Getting fit with hiit


The last few years have seen one form of exercise hit the headlines and it is not showing signs of going away. One of the most talked about subjects in fitness is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You see it in magazines, newspapers and all over social media. You even see it right here at The Hogarth with our very own HIIT Studio, which opened at the start of last year.

But what is it exactly? What are the benefits? Who is it suitable for? These are just some of the questions we will address as we sit and delve into the world of HIIT.


HIIT training is defined by bursts of submaximal exercise followed by a rest period in a circuit format. Due to its highly demanding aspect it is traditionally a shorter session compared to most others but it comes with specific benefits that can help you achieve your results.


During the high intensity bursts you will aim to get your heart rate high above 80-85% and work in your anaerobic zone. This is something, which is not maintainable for more than 2-3mins tops. A good gauge is if you cannot talk back you are in this zone! As a result not only will your anaerobic training improve but your steady state, the aerobic zone training, will also benefit.

As with all exercise the impact lasts long after you’ve stopped exercising. Due to excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) we burn more calories for up to 24 hours after our session which is great for weight loss. Sometimes at the end of a workout you see the total number of calories burned, but do not forget the benefits of EPOC which will enhance your fat burn long after you’ve left the gym. HIIT boosts your metabolism.

Additionally research seems to indicate many further health benefits to HIIT. It has been shown to improve blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels. It also targets all of our fat stores very effectively from the fat under the skin to the visceral fat (the fat around the organs).

The calories you burn in HIIT sessions are maximised in that time. Doing a longer aerobic session will take you more time to burn the same so if you are time poor HIIT can be an answer for you in the fight against fat. The added bonus during HIIT is you won’t lose muscle as you burn fat, which can happen in steady state cardio.


People who are sedentary should not go straight into HIIT. You must have a steady level of fitness before embarking on HIIT. We would recommend that you’ve been doing the NHS suggested 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to establish a base level prior to introducing HIIT sessions. 

If you are coming back from injury or illness it is not ideal as your form is tested under high pressure. And if your doctor has recommended you avoid high intensity then guess what, HIIT is not for you. Due to the high demands it is important to let the body recover from HIIT. 

We wouldn’t recommend more than 3-4 HIIT sessions a week as part of your overall programme. Make sure you have a rest day between sessions to allow the body to recover properly. Overdoing it can set you back, so train smart.

To arrange a tour call us on 020 8994 0500 

Or email us


The beauty of HIIT is it can be done anywhere, from the home, the park, in the office or of course at the gym. You can do it with equipment or just your bodyweight, HIIT works with or without kit! Our HIIT Studio is specifically reserved for HIIT only. And you can do such varied sessions in there due to the great stations we have. The Skillmill is perfect for bursts of speed or power, the Ski Erg is a fantastic upper body cardio tool. The slam balls, the wreck bags and the wall target for throwing balls at is just fab. And of course the classic HIIT weapon of choice, the battle rope, is amongst just some of the toys at your disposal in there.

HIIT can be a session on its own or you can incorporate a shorter sample of it into a workout.

It’s hard. It’s fun. You feel the benefit of “having done something” and the endorphin rush after will make you feel good.


You can do HIIT with just one cardio exercise like a bike or treadmill, on repeat. However for variety and more fun a selection of exercises is more enjoyable. 

Here are examples of two HIIT circuits of 7 exercises each to be done 2-3 times. The work to rest ratio can be adjusted to your suitable level of fitness. If you are a HIIT beginner use the 1:2 ratio (20 seconds on, 40 seconds off) if you are intermediate 1:1 (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) and if you are well trained 2:1 (40 seconds on, 20 seconds off) is for you. 

With a warm up and cool down added in, your full HIIT sessions will most likely last 30-45 minutes.

The bodyweight routine can be done anywhere from the gym, in the park or even at home. It is a brilliant way for beginners to experience the full effects of HIIT!


squats, push ups, crunches, burpees, renegade row, dips, plank.

As mentioned earlier, we have our very own HIIT studio and here you can expand on exercise options with weights, cardio kit and various balls and bags you can play with.


Skillmill Push, Slam Ball, Battle Rope, Crunch Throw, TRX Row, Ski Erg, KB Swing

For further details chat to one of our Personal Trainers or check out the timetable and try one of our HIIT classes once you’ve got a base level of fitness.

One thing is for sure, you have to admit that HIIT is a great way to get fit!

To arrange a tour call us on 020 8994 0500 

Or email us