Finding time to train isn’t always possible, which is why many people enjoy doing 5 minute HIIT workouts.
The problem is, you have numerous options to pick from. Sure, you can run, but you can also go with jumping rope, riding a bike, and more.
But it’s hard to get as much bang for your time as a HIIT workout. You can perform HIIT for 5 or 10 minutes and get many of the same benefits as 20 or 25 minutes of steady state cardio.
To that end, we’ve put together this resource to go over HIIT, some effective 5-minute workouts, what benefits you can reap, and more.
Let’s dive in.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
HIIT is a type of exercise where you perform short bursts of intense activity, followed by a brief recovery period. The objective is to alternate between intense exercise and recovery several times before calling it a day.
For example, sprinting for 20 seconds, walking for 60 seconds, and repeating several times is a form of high-intensity interval training.
5 Minute HIIT Workout
Here is a simple 5 minute HIIT workout you can do on a treadmill. You can do the same workout outside.
|Treadmill Timer||Treadmill Speed||Exercise||Duration|
|0:00 - 1:00||3.0||Walking||1 minute|
|1:00 - 1:30||6.5 - 9.0||Fast Jog||30 seconds|
|1:30 - 2:30||3.0||Walking||1 minute|
|2:30 - 3:00||6.5 - 9.0||Fast Jog||30 seconds|
|3:00 - 4:00||3.0||Walking||1 minute|
|4:00 - 4:30||6.5 - 9.0||Fast Jog||30 seconds|
|4:30 - 5:00||3.0||Walking||30 seconds|
Key Points From The Above 5-Minute HIIT Workout
- Be careful and start slowly before increasing the speed. Treadmills can be pretty dangerous, and there is a risk of falling.
- Keep your ‘fast jog’ treadmill speed between 6.5 and 9.0 mph, depending on your fitness experience. You can push harder if you’re extra fit and have tons of treadmill experience. But always err on the side of caution. Also, you can click to learn how to convert treadmill speed to pace per mile.
- Build up speed gradually. Start increasing treadmill speed around 10 to 15 seconds before each fast jog cycle because it will take a bit of time for the treadmill to build the speed.
- Monitor your heart rate carefully, especially as you finish a fast jog cycle. Your heart rate should be between 80 and 90 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR).
- Oh, and did we mention that treadmills can be dangerous? Stay in the center of the treadmill and avoid drifting to the sides or back. Don’t lose your footing because that will hurt.
Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training
One of the greatest HIIT benefits is efficiency. Instead of working out for an hour, you can push yourself for half, even a quarter the time, and reap tremendous benefits. The benefit is particularly good for those who don’t enjoy long and monotonous cardio sessions. 
Another HIIT benefit is burning plenty of calories during and after training. The latter is possible thanks to a modest EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) effect. You burn many calories while training and some more for up to 24 hours after you finish the workout.
HIIT is also a fantastic way to improve measures of athleticism, including speed, explosiveness, strength, and agility.
Who Is HIIT For (And Who Should Be Careful With It)?
As its name suggests, HIIT is demanding, and not everyone should do it. A prime example of people who shouldn’t do HIIT are beginners, especially overweight ones. Such folks would be better off starting with something less intense and building up their fitness. 
In any case, always consult with your doctor before starting a HIIT routine. Your physician is the best person to determine if HIIT is suitable for you.
High-Intensity Interval Training Safety Considerations
While beneficial, HIIT is not for everyone because such activities can be dangerous, regardless of whether you do them on a treadmill, another piece of equipment, or outside. For example, if you haven’t done anything intense recently, demanding activities like sprints won’t be good for you. You will get injured or overtrain yourself, neither of which is good for long-term progression.
The most important safety consideration for HIIT is to start slow, progress gradually, and give your body the time it needs to adapt to this level of stress. Train with moderate intensity, use shorter intervals and listen to your body. Ramp up the intensity gradually over several months.
Let’s say that you want to work up to sprints. Start with jogging on week one, and gradually pick up the speed and decrease the duration over the weeks. Progress until you reach a point where you’re doing 30-second intervals of moderately-quick running and continue to build up the intensity until you’re sprinting.
Summing Up the 5-Minute HIIT Workout
Let’s discuss a couple of final points related to HIIT. Most notably, never forget that HIIT is demanding, and you should prepare for each workout carefully. Hydrate well throughout the day and warm up for at least ten minutes before your sessions.
Muscle injuries tend to occur often with HIIT, so prepare yourself by starting with some light cardio before your session. Follow that up with some dynamic stretching, and drink some water. Sure, these tactics are not foolproof, and you still have to listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed. But, taking these precautions reduces the risk of injuries down the line.
Click here to discover more high-intensity workouts.
- Tinsley, G. (2017). 7 benefits of high-intensity interval Training (HIIT). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit.
- Firman, T. (2020). Why HIIT workouts don’t work for everyone. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/hiit-workouts-dont-work-for-all-people/.