Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


Commit to doing seven to eight intervals of HIIT workouts two times a week. In this video, you can observe the ideal HIIT exercises you can perform at the advanced level:

Here is a rundown of what a typical high intensity interval training routine might look like at the advanced level.

  1. Warm up for three minutes.
  2. Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. Ideally, you should push yourself to "failure" — this is the part of the exercise where you can no longer maintain good form, but still be able to perform another repetition.
  3. When you reach failure, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to continue the exercise for another 10 seconds, as you just don't have that much oxygen left to contract your muscles.

  4. Recover for 90 seconds, still moving, but at slower pace and decreased resistance.
  5. Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery up to seven more times. However, at this level, you will likely only be doing seven to eight. As you get fitter, just keep adding repetitions gradually until you're doing eight during your 20-minute session.

How HIIT workouts improve your memory

HIIT workouts not only may promote improvements to physical health, but also can boost brain function. Canadian researchers discovered that people who did high-intensity workouts alone or combined with cognitive training had improved memory because the exercises helped enhance hippocampal function.1

Study results also showed that people who benefited from the exercises had increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). In particular, BDNF (a type of protein) may help promote rejuvenating effects toward the muscles and brain, stimulate new brain cell growth, protect old cells from deterioration and reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.2

Overall, exercise (and not just HIIT) has been linked to a lower risk for brain shrinkage and a higher likelihood of improved cognitive abilities and creativity. Exercise may aid in promoting neurogenesis, a process characterized by your brain’s ability to adapt and produce new brain cells, regardless of your age.3 The earlier you start exercising and being consistent with your workouts, the greater your long-term rewards will be.

Why your muscles’ internal clock is worth considering

You’re probably aware that the body is in sync with the daily cycles of light and darkness, in what’s known as the circadian rhythm. This principle applies to your muscles too, as research shows that the time of the day you choose to exercise can lead to different fitness results.4

Specifically, your muscles’ efficiency increases once you exercise at the appropriate time for their internal clocks, and that muscle cells are at their best during the normal waking hours for a given organism.

However, take note that the muscles’ ability to use oxygen for energy and adapt to the demands of exercise is at its peak during the day. As such, it’s safe to say that exercising in the middle of the night is not ideal for your muscle function or circadian rhythm.

But is there really a “best” time to work out? To some extent, the best time to exercise is whenever it will fit into your agenda. You know what your schedule allows, so don’t worry too much about exercising at the “right” time — the most important thing is that you’re exercising regularly.

If you’re not sure which time of day you prefer to exercise, try experimenting. Start by working out in the morning for one month, and exercising in the afternoon afterward, as your schedule allows. You should always listen to your body and let it be your guide in choosing what time of day works best for you.