January 03, 2023

Taking Your Training to the Next Level With HIIT Workouts

women doing HIIT workouts with Apple Watch and recovery timer app

Everyone needs to exercise. But you don’t have time, right? Well, what if we told you there’s a fitness strategy that offers serious fat-burning benefits that you can complete in a short amount of time?

No, we’re not lying. We’re talking about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you have no idea what we’re talking about, we offer a comprehensive guide for everyone, including ways to take your HIIT routine to the next level with workout apps.

What Is HIIT?

HIIT combines short bursts of movement with a rest period in between sets. These bursts of activity increase your heart rate, offering the same benefits as moderate exercise.

Since the movements are intense, a HIIT workout lasts shorter than a traditional workout — the average HIIT workout lasts 30 minutes. Still, you may even get benefits by doing HIIT for 10 minutes!

What type of movements are we talking about? HIIT is flexible — you can do HIIT cardio on a cardio machine, apply HIIT methods to weightlifting, or use other cardio machines such as walking/running and jumping.

Benefits of HIIT

Most people love HIIT workouts because they’re quick. But HIIT offers even more benefits. Here’s why you should add HIIT to your workout routine.


HIIT is a serious workout for your heart and blood vessels. Because of this, your cardiovascular system is working to its full capacity. Regular HIIT workouts can improve your blood pressure and cardio-stroke volumes.

Hypertrophy and Strength

When done correctly, HIIT workouts can increase your strength. While you’ll see the best strength results when doing HIIT weightlifting, even jumping and sprinting can improve your strength. That’s because you’re working your muscles in sudden bursts of movement.

Can you gain muscle mass by doing HIIT? It depends on the type of workout you perform. You’ll see the most results when you perform HIIT weightlifting movements. But all HIIT movements build muscle mass, even if it’s just lean muscle mass.

This study shows that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) hormones increase due to HIIT exercise. IGF-1 increases muscle mass in the body, giving you a muscular physique.

Fat Loss

HIIT helps you lose weight. You’re using more exertion, meaning you’ll burn more calories. This will reduce your body weight percentage as well as your waist circumference.

HIIT also burns more visceral fat, the dangerous fat surrounding your organs. This is especially helpful for those who are overweight or obese.

Not only that, but HIIT can increase your resting metabolic rate more than jogging alone. This means you’re burning more calories, even when you’re not in motion.

Keep in mind you have to perform HIIT regularly to see these results. Most will see results when they do HIIT for 20 minutes three times a week. You’ll also have to eat a healthy and reduced-carb diet to lose significant amounts of fat.

Example of a HIIT Workout Routine

Since there are many ways to do HIIT, you have several options to get started. Here are ways to create a HIIT routine and other important information.

HIIT Workout Suggestions

When creating a HIIT workout plan, first decide how much you want to devote to cardio and weightlifting. From there, determine the best way to implement these factors into your routine.

There are many ways to do HIIT cardio. You can start by jogging, jumping, or using cardio machines. Move at a fast pace for 15 seconds. Then, rest, power walk, or jog briskly for one or two minutes.

If you want to incorporate weightlifting into your HIIT, take a moderately sized weight (or use your body weight) and perform squat jumps. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds at a time. Rest and then perform another lifting exercise.

Recovery Timer for Apple Watch

In between your movements, you’ll be resting. How long should you rest? The golden rule is two minutes of rest for every minute of movement. But this doesn’t always work for everyone.

This is where Recovery Timer for Apple Watch comes in. Personal trainers and professionals recommend using your heart rate to decide when to end your rest period and get back to work. You can manually measure your heart rate using your finger and a clock, but you’d much rather listen to music or talk to your trainer while waiting, right?

If you have an Apple Watch, Recovery Timer makes it easy. You simply touch when your set is done and you are starting your rest period. The app will notify you when your heart rate is low enough to end the rest period and start working again.

Recovery Timer HIIT app for Apple Watch

Heart Rate Range

You’ll want to keep track of your heart rate during a workout.

Start with your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the rate your heart beats normally. This is usually between 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM). Your heart rate should increase slightly during your warm-up, only 20 BPM more than your resting heart rate.

Your maximum heart rate (MHR) is the most number of times your body should beat during activity. During the fat-burning phase, your heart rate is at 70% of your maximum. You should consult a professional about your exact maximum heart rate, but you can start by subtracting your age by 220.

Let’s say you’re 20 years old. Your maximum heart rate should be 200 BPM; therefore, your fat-burning heart rate should be 140 BPM.

You can measure your HIIT performance by setting heart rate goals. Achieve your fat-burning heart rate in the first five minutes of your workout. Then, boost the intensity to achieve at least 80% of your MPH.

Slow down to 40% - 50% of your MPH. Use the Recovery Timer app to determine the best time between sets. After resting, resume your movements.

Why Rest Is Important 

You don’t want to rest for too short an amount of time, but you also don’t want to rest for too long. Resting gives your muscles time to heal; if you don’t rest long enough, you may not perform the rest of your workouts to the best of your abilities. At the same time, you don’t want to rest for too long. You want to burn as many calories in a short amount of time.

Take Action

HIIT is one of the most effective workout routines. HIIT apps such as Recovery Timer can inform you of the best rest times. Go to the Apple App Store and learn more about Recovery Timer for Apple Watch.

download on the Apple App Store