4-Week Intro to HIIT Walking Plan

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
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4-Week Intro to HIIT Walking Plan

Right off the bat, high-intensity interval training — or HIIT — is intimidating. But now is as good a time as any to lace up those sneakers and give yourself a pep talk, because the workout technique involves bursts of intense training mixed with more comfortable rest periods and is actually 100% beginner friendly. Plus, research shows it can improve athletic performance and cardiovascular health as well as rev your metabolism for hours. Not to mention, it can be a major time saver.

“Fitness is hard no matter what level you are,” says Meg Takacs, a New York City-based personal trainer. “HIIT training is great because you’re shocking the body. The more surprises you give it, instead of just steady-state walking, the more you confuse your muscles, which keeps your body from reaching a plateau.” This translates to better, more efficient results.

Here, Takacs outlines a 4-week HIIT walking plan that’s perfect for beginners. Throughout the plan, you’ll see a few different buzz words. We outline what those mean, here:

Recovery pace: Keep moving — no need to over-exert yourself. This pace often follows or precedes a high-intensity pace.

Conversational pace: This should be about a 4 out of 10 on the rate of perceived effort (RPE) scale. If you were to do this workout with a friend, you would be able to hold a conversation with no problem.

Concerted effort walking: Here, you’re starting to really move. This should be about a 5 out of 10 RPE. You’re trying, and may still be able to have a conversation, but it’s getting tough.

Speed walk: This is about a 7 out of 10 RPE. You are working hard and will not be able to maintain a steady conversation.

Tempo walk: This is about an 8 out of 10 RPE. This is the fastest you will push yourself during this plan.


About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.

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7 responses to “4-Week Intro to HIIT Walking Plan”

  1. Avatar Jen says:

    Is this available in a printable or downloadable format? It needs to be in either a calendar or pdf format to be useful.

  2. Avatar smaktcat says:

    Still can download or copy to save, and i hate Pinterest.

  3. Avatar ExDC says:

    You can right-click on each week’s “card” and save as a JPG file wherever you want (computer, device, cloud). The file can be converted to PDF (or other format) using many different programs/apps. Or you can print the JPGs to index cards, if you want a hard copy that fits in pocket or purse.

  4. Avatar papa1951 says:

    Is there a way to save this plan to the UA MapMyWalk or Mapmyfitness app? Also, what doe RPE mean?

    • Avatar Lori says:

      Up in the article it says: “Conversational pace: This should be about a 4 out of 10 on the rate of perceived effort (RPE) scale. If you were to do this workout with a friend, you would be able to hold a conversation with no problem.”

  5. Avatar Doreen says:

    Try this to print.
    In the blue area on Week 1, right click and SAVE LINK AS
    Mine downloaded as a PDF and I saved it to my desktop and was able to print it easily from there.

  6. Avatar Dannlh says:

    And then what after 4 weeks?

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