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The most popular hiit workout: from Tabata to Bongsbo, get to know all about them

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is considered one of the most effective training methods for slimming and improving cardiovascular fitness. HIIT is a mixed system that allows you to activate different energy mechanisms, as it is based on the alternation  high and low intensity exercises.

HIIT Training phases

High intensity training is considered one of the most effective training methods for slimming and improving cardiovascular fitness.
The initial training modalities can be different: bike, running, swimming, etc. Initially, cyclical activities such as those mentioned above are recommended in order to maintain high intensity, even though without having to think about the technique or the risk of injury.

Intense  Phase

  • All out
  • % VO2max / FC max
Duration of the intense phase

Variable to select according to the type of HIIT protocol you want to follow: purpose of your training, physical condition of the person who will perform it, etc..

Sprint up

  • 6”
  • 20"
  • 60”
  • 4’
Hiit is a mixed system that allows you to activate different energy mechanisms, since it is based on the alternation of high and low intensity exercises.

Recovery phase

Active recovery

Allows you to maintain high VO2max and FC max allowing you to start from the second or third intense phase to the % of training work, the so-called "red zone".

Passive recovery

When speed-based workouts are made with work protocols ranging from 6 to 20", an active recovery would block the resynthesis of phosphocreatine, which is essential for the focus of the workout.

Duration of recovery

Adequate recovery based on duration of efforts. Alternatively alternate muscle groups if performing Barbell/DB work.

Once you have chosen the most suitable protocol you will go to perform until you can maintain the same intensity of work, regardless of whether you can finish or not.
As you can see from the variables above mentioned is not enough simply a stopwatch and the desire to work hard to perform a HIIT training, you must first of all be clear why such a training is done.

Does high-intensity interval training make you lose weight? Yes.

Often the secondary benefits are confused with the primary purposes, especially in the world of fitness where this type of training is proposed to lose weight quickly, or to train in an intense way using 30' instead of the classic hour. Is everything true? Partly.

HIIT in the gym: slimming and training time

This is a recommended training for those who already have a good level of preparation.
Does high-intensity interval training make you lose weight? Yes. Will it release the abdominals in less time than other workouts? Absolutely not. It is now clear that there are no exercises or workouts that can eliminate fat from a specific point of the body, what makes the HIIT training is not an action on the subcutaneous fat but on the visceral one, often irrelevant from an aesthetic point of view but risky for health (paying attention  also with a balanced nutrition program) .
As repeated several times, a more careful planning of the various training sessions is necessary to obtain the desired result. In order to focus on the reduction of visceral fat, it is necessary to have a VO2max intensity higher than 85% (FCmax around 90%) maintained for at least 15', not continuous but as close as possible. Considering the intense and recovery phases, the HIIT training will last around 30'.
Climbing up and down steps is an excellent cardiovascular workout
We must pay close attention to this fact: 30' is the working time in which high-intensity phases alternate with those of recovery. In the former you must always be over 85% of your VO2max, so you need a warm-up that allows the body to arrive and withstand certain intensities. The training will begin with a warm-up of about 10 minutes, followed by the HIIT protocol at the end of which will be done a cool-down and then stretching. At the end you will have a training session of 50-60 minutes.
It should be noted that this type of training does not produce results if done once in a while, it is necessary to repeat them several times a week, for several weeks in a row. The guidelines say to perform HIIT protocols 3 times a week for at least 12 weeks, in this way you will get the desired improvements and will also be stabilized over time.

HIIT protocols

Searching the Internet, you will find dozens and dozens of protocols, some scientifically recognized, others adapted and reinvented by people more or less authoritative. This article will quickly illustrate some of the original protocols that have marked a turning point in 'high intensity training worldwide.
HIIT training methods are different, each with different functions


Known in 1000 variants is a very specific training that provides:

  • 20" all-out to the cycle-ergometer at 85 rpm
  • Passive recovery of 10".
  • Initially 6 cycles, once adapted to the training will be made 8. If you reach the eighth cycle without decrements in intensity, you will be asked for an increase in power of 11 watts.
  • Intensity of about 170% of VO2max
  • Duration: 6 weeks for 4 days a week
  • On the fifth day, a 30' workout should be performed at constant intensity.

The training is regulated by the intensity of work, if you can not finish all 8 cycles the session ends, but if they are finished without decreases in intensity, will require more power expressed.

High intensity training classes help to achieve a common goal together
The training is regulated by the intensity of work, if you can not finish all 8 cycles the session ends, but if they are finished without decreases in intensity, will require more power expressed.


Known especially in football environments, he has created more protocols. Here we will propose again his probably most famous work.

  • or 30" of low-intensity cyclic activity
  • 20" of medium intensity activity or 10" all-out
  • Start again immediately with the 30" at low intensity, repeating the whole thing for 5 complete cycle or 2' recovery (passive or with walk)
  • Repeat the 5 cycles again in the same way
Athletic girls descend the steps


  • On the bike, 60" at 95-100% of VO2max
  • Active recovery: pedal at 30 watts of power for 75"
  •  8 cycles for the first 2 workouts
  • 10 cycles for seconds 2 workouts
  • 12 cycles for the last 2 workouts
  • Duration: 3 days a week for 2 weeks
Skillatlethic, nelle sue boost e fast, sono tipologie di allenamento HIIT

HIIT: what benefits

HIIT protocols train the metabolic part of the body, allowing those who perform them to feel less fatigue, feel it more and more late in time, and recover first. Training of this type is fundamental for every discipline, from team sports in which it is necessary to give the maximum on the field from beginning to end of the game, to power training in which you will not have direct improvements on performance but you will be able to recover first between a competition and the other, and between a training and the other, thus being able to maintain high intensity of work without incurring in overreaching.
Fundamental is the fact of obtaining results in terms of performance even for steady state activities of long duration, being able to train for a relatively short time compared to those specific sports.
Training with Skillathletic is the new way to share a fast and engaging workout

HIIT for all?

HIIT training can be offered to everyone but high intensities such as those of the various protocols must always be kept under control, and authorized by a sports doctor by means of a medical certificate. If you want to achieve your goal is useful to rely on a professional able to understand, and manage, the variables that will arise during training.
Once you have found out what HIIT really is on a theoretical level, all you need to do is test it in practice.

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