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What’s The Best Way To HIIT?

3 Effective HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to work out—period. By incorporating a HIIT session once or twice a week (on top of your normal running), you’ll see your cardiovascular fitness improve dramatically and your athletic capacity increase. A study published in Sports Medicine showed that HIIT was superior to endurance training at improving oxygen capacity during exercise (otherwise known as VO2 max), and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that it’s the secret sauce to nailing a PR.

So what is HIIT exactly? Also known as sprint interval training, HIIT workouts alternate between short bursts of intense exercise intended to increase your heart rate and periods of recovery. The intervals can take the form of running, cycling, strength-training moves, rowing, elliptical—you name it. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of time!

The workouts here are all under 20 minutes and designed specifically with runners in mind. You can choose from a running-only workout, a body-weight workout (perfect for traveling!) and a kettlebell workout (warning: you will be sore the next day). Be sure to really push yourself during each interval and then fully recover to be able to go as hard as you can again.

Here we offer three options to get your heart rate pumping and reap the benefits of HIIT. Before doing the following workouts, perform a 10-minute warm-up, including light jogging or fast walking to increasing your body temperature and a few dynamic stretches to improve range of motion.

Tip: While these workouts use time as a measurement for your exercise and rest periods, using a heart-rate monitor (HRM) is even more effective. If you have access to an HRM, perform the “sprint” or kettlebell/active intervals until your heart rate is 85 percent of your max and rest until it drops to 65 percent of your max. The more in shape you are, the longer it will take to achieve 85 percent and the shorter you will need to rest. This will guarantee you are getting the absolute most effective HIIT workout you can.


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Rachel Cosgrove

Rachel Cosgrove

Rachel Cosgrove co-owns and operates Results Fitness. She has authored two best selling books, The Female Body Breakthrough and Drop Two Sizes and created the Drop Two Sizes DVD set. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as strength training, fat loss, business and nutrition. She has been featured in almost every fitness magazine on the market. An athlete herself, she is an Ironman Triathlete and has been to the World Championships on Team USA for triathlon. She has also competed and won Gold Medals in Powerlifting and fitness competitions. Learn more about Rachel at and her gym. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.