Looking for a quick and simple workout to boost your fitness, burn fat and preserve muscle? Look no further than a HIIT sprint workout.
HIIT training has boomed in popularity in recent years because it’s like the world has discovered this amazing fitness-boosting, fat burning secret – High intensity interval training! It really does the trick too. Not only is it super convenient in that it should take about 20 minutes to complete, but the fat-targeting effects are also increasingly supported by science too.
One of the easiest and most accessible ways to include HIIT in your workout routine is to use sprinting workouts. You don’t need any equipment, or a gym membership. Just some space and some trainers!
To demystify HIIT and give you a good understanding of the benefits you should experience by including these workouts in your weekly routine, we’ve written up a guide to HIIT sprint workouts.
These workouts may be quick and but they shouldn’t be easy – remember to push yourself to the max whenever you’re working. That way you’ll get the best results out of each one, whether that’s fat loss, or improved fitness.
What is HIIT?
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a form or working out based around short periods of maximum effort, followed immediately by short periods of rest in order to allow the body time to recover.
When exercising you should be working hard for between 15 to 30 seconds. Any longer and you won’t be able to maintain your maximum power output.
During your rest period you should aim to slow yourself right down to rest for between 30-90 seconds. You can either completely stop, or opt for an active recovery where you keep moving, but at a much lower rate.
Science has shown that HIIT is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and can improve both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Whatever your body goals, HIIT workouts should definitely be in your repertoire.
Why use a HIIT sprint workout?
HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat.
Compared to endurance and resistance training, it’s unparalleled when it comes to burning through calories and fat .
In fact, science shows it burns between 25-30% more fat than other methods of training .
They don’t just burn calories when you’re working out either. For around 24-hours after you finish training, research has shown that your metabolism will still be raised, and you’ll continue to burn calories at a higher rate . Bonus.
Despite their intense fat-burning powers, they’re usually short workouts too, lasting around 20-30 minutes. This makes them an extremely popular choice, as so many people are limited in the amount of time they can spend at the gym.
By including a sprint workout, like the ones we’ve outlined below, in your regular training, it’s possible to achieve amazing results in a really short space of time. Something a lot of people are really keen to do!
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HIIT sprint workouts
If you’re looking for a little inspiration when it comes to finding a HIIT sprint workout, we’ve written up a couple of options that we think will help you get started.
The most important thing to remember is that you really have to max out with effort when you are working to see the results you want.
Towards the end of the sprint workout, you will start to fatigue which is entirely natural. But even then you should be pushing your body to achieve a high heart rate which will help you to achieve the benefits we mentioned in the description above.
So, let’s get started! Check out our top three HIIT sprint workouts.
30 Second Max HIIT Sprint Workout
8 rounds of:
Sprint at maximum speed for 30 seconds
Active rest (walk) for 90 seconds
Push yourself to the absolute max in every 30 second sprint. This workout will be over in just 16 minutes, but you’ll be feeling the lung bursting power of this HIIT sprint workout from the word go.
We’d also recommend using a flat surface for this if this is your first sprint workout. It’s effective enough for a beginner without adding in the extra resistance of a hill! That leads us nicely into our second workout…
Uphill Sprint Workout
Set a medium incline on the treadmill or head to your nearest steep hill for a slightly more elevated (pun intended) approach to your HIIT sprinting workout.
10 rounds of:
20 seconds sprint
60 seconds walk
Challenge your muscles as well as your lungs with this HIIT workout. It will up the ante on every sprint, but keep the pace high to max out that heart rate.
By adding the extra incline and recruiting more muscles into this sprinting workout, you’ll find your heart will be pumping harder to support the movement. That’s just what you want! So, although the active elements of this HIIT sprint workout is shorter than our first, you’ll still feel the burn. Trust us.
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10 rounds of:
Walk 30 seconds
Set your workout by a distance in a running track, or set it up on the treadmill with this HIIT sprint workout.
The faster you run, the sooner it will be over! So make sure you continue to push yourself to the max as you go through this workout. Sure enough, it’s likely your 100m time will get longer as you go through but don’t sweat that, it’s a sign you’re working hard.
These three HIIT sprint workouts are not only time efficient, they’re super effective fat burning training methods too. Whether you don’t have time for a long weight loss workout, or you simply prefer your sessions short, sharp and sweaty, then these should be your go-tos.
One way to stay motivated on your fitness journey, and to keep the progress coming, is to track your results. We love checking in with ourselves in the mirror and seeing the results there, rather than on the scales. Take regular progress pics as you continue on your fitness journey!
How to recover after sprinting workouts
It’s super important to allow proper recovery after a high intensity training session like the sprint workouts we’ve described above.
As such, it’s a great idea to make sure you’re ticking off two key parts of recovery: sleep and food.
With sleep, it’s crazy how important it is to ensuring your body heals itself after an intense training session. We recommend getting in at least 7 hours of sleep each night to promote healing. Do whatever you can to ensure that’s a good, restful night sleep too.
Whether that’s a cup of chamomile tea or reading a book before bed, anything you can do to ensure you’re sleeping soundly each night will help.
When it comes to food, that’s also absolutely key to promoting the results you want to see from your HIIT sprinting workouts. Ensure you’re eating a varied diet, with plenty of carbs and protein to promote faster recovery and healing.
Check out our articles on macronutrients to make sure you’re getting enough of each one in your diet, and discover amazing recovery foods too. With this information, you can start to ensure you’re maximizing recovery through your diet too.
The final rep – gymgirl hints and tips
Always keep the intensity high on your sprints.
If something starts to get easy, up the speed as much as you can safely handle. That way you’re always improving and always burning fat. By working in this way, you’ll keep pushing your body forward and challenging it, which is what drives fitness and weight loss.
Wingfield HL, e. (2015). The acute effect of exercise modality and nutrition manipulations on post-exercise resting energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio in wom… – PubMed – NCBI. [online]
Falcone PH, e. (2015). Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. – PubMed – NCBI. [online]