the value of high intensity interval training
Todd Cambio

The Value of High Intensity Interval Training

Boost your metabolism, improve your VO2 max, get stronger, increase your bone density, build your cardiovascular system up and much more by implementing HIIT into your routine.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of training strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise (no more than 1 minute) with non-intense recovery periods which elicits a cardiovascular response. The key term here is “High Intensity”. Many people get stuck in the classic ruts of just doing cardio or only doing moderate intensity continuous exercise that just gets you sweaty and sore. With HIIT, go hard and fast. Then, take longer breaks between sets to recharge.

There are two ways to determine if you are going hard enough, your perceived exertion and max heart rate (MHR). On a 1-10 scale of perceived exertion, high intensity can be considered anything over an effort level of 7. If you use MHR as a guide, high intensity can be considered exercising above 80% of MHR(1). The anecdotal way to measure intensity is if you noticeably slow down. Once you lose the speed and explosiveness, the set is over. Recover enough so you can attack it again.

A study done by Ana Pereira at the University of Trans-os-Montes in Portugal found that high-intensity intervals can cause energy-stimulating hormones (called catecholamines) and hormonal responses that keep max heart rate high and maintain the body in a relatively muscle-building (anabolic) state compared with pure low-intensity cardio. In other words, if you want great results fast, do your high intensity interval training.

Now that you know the effort it requires and the benefits, pick exercises that are simple yet give you a big bang for your buck. Exercises like:

  • Sprinting
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Lunges
  • Push Ups
  • Equalizer (EQ) Over Unders
  • EQ Body Rows
  • EQ Lateral Agility
  • HIIT System Alternating Rows
  • HIIT System Resisted Running
  • HIIT System Squat Jumps
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Battling Ropes
  • Slam Balls
  • Sled Pushes

Lebert EQ and HIIT system

Here Are Some Sample Workouts:

EQ HIIT Circuit: 4 rounds AMRAP 1:2 Work:Rest Ratio. 30 sec work:1 min rest (You should be able to speak a full sentence before going again)

  1. EQ Over Unders x 30 sec
  2. EQ Body Rows x 30 Sec
  3. EQ Push Ups x 30 sec
  4. EQ Lateral High Knee Agility x 30 sec

HIIT System Partner Tabatta: 20:10 x 8 each exercise. One partner GOs (works) while the other is offering the resistance by holding the HIIT System handles. Switch up after each exercise. “I GO U GO” format. 

  1. HIIT System Resisted Running
  2. HIIT System Squat Jumps
  3. HIIT System Unilateral Rows

Track 3-2-1 WOD: Roughly a 1 min work: 2-4 mins recovery for each exercise. Allow your heart rate to return to normal. ONLY 6 total minutes of work!

  1. Sprint x 400 meters walk until ready x 3 rounds
  2. Burpees x 1 minute AMRAP x 2 rounds
  3. Jump Lunges x 1 minute AMRAP x 1 round

But, before you go all out in your next workout, have a plan.  While HIIT will do wonders for you, it all depends on the dosage.  Do this too much too soon and you are at risk for overuse injuries or over-training which will negate all the previously mentioned benefits.

I recommend doing HIIT 1-2 times per week for no more than a half hour each session.  If you are going longer than that, you are probably in MetCon purgatory, which is that mindless moderate intensity continuous exercise range that just gets you sweaty and sore.  Again, you would not be reaping all the benefits that you should. Don’t just take my word for it, science says so too! Data also revealed that HIIT requiring a shorter time commitment than moderate intensity continuous exercise led to greater enjoyment in a sample of active men and women (3)

The safest and most effective way to learn these exercises and to get the most out of your products is on our Lebert Fitness website. Our Lebert Fitness Education programs include online courses, live workshops, and an expansive Education Team. Our courses are creative, cutting-edge and highly effective for expanding your knowledge of our products.


By: Todd Cambio, BS, BA, CSCS for Lebert Fitness 





Works Cited:

  1. McCall, P., What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and what are the benefits?, November 2009,
  2. Greenfield, B., Beyond Training. Mastering Endurance, Health and Life, 2014, 59.
  3. Thum JS, Parsons G, Whittle T, Astorino TA (2017) High-Intensity Interval Training Elicits Higher Enjoyment than Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0166299