Secret Weapon to Accelerated Fat Loss – H.I.I.T

Okay, we have all heard the term “cardio” and we all know someone, somewhere has stated daily activity is good and that it will help prevent disease and obesity.  What exactly does that mean?  What is considered “cardio”? How much cardio and what type should we be doing?  A common stated statistic is 30 – 45 mins a day five days a week.  That’s to prevent obesity and disease.

What if our goal is to firm up and/or lose weight?  Do we have to do hours and hours of cardio?  Are you kidding me! Who has time for that!  There’s work to be done and groceries to shop for and kids to shuttle back and forth to; school, play dates, sporting activities, lessons…..there’s dinner to cook, laundry to do and cleaning too?!  Man!  Isn’t that enough cardio?   I’m tired just thinking about it!

BAD NEWS, no that’s not cardio, that’s life and as much as you might disagree with me, your body is use to running those activities.  Therefore, all that running around has little impact on goals that relate to firming, toning, blasting fat and shredding inches.

GOOD NEWS!! You do not have to commit hours and hours of your day to cardio in order to reach your fat blasting, tummy firming, thigh slimming goals!

IN FACT! The fastest and most effective way to reach those goals is not to integrate hours and hours of cardio, only 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 3 to 4 days a week and a steady rate cardio session of 45- 60 minutes two days a week.  HUH?  I’m with ya; I was confused a few years back also.  BUT, it’s easier than it sounds.

HIIT can be applies in many different fashions.  The term High Intensity interval Training simply means, after a warm up, you bring your heart rate up and down, up and down, over a period of time.  By applying this method your cardiovascular system will work through all 3 of your Target Heart Rate Zones.  By doing so you will burn more calories…uhhh fat…during your session and your metabolism (fat furnace) will burn at a higher rate for a longer period of time after your session.  Meaning, HIIT takes less time and you get more bang for your buck.  I’m in!!

HIIT can be simple, after a 5 minute warmup, set a moderate pace and follow that pace for a stated period of time, then pick it up for a very high pace for a shorter period of time; then back down to moderate, then back up to high and so on.  Let’s use a rate of excursion scale to determine our pace.  On a scale of 1 to 10,  1 is you aren’t moving and 10 is you feel like your heart is going to leap out of your chest and you can not possibly hold that pace any longer than 5 seconds!  Below is a sample HIIT cardio workout:

Sample High Intensity Interval Training Workout – Beginner

Description ROE* Time
Warm up 3 5 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 6-7 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 6-7 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 7-8 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 7-8 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 6-7 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 6-7 1 min
Moderate Pace 4-5 2 min
Interval 7-8 1 min
Cool Down 3 4 min
Total time 30 min

*ROE stands for Rate of Excursion

You can apply this workout to any piece of cardio equipment.  You accelerate and decelerate your rate of excursion (ROE) by modifying any of the following; speed, incline or resistance.  However, you can also take this same concept outside!  Suzie has a 90 minute soccer practice!  No problem, engage with her by watching her practice for 30 mins. Then head around the track or perimeter of the park and start listening to your body.  Create your own interval pattern by being aware of your ROE; warm up with a walk pick up your pace for a bit then run as hard as you can for as long as you can (should not be long at all, if you are really pushing it!) then slow down until you feel like you are slightly recovering, then take off again!  Continue this pattern for the full 30 minutes.  You’re back in time to reengage with Suzie and watch the last 30 minutes of her practice (during which you will be stretching and drinking lots of water!)

When HIIT is done right, really pushing yourself on those intervals, you should be so exhausted at the end of 30 minutes that you don’t feel like you could do more.  This training should be so exhilarating that your body will only allow you to incorporate HIIT 3 days a week.  On the other 2 – 3 days, get active, do cardio at a moderate and steady ROE that you can hold for 30 -45 minutes.

Yes, meeting health and fitness goals does take time but it can be fun and does not have to be life consuming!  If you just take some time each day for you and your health, you will feel less stressed; your clothes will surprisingly get bigger ;) ; you will have more energy and feel more confident.  Not to mention, it gives you the opportunity to give your kids the most amazing gift – a lifestyle, a legacy of health and fitness! We will talk more about the childhood obesity epidemic on a later post.  For now, trust me, get active, be fit, encourage your family to do the same!

I believe in you!

Rebecca Tabbert, CPT

Contributed by:

Rebecca Tabbert is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach and owner of TBT Fit Body Bootcamp.  Rebecca has inspired, motivated, encouraged and coached hundreds of people to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.  To learn how Rebecca can help you shed unwanted inches and melt pounds call her personally at 909-520-2589 or visit

P.S.  As always, before starting any fitness program consult your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to begin a new program.

P.S.S.  If you would like an intermediate or advance HIIT Sample Cardio Workout please go to TBT Fit Body Bootcamp fan page on FaceBook, become a fan and post “A Mom in Red High Heels sent me and I would like a copy of the Sample Intermediate HIIT Cardio Workout plan”

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  1. Vicki says:

    Great tips for an effective cardio workout! I’m going to try this along with the “5 Golden Rules To Creating A Solid Nutrition Plan” to help with my own journey to not only lose weight but get and stay healthy. Thanks, Rebecca! Very helpful!

  2. Awesome Vicki! Thanks for the feedback! I look forward to progress updates!! I believe in you!

  3. Thanks for the great ideas on shaking up my workout. My body is needing something to get it out of a rut.


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