High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating periods of high-intensity activity with low-to-moderate or no activity recovery periods. These periods of activity and recovery can be adjusted. Generally, the longer intervals will utilise the aerobic energy system more and the shorter intervals will utilise the glycolytic (lactic acid) and the ATP-CP system more. However you can manipulate the training variables to match your client/s needs (Intensity, Working Time, Resting Time, Number of Repetitions, Number of Sets).

Work: Rest ratio

The Work: Rest ratio (W:R) is the amount of time spent performing the exercise relative to the resting time between intervals.

E.g. 5 x 2min running, with 4min rest between (W:R = 1:2)

E.g. 5 x 2min running, with 2min rest between (W:R = 1:1)

E.g. 5 x 2min running, with 1min rest between (W:R = 2:1)


Long intervals 
2-6 minute intervals with 1:1 or 1:1.5 W:R ratio
E.g. 5 x 600m; run target time 2 minutes, rest time 3 minutes (W:R 1:1.5)
Moderate intervals 
30s-2 minutes intervals with > 1:2 W:R ratio
E.g. 8 x 200m; run target time 35 seconds, rest time 90 seconds (W:R 1:3+)

Short intervals
5-20 seconds intervals with > 1:4 W:R ratio
E.g. 10 x 10 second hill runs, rest time 50 seconds (W:R 1:5)

Remember: these are only guidelines

Exercise Instruction

HIIT Circuit Example

Build your own HIIT Circuit


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