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HIIT Workouts That Don’t Cause Pain

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People often think there has to be a sacrifice to be made in getting in great shape or not having pain. Let’s face it, one of the reasons that HIIT workouts have gotten a bad reputation is because of poor programming that is often used. Jessica and I have known several people in our neighborhood that went to local bootcamp classes promoting HIIT workouts and ended up with pretty severe low back injuries. Is that HIITs fault or the programming behind it?

How can we use HIIT workouts then but not increase the risk of injury to people while doing so? Well, here are some important strategies.

Exercise Selection

HIIT workouts have now come to emphasize very heavy and very fast movements. However, for the great majority of people starting a fitness program this isn’t a good idea and not necessary in getting the benefits from HIIT workouts. Selecting a good array of movement patterns at a foundational level can be an incredibly effective workout and help prevent a lot of the injuries that come about from poor HIIT workouts.

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A post shared by Robin Paget (@rdpaget)

HIIT workouts like Robin Paget shows above is a great example of how we can take multiple movement patterns and challenge strength and stability that will drive great intensity, but also build qualities that will help the client move better and be more resilient.

Smarter Intervals

A lot of people miss the fact that the HIIT in HIIT workouts stands for high intensity interval training. Most of the best research focuses on HIIT which means the rest interval is very important to the hormone production that helps our metabolism to be elevated for up to 24 hours after training. Most think that lowering the rest interval to HIIT workouts results in better training, but it actually does the opposite.

When we shrink the rest time and extend the work time we see people lower the intensity. The best analogy is if I asked you to sprint a quarter of a mile, a half mile, and a mile, the shortest distance you would put the highest intensity towards because you don’t have to conserve your energy for the greater distances. That means when people get more work and less rest they actually start to hold back some of their intensity.

That is why renown strength coach, Robert Dos Remedios (Coach Dos), came up with Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT). This is where we actually work from the following work to rest ratios to optimize intensity.




Beginners usually need more 30:30 intervals because they aren’t as proficient in the movements to provide the intensity needed for the shorter work to rest ratios. If you think this is easy, it is NOT! Decreasing work time allows us to increase load, speed, and therefore intensity greatly. That rest time goes by faster than you could imagine!


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A post shared by Cory M. Cripe (@corymcripe)

 You can see a good more intense workout using these protocols by Cory Cripe.

Building Great Progression

So, we can progress by increasing the rest because of more intense work, but what does that all encompass?

-More weight

-Changing body position

-Altering load position

-Using different planes of motion

You can see that we can actually use strategies like a 30:30 interval for people for awhile (Coach Dos recommends at least 3 months of 30:30 training) so we can build progression through other mediums other than messing with the interval time. However, once we start doing things that have one side more dominant at a time we have to realize we will work one side, rest, then do the other side.

Below coach John Rhodes shows how challenging a well thought out 30:30 can be but still hold true to building good movement, stability, strength, and mobility. We want to have balance of our movement patterns and fitness qualities THEN people understand how effective HIIT workouts can be and actually make you healthier too!

Don’t miss this week saving 25% off our Ultimate Sandbags/Water Bags, Online Education HERE, and workout programs like our MRT 8o workout program HERE with code “fall25” for a limited time!



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A post shared by Johnny Rhodes (@jrhodes810)