The 12 Days of Christmas – Tips for the Holidays 12

The 12 Days of Christmas - Tips for the Holidays 12

HIIT! High Intensity Interval Training involves doing short bursts of high caliber exercises with maximum intensity.

What we're looking for in terms of HIIT is exercises that can be done easily and effectively within a short amount of time that simply crush your soul a little bit.

Now, depending upon your level, the best recommendation for this type of training is start with something you can handle and a movement that you can really perform easily and quickly.

Sprinting is a perfect way to perform HIIT.  You simply sprint as far as it takes to get to a dedicated time period, stop, rest and recovery for a short time period and then repeat.

Now you can use just about anything with HIIT, but often times people like to make these too complicated.  Don't go complicated, stick with things that are easy to do that get you a lot of movement in and cause your heart rate to skyrocket into your throat.  Basically, you want something that gets you to a 8-9 level of rating of perceived exertion (something really fricking hard)!

But also keep in mind you want something that you can recover from fairly easily as well.

Exercise Recommendations for HIIT

To setup a High Intensity Interval...first determine your exercise.


-Bike sprint

-Rower sprint

-Stair sprint or run

-Prowler / Sled drags

-Farm Carry

-Side Shuffles

-Movement Drills (ie. side hops, jump rope, etc.)

Second, select a time period.

Beginners want a 1:2 or 1:3 work to rest ratio.  So 30 seconds of hard work.  120 seconds of rest.

Intermediates want more of a 1:1 or 1:2 work to rest ratio.  So 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of recovery.

Advanced athletes should stick with either a 1:1 work to rest ratio or less.  **Note this is for fat loss purposes only, as in performance measures would require a much greater recovery ratio.**

Now, just setup your watch and begin your HIIT.

How long should you go for?

HIIT training is designed to be quick and intense so most sessions shouldn't go on longer that 15-20 minutes of hard training.

If you're able to do more after 20 minutes, you're not going at 100% of your physical effort.  Adjust fire and kick it up a notch next time.

These sessions should tax you physically and mentally each and every time.  They are not easy.


You should always start with a good warm-up before performing a HIIT session as it will be supremely intense on the body and could result in injuries if you're not properly warmed up.

Now go get busy and conquer the rest of those holiday're going to earn them here shortly!

Merry Christmas from SMASH's Strength Lab!

Come check out our new programs here in the New Year!




Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.