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Lose fat with High Intensity Interval Training

This is the year to focus on your health and fitness. To lose fat with high intensity interval training or, HIIT in your workout program. It’s challenging, makes you sweat, and is challenging.

I love high intensity interval training. I’ve included this type of training to lose fat for years. My clients may not always love to do it but they love the results. Throwing in some HIIT helps them reach their health and fitness goals a bit quicker. It helps build more confident by sculpting the body to wear sleeveless shirts, summer dresses, shorts and of course, health overall.

To lose fat with high intensity interval training you must go all out for a short duration of time. Usually about 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off of max effort. Doing a lot to a few rounds of this with all out effort.

I want to stress a key point though about fat loss vs weight loss for those who don’t know – they are different things.  When you lose body fat the scale may not change but your body shape does. The scale may only drop 5 pounds but you’ve gone down 3 sizes and have more muscle definition and thus, less fat. The scale is not a very good way to gauge your success and it can make you feel frustrated if focused on it. Instead, focus more on seeing your body get more sculpted, how your balance improves, mental acuity, mood improvement, sleep quality gets better, and a myriad of the benefits to exercise.

What is ‘High Intensity Interval Training?’

HIIT in essence is periods of short anaerobic bursts of intense exercise followed by short recovery periods of less intense exercise or rest. It helps to improve athletic conditioning, glucose metabolism and fat burning which, is what we all want. There are different ways to do this type of training for example, bursts of 20-30 second sprinting with 2-3 minutes of recovery walking then repeat 4-6 times or bursts of sprinting on the bike with slower recovery periods of biking. You could throw in 30 seconds to a minute of jump roping between sets of your lifting weights for this added benefit of burning fat.

However, if you’re new to exercise or a beginner I’d suggest starting with learning proper form first by a highly qualified and experienced personal trainer. With any form of exercise there is always the possibility of getting injured but it increases a bit with anything that has a higher intensity to it with more dynamic movements. There is a proper progression when it comes to exercise just like anything, imagine a school system where you must go through grade 1 to get to grade 2, 2 to get to 3 and so on. It’s the same thing with exercise, you really shouldn’t try advanced forms of exercise before going through beginner stages and learning proper form first so you reduce the likelihood of getting injured, overtraining or hitting a plateau. The sample program below is for the more advanced exercise enthusiast who has been training for a least a year and knows proper form. For the beginner I’d start with a jog then walk rather than sprints, less sets and exclude the sit up but keep the reverse lunge with a slower pace.

Benefits of HIIT

1. Short and sweet! This type of training can be done anywhere from 10- 30 minutes but you should always warm up for at least 5 minutes before you start. You don’t have to spend hours on a piece of ‘cardio’ equipment in the gym, train smarter not longer for great benefits and fat loss.

2. Burns more calories in a shorter period of time than an hour on a treadmill.

3. Burns more fat after your workout than steady state cardio so you’ll reap the benefits long after you finish your workout. Now who doesn’t want that?!

4. Sculpt your body without losing muscle mass.

5. You can do it anywhere. You don’t have to be in a gym to do HIIT, you can do it in your backyard, hotel room, in front of the TV or, where ever you are it can be done even, your bathroom. 

Example High Intensity Interval Workout:

Exercise           Sets                    Reps                              Rest                       Tempo

Warm up walk        1                       5 minutes                      N/A                         Moderate

Sprint                      6-8                    20-30 secs                    1.5-2 min                Fast as hell

Sit up and press    6-8                    45 secs                                                            Moderate

Reverse lunges      6-8                    30 secs                                                            Fast

Sprint, sit up and press and reverse lunges are to be done back to back then rest for 1.5-2 minutes and start again. You’ll be done within 20-30 minutes and feel great afterwards not to mention like your body is the machine you envision in your head.

If you’ve never done sprints before start with a moderate run for 30 seconds until you build up endurance and strength and warm up for 10 minutes rather than 5.

Have fun and good luck!

2 Responses

  • Michelle Carbonniere

    June 5th, 2017

    Thank you Leila for posting this as it really does make sense to me now. When I first met you a couple of years ago, you really took the time to understand my goals and also the fact that I was doing exercises wrong which caused more pain in my back. I really didnt enjoy working out but that changed over time with the HIIT training. In 30 minutes you made the workout fun and yet pushed me all while reaching towards my goals. I gained muscle while increasing my metabolism and loosing inches. Leila really takes the time to help reach your goals through her expertise in nutrition coupled with a plan that works for you! I highly recommend Leila as she changed my life.

  • Sculpted Physiques

    June 6th, 2017

    Thank you so much, Michelle! I’m so happy you found some enjoyment out of our sessions. I know they were challenging but you persevered and did great!

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