The 20 Minute Workout

by Rachelle on November 2, 2012

Want to get the most effective workout in the shortest amount of time?  Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  HIIT involves alternating between very intense sessions of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity exercise.  This type of activity is the best workout for weight loss.  HIIT is cardio performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover.  The big payoff, not only do you burn tons of calories during your workout but your body will burn more calories for up to 24 hours after your workout too!

There are many types of interval training exercises to choose from: running, biking, swimming, treadmill, elliptical trainers, jumping rope, even walking if you alternate a speed walking and walking slower.  When you just start, the work/rest ratio can be 1 to 2, so one minute of high-intensity and two minutes of low-intensity.  Work up to 1 to 1.  The better shape you are in, the higher intensity you can handle and also the higher the work/rest ratio.  A well-trained athlete can use a 2 to 1 work /rest ratio, so they are sprinting for 120 seconds and only resting for 60 seconds.  Now that’s tough!


Try these three 15-30 minute high-intensity interval training, calorie burning workouts:

Standard workout

The following is a typical interval workout. You alternate the same period of low-intensity with the same period of high-intensity.

  1. 3-5 minutes warm-up (light jog, low-intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warm-up period)
  2. 1 minute moderate or high-intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6-8 times)
  3. 3-5 minutes cool down (light jog, low-intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cool down period)



This pyramid structure will allow you to start with short bursts of speed, you will peak at the longest surge of energy in the middle of your workout before coming back down.

  1. 3-5 minutes warm-up
  2. 30 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  3. 45 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  4. 60 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  5. 90 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  6. 60 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  7. 45 seconds high-intensity, 1 minute low-intensity
  8. 30 seconds high-intensity
  9. 3-5 minutes cool down


Sports Conditioning

Sports are unpredictable. This interval simulates some of that unpredictability by having you exercise different amounts of time and at different intensities. You will also rest longer after the periods in which you use the most energy.

  1. 3-5 minutes warm-up
  2. 2 minutes moderate or high-intensity followed by 2 minutes low-intensity (repeat once)
  3. 30 seconds high-intensity followed by 30 seconds low-intensity (repeat four times)
  4. 60 yard sprints (or 10 seconds if you are not running) followed by a 90 second rest (repeat 6-10 times)
  5. 3-5 minutes cool down


New to high-intensity interval training?  When you are just starting out, try running as fast as you can for one minute and then walking for two minutes.  Repeat this sequence five times for a 15 minute workout.




Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
Hi I'm Rachelle, or "Elle" for short. I am a busy body, but always been a plus sized kinda girl. I've learned that my curves are sexy, and I can feel good about how I look without looking like a stick! I'm a work-a-holic and stay as active as I can with lots of projects, so I have to prioritize my health choices. Working for Creative Bioscience has opened my eyes to what you can do to supplement your diet, and manage things in a natural way. The advances that are being made in the health arena are so exciting, and we are on the front lines bringing the best of the best. Rachelle's favorite product is hCG 1234

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Nikki November 6, 2012 at 3:26 am

Is this HIIT the same technique used in the popular CrossFit exercise program? Help me understand, please…I’m sorta out of the loop. I used to be a personal trainer & triathlete, but am now bedridden due to MS, but I still want to loose weight. Can you help? Would HIIT be too much for me?


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