateral jumps)
4. Plank to pushup

How to do it: Complete 3 circuits of Round 4, performing each exercise for 45 seconds, taking a 15-second break between each exercise and circuit.

Workout 2

Courtesy of Brian Jensen, CPT of Mike Duffy’s Personal Training Studio.

– Jump rope
– Plyo pushup
– Bodyweight rows
– Medicine ball squat to overhead throw
– Burpee
– Medicine ball chest pass
– Renegade rows
– Jumping lunges
– Planks
– Treadmill incline sprints

How to do it: Follow a Tabata protocol (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) for each of the above exercises. Go through each exercise once before repeating the entire circuit. Rest 2 minutes before repeating. Aim to complete 3 rounds of the circuit.

Workout 3

Courtesy of JC Deen of

1. 25 Mark for rope movements x 30 seconds
* 15 second rest *
2. Sledgehammer tire hits x 30 seconds as fast as possible
* 60 second rest between supersets *

How to do it: Repeat 2 to 3 times post workout for conditioning purposes.

Workout 4

Courtesy of JC Deen of

1. 30-yard loaded sled push
2. 25 kettlebell swings
* 90 second rest between sets *

How to do it: Repeat this finisher 2 to 3 times post workout.

Workout 5

Courtesy of Justin Klein, CSCS with HUMANFITPROJECT

> 1-minute sprint
90-second recovery
> 1-minute sprint at 3% incline
90-second recovery
> 1-minute sprint at 6% incline
90-second recovery
> 1-minute sprint at 9% incline
90-second recovery
> 1-minute sprint at 12% incline
90-second recovery

How to do it: Repeat 3 to 6 times depending on your level of conditioning.

Workout 6

Courtesy of Justin Klein, CSCS with HUMANFITPROJECT

1. 5 minute jogging warmup
2. Increase speed/intensity until heart rate reaches 85% of peak heart rate
3. Lower intensity to a jog/brisk walk until heart rate reaches 65% of peak heart rate
4. 5 minute jogging cool down

How to do it: Continue these intervals for 4 to 6 rounds to start. As conditioning increases set a time limit and attempt to achieve a certain goal of intervals by the end of this time. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, find your pulse and count for 6 seconds, then multiply that number by 10 to estimate your heart rate.

Workout 7

Courtesy of Jeremey DuVall, CPT of

1. Tire flips x 30 seconds
2. Medicine ball slam x 30 seconds
3. Battle rope slams x 30 seconds
4. Loaded sled push x 100 yards
5. Farmer’s walk x 100 yards

How to do it: Repeat for a total of 4 rounds, resting 2 minutes between each round.

Workout 8

Courtesy of Jeremey DuVall, CPT of

> Kettlebell swings x 30 seconds
> Right-arm kettlebell snatch x 30 seconds
> Right-arm kettlebell push press x 30 seconds
> Right-arm overhead walking lunges with kettlebell x 30 seconds
> Sprint x 30 seconds

How to do it: Rest 90 seconds then repeat on your left arm. Aim to complete 2 to 3 circuits on each arm.

Hiit Workout For Weight Loss And Toning

If you’ve been inside of a gym or even barely adjacent to the fitness industry at any point during the last decade, there’s one four-letter acronym you’ve definitely seen—or even more likely heard, extolled breathlessly by super-fit, group fitness trainer types: HIIT.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, a style of workout that requires participants to perform exercises with as much effort as possible for short bursts, then rest for quick recovery periods. Depending on the specific protocol, each session consists of multiple rounds designed to ramp up your heart rate, essentially serving as a cardio option for exercisers who’d rather stay away from the more plodding steady state methods like treadmills, stationary bikes, or jogging outdoors.

This intense workout template is popular enough that it’s become shorthand for just about any type of boutique fitness class that features multiple exercises, different stations, and plenty of sweat. The term is bandied about so much that many people who have taken a HIIT class might not totally understand why they’re pushing so hard through the stop and start nature of the protocol, either. That doesn’t stop the sessions from being a top choice for boutique gyms and fitness clubs—HIIT workouts fit a ton of activity into a brief period, which is ideal for consumers looking for the most bang for their buck and trainers and gyms hoping to slot as many sessions into a schedule as possible.

But if you want to do more than just get sweaty, you should have a deeper understanding of exactly what you’re doing.

