The Ultimate Guide To High Intensity Interval Training For Beginners!



Published on: 17-Jan-2024


10 min read


Updated on : 18-Jan-2024






The Ultimate Guide To High Intensity Interval Training For Beginners!

The Ultimate Guide To High Intensity Interval Training For Beginners!

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Emerging as a promising adjustable-intensity workout, high intensity interval training for beginners ensures the right track towards a transformative fitness experience. However, selecting the right fitness path for a high intensity interval training workout at home can often prove to need to be clarified for beginners. If you are a beginner looking to boost your fitness journey with HIIT, this guide is exactly what you need! 

This blog will discuss bodyweight squats, lunges, modified push-ups and more, all beginner-friendly best HIIT workouts that require minimal equipment while serving as the building blocks for more advanced HIIT routines.

Furthermore, turning your living space into an at-home HIIT for weight loss workout arena is simpler than you might think. A well-ventilated HIIT beginner workout area, a reliable exercise mat, and a timer for intervals are the essentials to get you started on your HIIT journey from the comfort of your home. 

So, read on how to start structuring your HIIT routine, understanding low-impact HIIT home workouts for beginners while exploring the selection of the best HIIT workouts, including HIIT workouts for weight loss, listed especially for beginners.

Table Of Contents

1. Is High Intensity Interval Training Good For Beginners?

2. How To Start High Intensity Interval Training For Beginners At Home?

3. Best HIIT Workouts For Beginners

4. The Final Say

5. FAQs

6. References

Is High Intensity Interval Training Good For Beginners?

Catering to diverse fitness levels, HIIT is one of the popular workouts for adjusting your intensity levels along the duration of intervals, which makes it inclusive for beginners. It also allows you to acclimate to the demands of high-intensity exercise gradually. However, since HIIT training gives the flexibility to customise workouts as per your capacity, understanding personal limits and making adjustments as needed becomes a priority in a consistent workout plan.

If a particular exercise feels too challenging initially, modifications can be introduced to make it more accessible for your body, promoting a sustainable and enjoyable workout routine. This is why starting HIIT while focusing on form and gradual progression is essential for beginners. A HIIT session can deliver substantial benefits in just 20-30 minutes, making it a practical choice for beginners with time constraints.

So, prioritising proper form over speed in high intensity interval training for beginners minimises the risk of injuries and ensures that the muscles are effectively engaged. Beginning at a manageable pace allows you to build confidence and gain muscle while gradually increasing the intensity as your fitness journey progresses.

How To Start High Intensity Interval Training For Beginners At Home?

To increase your body’s efficiency in burning calories and improving cardiovascular health, high intensity interval training for beginners involves alternating between short bursts of intense exercises and periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. So, let’s understand how to start with high intensity interval training for beginners at home:

1. Assessing Your Fitness Level

Before including any new personalised fitness program, take a comprehensive look at your current fitness level. Consider factors such as your overall health, existing medical conditions, and your familiarity with exercise. If you have any concerns or health issues, consult a healthcare professional or fitness expert to ensure the chosen workout aligns with your needs and capabilities.

2. Choosing Beginner-Friendly Exercises

Opting for exercises tailored to beginners is crucial for a positive start. Look for routines that require minimal equipment, making them accessible for home workouts. Bodyweight exercises, including squats, lunges, modified push-ups, and jumping jacks, provide a solid foundation for beginners. These exercises not only build strength but also help in developing proper form.

3. Starting Slow, Focusing On Form

In the initial stages of your HIIT journey, prioritise proper form over speed for muscle building sustainably. Concentrate on executing each movement correctly to prevent injuries and ensure effective muscle engagement. Gradually increase the intensity as your confidence and strength grow, balancing challenge and safety.

4. Warming Up Thoroughly

A thorough warm-up is non-negotiable before diving into the intensity of HIIT. Allocate 5-10 minutes to dynamic stretches and light cardio activities such as jumping jacks or jogging in place. Warming up gradually increases your heart rate, improves blood circulation, and prepares your muscles and joints for the demands of high-intensity exercise.

5. Creating A HIIT Routine

Designing a well-rounded HIIT routine is essential for balanced fitness development. Incorporating a mix of cardio, strength and flexibility workouts that target different muscle groups is key. Begin with a manageable work-to-rest ratio, such as 30 seconds of intense exercise and 30 seconds of rest. Adjusting these intervals based on your comfort and fitness level ensures a challenging yet sustainable workout.

