Work Out More Effectively with HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the Total Gym

If your goal is to lose weight, burn calories, and blast away fat then interval training should be part of your program. Intervals are not only a quick way to get in a good workout, but they are also highly effective at transforming your physique! Intervals combine intense periods of work with short recovery segments that allow you to keep the intensity up while maintaining good form. This magic formula, known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), fosters the ability to keep your body burning fat for hours after your workout!


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and short periods of less intense activity or rest. A great example would be a run/walk interval meaning that you run as fast as you can for 1 minute, then walk to recover for 2 minutes and repeat this cycle for a period of time or sets.


There are many great effects from HIIT workouts. Listed below are some proven benefits you can look forward to with this approach.

Efficient & Time Saving
HIIT is the perfect workout for those with a busy schedule. Whether you want to get a quick workout on your lunch break, or you’re getting ready for a special event, it is an excellent way to quickly and efficiently get your body to shed fat. Research advocates that only 15 minutes of interval training done 3 times a week is more efficient than running on the treadmill for an hour!
Burns More Fat
Your body will turn into a fat burning machine with all of the calories that HIIT burns, especially for 24 hours after your workout. Fat being burned while at rest is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
Healthier Heart
Most people aren’t used to working into the anaerobic zone. This is a place where you can barely catch your breath and possibly may feel sick. It is beneficial to train aerobically as well as anaerobically to produce extreme heart healthy results!
Optional Equipment
Anything goes in HIIT workouts; You can run, jump, do drills, weights, bands, balls, kettlebells, and of course the Total Gym! Having a variety of equipment to work with can offer your body different challenges, but you also do not need any equipment to perform a good HIIT workout!
Lose Weight, Gain Muscle
Dieting can pose a challenge when trying to only lose fat and not lose muscle mass. Weight training and HIIT workouts ensure most of the weight loss comes from fat stores and not from the muscles.
Increases Metabolism
HIIT stimulates human growth hormone (HGH) production by up to 450% during the 24 hours following your workout. Production of HGH is responsible for increasing caloric burn and it slows down the aging process! Bonus!!!
Do It Anywhere, Anytime!
A park, a gym, your living room, a boat, a plane… you get the point, you can do it anywhere at anytime! Since the concept is simple, you can adapt the exercises to your location and the amount of time you have!
HITT workouts are tough and challenging. It’s not a workout you can do while chatting with a friend or reading a magazine. Your body will be focused on working the whole time. It’s a great way to challenge all fitness levels and a great way to see results.


Tabata Training Method – Famous for fat-blasting abilities and simplicity – Choose an exercise that is performed for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest, and repeat this for 8 complete sets (which equals 4 minutes total). The exercises chosen are based on the workout goal (ex: cardio drills, strength, or core). These moves may be simple, but don’t be fooled! If you are not feeling exhausted by the end of the 4 minutes, then you may not be pushing yourself hard enough. There is a great Tabata app that times the work/rest intervals and keeps track of the total sets performed in the 4 minutes.
3, 2, 1 Training Method – This type of interval program incorporates 3 minutes of cardio followed by 2 minutes of strength, then 1 minute of core. The exercises are performed with high effort in a 6-minute series. The cycle can be repeated or new exercises can be introduced to accomplish the goal.
ON / OFF Method – A cardio exercise is performed with maximum effort for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of a strength exercises, then resting for 30 seconds. The exercises or drills are chosen based on the workout goals.


A high intensity interval training program is highly recommended for those individuals who are interested in weight loss, improving body composition, and/or looking for a challenging way to enhance their workouts. HIIT has shown to be superior to other forms of training and it is an excellent way to change up tedious routines. Many people do not have extended periods of time to workout, however the ability to do a quick HIIT style workout is a great alternative to get the job done effectively, efficiently, and in minimum time!

Athletes can benefit from a HIIT program due to the quick, explosive intervals of strength and cardiovascular drills. This translates to increased performance levels in their sport!


These types of workouts are intense and taxing to the muscles worked. Therefore, your muscles will require ample rest and recovery time to achieve the benefits of the training. The workouts are best when performed about 2-3 times per week on non-weight lifting days. Alternate the HIIT days with light – moderate cardio sessions, core work, Pilates, yoga, or a fusion-based workouts that allow for an active recovery.

The time for HIIT workouts can vary, as well. It all depends on how much time you have to train. Something is always better than nothing! The workouts can be anywhere from 4 minutes (this being a quick Tabata blaster), 15 minutes (a quick calorie burner), or a full 45-60 minute (kill me now!) routine. It really depends on the individual. If you’re going to put in the time, go hard and work to your maximum to get the most out of your time spent working out!


Below I have listed 3 different HIIT workouts you can do using your Total Gym. Each one is based on a distinct HIIT method so you can find an approach that will work for your goals!

With each HIIT method, be sure to push hard through the intervals in order to have varied intensities. Use these methods to create your own HIIT workout with different exercises!

TABATA: 20 sec on, 10 sec off x 8 sets = 4 minutes
*Low level incline
1. Plank pulls – back Superman
2. Side knee tucks – plank hold

3, 2, 1: 3 min cardio, 2 min strength, 1 min core
*Low level incline
1. Hop overs/ 180 shuffles/ mountain climbers
2. Kneeling bicep / back
3. Core crunch

ON / OFF: 30 sec cardio, 30 strength, 30 rest
*Low-medium level incline
1. Vertical jump roll back
2. Decline shoulder raises

* Please refer to the accompanying video to see a demo of all the HITT methods described.

APP TIMERS: You can find free timers from the APP store that can be used on your computer, ipad, or phone. These timers can be set for a specific time period with rests as well. This is an excellent way to keep your body moving towards the set timed goal.

HIIT will encourage anyone who is motivated to achieve his or her fitness goals. Although HIIT workouts are extremely beneficial, you cannot let it be the only form of exercise you do. You need a combination of proper nutrition, high intensity, low intensity, and rest days to recover the muscles worked. Having the proper balance in your workouts will make all the difference towards success!

Go Strong & Good Luck Always!


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

This Post Has One Comment

  1. just did this twice. got my heart rate very quickly. Will do this I think on days when I dont do the challenge workout.

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