Improve your health by learning
Weight & Exercise
< Go back

Is It Right for Me? Benefits and Considerations of HIIT

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
December 1, 2023
December 18, 2023

Have you heard of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? It's an incredibly popular and effective workout method for weight loss that has taken the fitness world by storm in recent years. HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of intense movements and brief recovery periods.

Now, here's the big question: Is HIIT suitable for everyone, and should you incorporate it into your weight loss journey?

What is HIIT?

HIIT is a training method that involves alternating between short, intense bursts of exercise and brief recovery periods. It incorporates a mix of cardio exercises like sprints, jump rope, and burpees, alongside strength-training exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.

The primary objective of HIIT is to elevate your heart rate during the high-intensity intervals, followed by quick recovery to prepare for the next burst of activity. This unique approach to training can lead to significant improvements in cardiovascular fitness and overall endurance.

The Benefits

Is HIIT Effective for Weight Loss? Absolutely! HIIT can be a powerful tool for shedding those extra pounds, and here's why:

  1. Efficient Calorie Burning: HIIT workouts are specifically designed to maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. By incorporating intense bursts of exercise that elevate your heart rate, HIIT sessions lead to significant caloric expenditure during and even after the workout. This post-exercise effect, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), means your body continues to burn calories long after you've finished exercising. The duration of EPOC varies based on the intensity and duration of the exercise, with studies suggesting it can persist for a few minutes to as long as 72 hours after the workout.
  2. Muscle Building and Maintenance: The alternating patterns of intense activity and short recovery periods in HIIT create a metabolic demand on the body. This stimulation leads to an increase in the production of growth hormone, which is essential for maintaining and building muscles. Additionally, if you incorporate strength-training exercises into your HIIT sessions, you can further enhance your muscle mass, resulting in a higher metabolism fueled by increased muscle mass.

The Considerations

While HIIT offers numerous benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Before incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine, take the following factors into account:

  1. Fitness Level: HIIT is an intense workout that may not be appropriate for beginners or individuals with certain health conditions. If you're new to exercise or have concerns about your fitness level, seek advice from your Care Team or a qualified fitness instructor before diving into HIIT.
  2. Joint Health: HIIT exercises often involve rapid movements and high-impact actions, which can put stress on the joints. If you have existing joint issues or injuries, be cautious. Consider opting for low-impact variations of HIIT exercises or exploring alternative workouts that are gentler on the joints, such as swimming or cycling.
  3. Personal Preferences: The effectiveness of any exercise program hinges on consistency and enjoyment. While HIIT can be highly effective, it may not suit everyone's preferences or fitness goals. If you find HIIT workouts enjoyable, motivating, and aligned with your objectives, then go for it! However, if you find them too challenging or not enjoyable, don't fret. There are plenty of other exercise options available. Explore different activities like dance classes, yoga, or hiking to find what truly sparks joy and keeps you engaged.


To achieve effective and sustainable weight loss, it's crucial to find a routine that suits your preferences and lifestyle. If you enjoy HIIT and it works for you, consider incorporating it into your fitness routine. However, successful weight loss requires more than just one type of exercise. Aim for a calorie deficit with a balanced diet and diverse workouts, including cardio, strength training, and recovery exercises. Listen to your body's signals and be prepared to make adjustments as needed. Remember, consistency is key, and the best workout is the one you stick to!

We're here to support you.

Contact our call center at 1-866-899-3998. Mon-Fri, 6AM-5PM PST