How Long Should My HIIT Intervals Be?

Are you new to HIIT, and wondering “How long should my HIIT intervals be?”



It’s a tough question for beginners.

And it’s one I’ve been thinking about, since I recently wrapped up filming Transform:20 with Shaun T!! You could call Transform:20 HIIT…Like you can probably guess, it’s 20 minutes a day, 6x a week. And it makes you SWEAT!

More about Transform:20 on my Facebook, if you’re interested.

But let’s say you’re doing HIIT, without following any specific workout plans/videos…

Or maybe you’re interested in HIIT…but you’re struggling to finish any workout plans/videos out there.

Does that mean you can’t do HIIT?

No, it means you need to think about your INTERVALS.

In order to do HIIT safely, it’s very important that before starting out you’ve cleared it with your doctor, and that you also know some HIIT workouts. If you’re asking “How long should my HIIT intervals be?” it sounds like maybe you aren’t following any specific workout routines.

So it will be SUPER helpful for you to watch other people doing HIIT. You can also watch me in Transform:20. 😉

But for another example:

You might see a video of someone doing jumping jacks for 30 seconds; 30 seconds of rest; 30 seconds of high-knee running in place; 30 seconds of rest; 30 seconds of modified or regular push-ups; then 30 seconds of rest; 30 seconds of squats; 30 seconds of rest….

There are tens, if not hundreds, of HIIT exercises that you do with your own body.

They don’t even require any equipment!!


Often, HIITers will also split up their workout into “rounds.” The above example exercise was 4 minutes long, right?

That’s one “round” of your HIIT workout done. You might do 4 or 5 rounds total.

So that means, 16 to 20 HIIT intervals, and 16 to 20 “rest periods”! (“HIIT intervals” are also called “work periods”.)

The length of your rest period is of course going to depend on the length of your work period, and also on how experienced you are.

A beginner might do 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. (Just enough to take a few gulps of water!) But you’d be surprised how QUICKLY you can move up to a full minute of work.

But like I said, it’s important to watch other people who are more experienced…not only to make sure you’re doing the exercises with correct form (no knees bending out more forward than your toes during squats!), but so you know the difference between beginner, intermediate, and expert.

You need to master the basics before JUMPING into the deep end! But Transform:20 has a modifier (including one for people who don’t own a step), so anybody can do this from home.


That’s something to look forward to as you progress, and keep doing these workouts 2x or 3x a week…

Or 6x with Transform:20, IF you’re ready…;)