HIIT Spring with a Vengeance

As the earth exhales and the plants burst to life with new growth, we tend to gain a burst of increased personal energy as well, a renewed zest for life and an attraction to change. Perhaps it is a chance for our Fitness Training to evolve and create TRANSFORMATION in our bodies & minds.

One of the most exciting new training modes backed by solid scientific research, indicating significant and sometimes fantastic results for body transformation, is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). But, please don’t be put off by the term “High Intensity”.  If the training is well designed, the HIIT protocol benefits are suitable and achievable for anybody.

HIIT can be integrated with any of your current workouts, as it is essentially mixing up short intense bursts with less hard-core exercises, or with periods of complete rest. You just need to work for a short period above your normal comfort level and follow it with rest or easy exercise, then repeat the pattern.

Some of the major benefits directly attributed to HIIT in comparison to traditional training methods are:

  • Much more efficient: incorporates shorter training periods with overall greater benefits
  • Burns more calories: increases the body’s metabolism post-exercise for longer.
  • Burns more fat: faster than low-moderate constant intensity exercise.
  • Strengthens the heart: makes it work harder directly stimulating a strength and endurance increase.


All fantastic benefits, but one of the best is that it can be customised to suit any level of fitness, integrated into virtually any training style and designed for use in any training location, with or without equipment. No need for a gym!  You can also easily make individual exercise session changes to promote your safe and effective progression and maximise results by simply adjusting:

  • work intensity
  • work period
  • rest/recovery period
  • the complexity of the exercise being performed


Sound interesting?

Here are a few exercise examples of this form of training commonly used at Gaia during some of the daily optional Fitness Training Classes:

Cardio Options

1. Spin Bike – Here we look at periods of Standing (Hovering) intense efforts of 30sec, with the same period of easy sitting. Novices should aim for around 5 sets, with a build-up to 10 sets.  Any riding style can be used, simply follow the same progressions to build your workouts.

Spin Bike 1  Spin Bike 2

(30 sec Hard Effort : 30 sec Easy Going) repeat 5-10 sets

2. Rower – A full body exercise, quite strenuous and better suited in the early stages of your program to effort levels followed by full rest recovery periods

rowing at gaia

(15 sec Hard Effort : 30 sec Rest) repeat 5-10 sets


Functional Exercise (multi movement) Options

These extremely effective exercises engage a multitude of muscle groups, providing for multiple challenging body movement patterns, increasing the overall intensity of the work effort.

1. Weight Bar – Push-up + Clean & Press

 push up with weight 2  push up with weight 1

a. Push up on Bar

push up with weight 3

b. Jump to Feet

weight 4

c. Bar to Chest

weight 5

d. Bar Press

Return the bar to the floor and repeat 

2. Dumbell – Push-up + Single Lift + Stand-up (nicknamed ‘Dumbell Exterminators’ ?)

push up 1  push up 3

push up 2

Start standing / step or jump to push-up position / one push-up / alternately lift each arm whilst maintaining straight body position / jump to feet / stand up

3. Skip + Push-up – 20 fast skips followed by 2 Push-ups, best worked on a number of repeats that can be completed within 30 sec.

skip rope 1  skip rope 2

(3-4 Skip/Push-up repetitions : 30 sec Rest) repeat 5-10 sets


HIIT just may be the change in your training that might get you the results you want for Spring, quickly and efficiently.

Embrace the concept, rejuvenate your training and transform your body!

Craig McGarry
Gaia Fitness & Wellness Coach

P.S.: For more on Craig’s sessions and to book a specific Fitness Focus Add-On with your retreat package go to – www.gaiaretreat.com.au/retreat-packages/focus-add-ons