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.

THE 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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