For HIIT to be utilized correctly, your intensity has to be high. You need to know how to apply the protocol. That’s what you’re going to learn here, and you’ll also walk away with a handful of HIIT workouts for every situation, too.

HIIT 101


Again, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which refers to the short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods that make up the protocol. HIIT is quick and anything but boring, as its exacting work-to-rest ratios make it arguably the most time-efficient way to exercise and burn calories. You can use the HIIT protocol to build your entire workout, or apply it to just a few sets to create super-charged finishers.

However you do it, what makes HIIT work is the intensity. You’re going hard, typically as hard as you can, for a short period of time, then resting for a length of time that’ll let you recover to go hard once again. Work-to-rest ratio is frequently brought in when discussing HIIT, and there are several accepted ratios you should consider.

  • To improve aerobic fitness: intervals would typically involve a work to rest ratio or 1:1 or 1:2 (i.e. work for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds).
  • To train anaerobically (sport-specific training for power and explosiveness): rest intervals are often longer to allow for a more maximal effort, often at least a 1:5 ratio (i.e. work for 15 seconds, rest for 75 seconds).

The Key to HIIT

The key to making HIIT work: The intensity. You can’t coast through your work periods when doing HIIT. The protocol is designed to give you chances to go hard, so you need to take advantage of those chances.

That means working hard, but it doesn’t mean going completely 100 percent with your intensity. If you’re completely new to exercise, don’t go truly all out all at once. Instead of 15 to 30-second intervals executed at near-100 percent intensity, intervals of one to three minutes at closer to 80 percent of maximum effort, followed by up to five minutes of lower intensity exercise, have also been shown effective for weight loss in sedentary populations.

In group fitness settings (and among far too many trainers) HIIT and “interval training” are often used interchangeably. Make no mistake: True HIIT requires you to be explosive and intense during your work period. Basic interval training, however, minus the high-intensity aspect, is what you see most on the group fitness scene: Work periods here are typically larger than rest periods.

The Primary Benefits of HIIT

Fat Loss

One review looked at 13 different studies on 424 overweight and obese adults. It found that both HIIT and traditional moderate-intensity exercise can reduce weight and waist circumference.

Metabolic Rate Is Higher for Hours After

Some researchers have found that HIIT increases metabolism for hours after exercise even more than jogging and weight training. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC, informally called afterburn), a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity.

Overall Health

HIIT is not just a tool to use to lean out. It can improve your overall health, too. A summary of 50 different studies found that HIIT reduces blood sugar levels. Further research shows it can reduce resting heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals.

10 Best HIIT Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

1. Burpees


Burpees is a two-part exercise that involves a push-up, followed by a leap in the air. The Burpees engages all the muscles in your body and is mainly targeted to build Calves, chest, triceps, shoulder, biceps, glutes, and lats.

How to do Burpees? 

Burpees are very easy to perform as it requires no machinery or weights. To perform Burpees, get into a partial squat position and bend down. Keep your spine straight and touch down the ground with your chest. Push-up, bring both the legs together with a frog jump and then jump up by raising your hands in the air.

2. High Knees

high knees

High Knees is another easy exercise with no requirement for training equipment. High Knees help strengthen all muscles in your legs and increases your heartbeat, which further improves coordination and flexibility in the body. 

How to do High Knees? 

To perform High Knees, open your feet to a hip-width and then lift your left knee towards your chest, perform the same thing with the other leg at a running speed. You should also try keeping your arms extended and let the knees touch the palms when you perform the exercise.

3. Lunge Jumps

lunge jumps

Lunge jumps are an advanced variation of a normal walking lunge exercise. The exercise accounts for jumping high in the air and switching to your other foot ahead before landing. This exercise requires no weight lifting equipment and burns a tremendous amount of calories. It also helps in boosting your heart rate.

How to do Lunge Jumps? 

To perform Lunge Jumps stand with your legs at least shoulders width apart. Move a leg forward with your spine straight. Now flex your leg and go down, make sure your leg should be perpendicular to the floor. Now at last jump and put the other leg forward and repeat the exercise. 

4. Jumping Jacks

jumping jacks

Jumping jacks, also called side-straddle hop, is a full-body exercise that can be done almost anywhere — all thanks to the no requirement of training equipment.

How to do Jumping Jacks?