6. Mixing Up Your Exercises

To keep your workouts engaging and prevent monotony, introduce variety into your routine. Experiment with different easy cardiovascular exercises to target various muscle groups and add diversity to your sessions. This enhances the effectiveness of your workouts and keeps you motivated and excited about each session.

7. Including Full-Body Movements

To maximise calorie burn and engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, incorporate full-body movements into your HIIT routine. Exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, or squat jumps require coordination and effort from various muscle groups, providing a comprehensive workout experience.

8. Investing In Basic Equipment

While HIIT is known for its minimal equipment requirements, consider gradually incorporating basic items like resistance bands or dumbbells. This addition can intensify your workouts, allowing for increased resistance as you progress. Starting with lighter weights to master the exercises and progressively moving to heavier loads as your strength improves is a prudent approach.

Also Read: 7 Best Fitness Exercises For Weight Loss: 1 Week Home Workout Plan 

Best HIIT Workouts For Beginners

Note the given best workouts of high intensity interval training for beginners and select the one which fits you the best:

Workout Type


Interval & Tips

Bodyweight Circuit

Squats, Lunges, Push-ups, Jumping Jacks, Plank

30-sec work, 30-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Focus on proper form, especially during push-ups and planks.

Tabata Sprints

Sprinting or High Knees

20 sec work, 10-sec rest; Repeat for 4 mins.

Maintain good posture during sprints, and land softly to reduce the impact on joints.

Modified Burpees

Squat to Overhead Reach, Step Back to Plank, Stand Up

40-sec work, 20-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Engage your core throughout the movement, and land softly after each jump.

Jump Rope Cardio

Jumping Rope

45-sec work, 15-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Keep a steady pace, and use a quality jump rope for effective cardio.

Dumbbell Circuit

Goblet Squats, Dumbbell Rows, Dumbbell Lunges, Push Press

40-sec work, 20-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Start with light weights; focus on controlled movements to avoid injury.

Mountain Climbers

High-Intensity Mountain Climbers

30-sec work, 30-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Maintain a plank position; bring your knees toward the chest with controlled movements.

Box Jumps

Box Jumps or Step-up exercises for beginners

40-sec work, 20-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Land softly on the box; use a sturdy surface and gradually increase the height.

Cycling Sprints

Sprinting on a Stationary Bike or Cycling at Max Effort

30 sec intense cycling, 30 sec slow/rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Adjust resistance for intensity; maintain a consistent pedal cadence.

Battle Ropes

Alternating Waves or Slams with Battle Ropes

30-sec work, 30-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Use your whole body for waves or slams; keep a slight bend in the knees to protect joints.


Step-ups onto a Sturdy Platform or Bench

45-sec work, 15-sec rest; Repeat 15-20 mins.

Step with control; engage your glutes and quadriceps during each step-up.

Also Read: Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Fitness Level And 7 Minutes Fitness Plan For Beginners 

The Final Say

As this guide wraps up, integrating high intensity interval training for beginners can be easier and more engaging if done correctly, as elucidated above. With the flexibility and adaptability of HIIT workout for fat loss and other components, the HIIT program for beginners allows you to customise it as your personalised fitness program with minimal equipment requirements. 

So, embrace the sweat, conquer the challenges, and remember, HIIT isn't about pushing yourself to the edge of collapse. It's about finding what works for you, celebrating small victories, and building a sustainable fitness routine that fits your life!


1. How do I start high-intensity interval training?

Starting High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves a gradual approach to ensure safety and effectiveness:

  • Assess Your Fitness Level

  • Choose Beginner-Friendly Exercises

  • Start Slow, Focus on Form

  • Warm-Up Thoroughly

  • Set Realistic Goals

2. What is a good HIIT ratio for beginners?

For beginners, a common ratio is 30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. Adjust the ratio based on your fitness level and comfort. As you advance, you can experiment with different ratios.

3. Is a 20-minute HIIT workout enough?

Yes, a 20-minute HIIT workout can be effective. The intensity of HIIT allows for shorter, more efficient sessions. Ensure the workout is well-structured with cardio and strength exercises for maximum benefits.

4. What is the 80 20 rule for HIIT training??

The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your effort during a HIIT session should be intense, while 20% should be dedicated to rest or lower-intensity activity. This balance ensures a challenging yet sustainable workout.

5. Which is the most preferred beginner HIIT workout for weight loss?

A preferred beginner HIIT workout for weight loss includes cardio and strength exercises. Examples include:

  • Jumping jacks

  • Bodyweight squats

  • Push-ups

  • High knees

  • Burpees

Create a routine that alternates between these exercises, maintaining the 80-20 rule, to boost metabolism and burn calories efficiently.


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