45-minute HIIT Workout


HIIT has become a popular workout approach in the last decade. Unlike other trends, this one has stuck around and continues to be a viable way for people with a packed schedule to get and stay fit. 

But what is a 45-minute HIIT workout, and is that something you should do? Let’s break it down.

Table of Contents

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and is an approach where you alternate between periods of near-maximal effort and active recovery. One simple example would be:

Sprint for ten seconds, walk for a minute and repeat for five to ten cycles.

HIIT is often praised as a time-efficient way to burn calories, lose weight, and get fit because of an acronym you’ve probably heard: EPOC.

It stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and, as its name suggests, refers to the higher oxygen consumption after training. This is good because it means your body burns extra calories even after your workout.

The even better news? HIIT takes far less time than traditional exercise modalities, such as low-intensity cardio—for example, jogging or cycling. Instead of spending an hour on a workout, you can warm up, train, and cool down, all within 20 minutes.

That said, to get the same (or similar) results from a 15-minute HIIT session, you would need to push yourself to your limits, which is physically and mentally demanding. So, unless you’re a trained athlete, you must limit your weekly HIIT session to three or four, ideally having at least a day of recovery in between.

For example:

Monday – HIIT
Tuesday – Off
Wednesday – HIIT
Thursday – Off
Friday – HIIT
Saturday & Sunday – Off

Examples of HIIT (Outside And On a Treadmill)

HIIT Outdoor Workout

Warm up for 10 minutes through dynamic stretching and light jogging. 

The workout:

Sprint for 10 to 15 seconds, walk for 90 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Alternatively, if you’re less experienced, run fast (say, at around 80% of your maximum ability) for 30 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

HIIT Treadmill Workout

Warm up in the same way as for the outdoor workout.

The workout:

Fast jog at a speed of 8.0 to 10.0, depending on your physical condition, for 30 seconds, then reduce the speed to 3.0 for 90 seconds. Alternate between the two for 5 to 10 cycles and call it a day.

45-Minute HIIT Workout: A Bad Idea?

At first glance, a 45-minute HIIT workout doesn’t seem like a bad idea. After all, 45 minutes is the average length for a training session, and research recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week for good health.

But, as mentioned above, we must remember that HIIT is not like traditional training, even when compared to more intense activities like resistance training. 

By definition, HIIT is intense and requires a lot of physical and mental effort. So, doing a 45-minute HIIT workout is far different from a regular session and requires you to be in top physical condition. It’s also highly recommended to get medical clearance from a doctor.

To prepare for such workouts, hydrate yourself well the day before (the general recommendation is 3.7 liters of liquids for men and 2.7 liters for women) and drink enough fluids for six hours leading up to your workout to avoid muscle cramping.

Also, a proper warm-up is a must. Take at least 10 to 15 minutes to do some static and dynamic stretching, light physical activity, and progressively more intense activity until you get close to your workout’s intensity.

Finally, remember to listen to your body. A 45-minute HIIT workout will be demanding and could be too much, even if you’re experienced and in good shape. So, if you feel overly tired or achy, stop the session and go home to recover.

Example 45-Minute HIIT Workout

Following a 10-minute warm-up, perform each of the listed movements for 45 seconds at a high intensity (as quickly as possible without breaking down your form). After each activity, take 45 seconds to recover and repeat each round three times before moving to the next.

Round 1
Mountain climbers
High knees

Round 2
Squat jumps
Plank jacks

Round 3
Lunges (alternating legs)
Russian twists

Round 4
Side plank (right side, then left side on next round)
Tuck jumps
Bicycle crunches

Philip Stefanov

Philip Stefanov

Philip is a fitness writer, blogger, certified personal trainer, and the founder of ThinkingLifter.com. He trained at BioFit College, and has spent the last nine years writing fitness content and training men and women in the gym, as well as online. His passion is fitness and exercise, and helping others improve their fitness and wellness.

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