To perform Jumping Jacks firstly stand straight with your feet at least hip-width apart. Make sure that you keep your shoulders relaxed and look straight ahead. Now jump and move your feet laterally apart. At the same time, move your hands up and down over your head. Repeat the steps by following the same. 

5. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers

Climbing mountains isn’t easy! But what if the mountains become plain ground? Well, that’s the logic behind the Mountain Climbers exercise. To make you feel you are climbing a mountain by being on the ground. This exercise is well known for great benefits like building cardio endurance and agility. Again, Mountain Climber trains the whole body. 

How to do Mountain Climbers?

To perform Mountain Climbers, get into the Straight arm plank position. Make sure to place your hands a little wider than your shoulders-width. Now bring the right knee towards your chest and without lifting your hips. And, then move it back and bring on the other knee. Now repeat the steps to continue following it. 

6. Rope Jumping

rope jumping

Rope Jumping, also known as skipping, is preferred by thousands of people over running because of its uncountable benefits. It looks easy, burns a lot of calories, and it’s fun indeed.

How to do skipping?

To perform skipping, all that you need is a rope. Now stand straight, keep your legs close to each other with your elbow near your stomach. And, now jump and make the rope do a circle around your body from head to toe. You can also change the jump by jumping forward and backwards. 

7. Push-ups

push ups

Push-ups are the most common. Bodyweight exercise. However, they are  tough for beginners. But when you train daily, you get used to it and start liking it. Push-ups are best for building the upper body. It helps form Chest, Shoulders, and  triceps, 

How to do Push-ups?

Push-ups require no training equipment and can be performed easily at home. To practise push-ups, one needs to get into a cat position with palms and toe tips touching the ground. Now go down on your chest and touch the ground. Make sure your spine doesn’t bend, and the legs are straight. As you gain experience, you can challenge yourself by putting your toes close to each other. 

8. Side Jackknife

side jacknife

The Side Jackknife is an exercise that targets Obliques, shoulders, and quads . It also involves glutes & hip flexors.

How to do Side Jackknife?

To perform Side Jackknife, one needs to lie down on their side with one leg on the top of the other. Now put your one hand behind your head with the elbow flared out. And the other hand on the ground in front of you to balance your weight. Now try to bring your upper leg and elbow together and then take it back to the original position. Now repeat the steps to implement training. 

9. Russian Twist

russian twist

The Russian Twist is a simple and yet very effective way to train your core, and hips. The Russian Twist is a popular exercise among athletes– all thanks to after-effects that help with athletes in twisting movements and quickly change direction.

How to do a Russian Twist?

To perform Russian Twist, one needs to take the ground position with their legs extended in the front. After that, raise your knees up and assume a v-sit position. Make sure to keep both your legs shoulder-width apart from each other. Now, in the end, twist from one side to another. Repeat it several times to train the body. 

10. TRX Pull-up

TRX pull ups

TRX pull-ups need a lot of upper body strength. But it can be easy if you know the right technique and have practised a lot. To perform this, you would also need a TRX trainer.

How to do TRX Pull-up?

To perform TRX Pull-up take a grip of TRX. Now use your back and arms to pull your body upwards with both the legs at shoulder-width apart. You should aim to get your chest to the same level as the handles, but don’t worry if you can’t do it at the first go. All it needs is practise. After that, hold the body in that position for a second, and then lower your body and repeat the steps to follow the same. 

6 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout

Benefits of HIIT
  • According to researchers, a HIIT cardio workout can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019 report, people doing HIIT workout lost 28.5% more fat than the people training on moderately-intense but continuous exercise. 
  • HIIT cardio workout has an impressive ability to increase your body metabolic rate for hours even after exercise. According to Harvard, if a person’s metabolic rate is high, they will burn more calories at rest and during activity.
  • HIIT cardio workout also helps increase muscle mass if done with the right weights and technique in specific individuals. 
  • HIIT cardio workout also improves an individual’s oxygen consumption capacity. According to a study, five weeks of high-intensity workout performed for 20 minutes each day, improved the oxygen consumption of an individual by 9%.
  • HIIT cardio workout also lowers down blood sugar levels in diabetic individuals. According to a study, along with blood sugar level reduction in diabetic patients, HIIT also improves insulin resistance compared to normal exercise.
  • The HIIT cardio workout does not usually require any training equipment. The above suggested ten exercises do not need any expensive heavy equipment other than the rope, which is easily available at home.

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