Beginner Friendly HIIT Workouts

Fitness to Fit Your Needs

August 28, 2021

Fitness to Fit Your Needs

August 28, 2021

Don’t let the hardcore reputation of High Intensity Interval Training put you off– HIIT is ideal for almost anyone. Swapping between bursts of vigorous activity and rest, it’s all about perceived effort which makes it subjective: you get to customize your experience. Discover the effective, fast and fun world of HIIT with this beginner friendly plan.


What is HIIT? 


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Typically this type of workout includes mostly aerobic exercises, but you can also include strength-based ones to create a more well-rounded session. It is characterized by short repeated bursts of intense exercise that take your body and heart to a healthy maximum, followed by periods of recovery. Pushing your body to swap between these two very different states provides excellent cardio conditioning (as well as a wide array of other health benefits).


How does a HIIT routine work? 


During a true HIIT session, your body uses anaerobic pathways to produce fuel (breaking down glucose without oxygen). This provides an immediate, but limited, supply of energy. This is why traditional HIIT pairs very intense work intervals of 20 second sprints and slightly longer rest periods of about 40 seconds to one minute. However the more common style of HIIT, like in your typical gym class, is often modified with less intense (but longer) work intervals and shorter rests, making it more accessible and a better choice for beginners because you don’t push yourself into such an extreme state.


Pro’s use a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale to measure their effort levels on a spectrum of 1 to 10. Because this is subjective, you have control over your workout. The beauty of this type of training is that you can do it anytime and anywhere, modifying and amplifying as you see fit. Experimenting with different intervals and exercises that suit your abilities will help you get a taste of HIIT, easing into it as you begin to build strength and endurance.


HIIT Workouts for Beginners


During your first few HIIT workouts, aim for a RPE of around 7. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep going at maximum effort the entire time, it will take time to build up your fitness. Your sessions can also include a mixture of high-impact (HI) and lower impact (LI) activities so that you don’t put too much of a strain on your tendons and joints.


HIIT Exercise List


  • High Knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • Squats (LI) or Jump Squats (HI)
  • Lunges (LI) or Lunge Jumps (HI)
  • Plank
  • Alternating Curtsy Lunge
  • Side Lunge
  • Half Burpees (LI) or Full Burpees (HI)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Skater Lunges (LI) or Skater Lunges w/ Hops (HI)
  • Bear Crawl
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Tricep Dips



1-to-1 Circuit (10 Minutes total)

Pick 5 exercises above
30 seconds activity / 30 seconds rest
Do 2 rounds

TABATA (4 minutes total)

Choose the 4 exercises that are most difficult for you
20 seconds activity / 10 seconds rest
Do 3 rounds

20/10 Circuit (15 minutes total)

Choose 6 exercises that target different parts of your body
20 seconds activity / 10 seconds rest
Do 5 rounds

The Full Shebang (15 minutes total)

Choose 15 exercises
40 seconds activity / 20 seconds rest
Go through all exercises

4 Beginner-Friendly Workouts

Rookie Mistakes to Avoid


  • Don’t add weight before you have nailed the proper form. Start with bodyweight exercises to avoid injury to muscles and joints.
  • Never skip your warmup! Even if you’re turning to HIIT because you don’t have much time for working out, always take a few moments to warm up your body properly.
  • HIIT is intense, so don’t do it every day. Make sure you balance activity with adequate recovery both within the workout and the days afterwards.


As your strength grows and endurance deepens feel free to pick up the pace and push your boundaries during interval training. But know you can always slow it down or change the activity when this is what your body needs. It is your workout, so live your best life and enjoy those strong and sweaty feels at the end of a good HIIT session.

More featured

Always stay
up to date


I agree that the PUMA group may use my personal data (including my e-mail address) for promotional and marketing purposes in accordance with the PUMA privacy policy and send information about products of the PUMA group to my e-mail address. I can withdraw my consent at any time in the future by sending an e-mail to or via the link in each e-mail.