Lucy Wyndham-Read

What is HIIT and how does it work?

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what is Hiit training

What is HIIT and how does it work?

H.I.I.T. is the biggest fitness trend and this one is set to stay.

The reason why is that High Intensity Interval Training WORKS!!!

I speak as a Fitness Expert who’s been doing this for 20 years. I first learnt about this style of training when I joined the Army. Back in those days I was seriously unfit, and in fact at school I did no sports and had little confidence. And this was one of the reasons that in my 20’s I decided to sign the dotted line and join the army, as I wanted to become a strong, fit girl. This was one of the best things I could have done, as this is where I challenged myself and changed. Fitness was a big part of our daily training sessions and was always H.I.I.T.-based workouts. I found that within 2 weeks I was fit and able to do all the workouts, and had quickly got in shape.

Throughout my 20 years in the fitness industry I have always used this style of training, and for me it is not new. It has actually been around for a long time, but finally the fitness industry has named it and branded it, and now everyone wants to be HIIT FIT.


  • It is quick. It burns body fat 9 times faster, even after you have worked out.
  • It increases your natural calorie burn.
  • It slows down the ageing process as it stimulates the Human Growth Hormone (this is what keeps us looking radiant).
  • It burns fat, not muscles.
  • It increases your lung capacity.
  • It is doable.
  • It makes training more fun.
  • And you can do it anywhere.


H.I.I.T. can be applied to any form of exercise, from swimming to cycling, lunges to skipping. You simply focus on doing short bursts of working at a harder faster intensity, and then have bursts of recovery. These bursts can be from as little as 20 seconds up to 60 seconds, then recovery can be in spells of 10 – 30 seconds.

Intensity is key to getting results, and I have devised a scale which will help you be sure that you are working out to the right intensity to get your desired results.

As with any exercise, you get out what you put in. You want to be feeling slightly out of breath, but not to a point of utter exhaustion; equally, don’t let it be too easy.

Hitting the right intensity in you exercise is what will give you incredible results.

After you have completed your exercise session look at the list below and score yourself on a scale of 1-10 for your perceived rate of exertion:

Scale                    Level of Exertion

  1                        Not exhausted at all (as if you are seated)

 2                         Very, very light (as if you are walking around at home)

 3                         Very light gentle exercise

 4                         Moderate (easily able to hold a conversation)

 5                         Somewhat hard (feeling a little out of breath)

 6                         Feeling challenged and out of breath, hard to hold a full conversation

 7                         Very hard (not able to talk)

                         Very, very hard

                        Near exhaustion

10                        Maximal

To get the best results, you should aim to be in the 5 to 7 zone, as this is the best for burning calories and is often referred to as the fat-burning zone. However, you should build up to that level of exertion, especially if you are new to exercising.