HIIT for Beginners Week 1: Walking Intervals

Jessica Smith
by Jessica Smith
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HIIT for Beginners Week 1: Walking Intervals


Today’s session features walking-based interval training that can even be done in a small space at home. In our workout video below, we’ll alternate periods of higher intensity with active rest to help you make the most out of your workout time and build up your fitness level. I’ll show you both high- and low-impact options so you can modify. Listen to your body throughout the sessions, and modify or skip any moves that are too much for your current fitness level. (I’ll also provide options throughout the routines to help you make it work for you.)


This workout can be logged as “Calisthenics” in your MyFitnessPal app.

Tell us when you’ve completed this week’s workout. Share it in the comments below, or tag us in your checkins @MyFitnessPal so we can cheer you on!


Day 1: HIIT for Beginners: Walking Intervals

Day 2: Total-Body Strength Training (try this quick, beginner-friendly workout)

Day 3: Active Rest Day

Day 4: Moderate-Intensity Cardio (walking, cycling, or try this steady-state session)

Day 5: Total-Body Strength Training (try this quick, beginner-friendly workout!)

Day 6: Stretching or Flexibility Work (try this 8-minute total-body stretch)

Day 7: Active Rest Day

Looking for a full at-home program that includes everything from high-intensity interval training to total-body strength training, brain fitness, prehab exercises and more? Check out “Walk STRONG: 6 Week Total Transformation System!” This balanced program has everything you need to succeed, including online support and accountability. Save 20% when you use the exclusive MyFitnessPal promo code “3Z74EZAT” at checkout on Amazon.com.

About the Author

Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith

As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. She now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit walkonwalkstrong.com to learn more about her fun, results-driven programs for all levels of exercisers.


97 responses to “HIIT for Beginners Week 1: Walking Intervals”

  1. Avatar Tam Wallace says:

    Great workout. I followed with about 30 minutes of yoga.

  2. Avatar Richanda says:

    It looked so easy.. It wasn’t.. Lol. Great work out!

  3. Avatar Tammy Cook says:

    Just finished this work out after some snowshoeing this morning, it was a great stretch for my muscles. Loved it!

  4. Avatar Antonette says:

    Great work out. Thanks

  5. Avatar Paul McLardie says:

    I’m in

  6. Avatar Daly says:

    Thank You! Great workout

  7. Avatar Carol Ilott says:

    Great work out! Thank you. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  8. Avatar Amy says:

    That was a fantastic first workout. I’m sweating.

  9. Avatar Lauren Steadman says:

    That felt good! Added this to a 4-mile walk outside – in January – in Michigan.

  10. Avatar Candy Haessler Slane says:

    Perfect workout. Excited to get my body back in shape & this was great. Easy to customize to fit your level.

  11. Avatar SandySB says:

    Finished the first workout

  12. Avatar amanda says:

    Whooo! That was a great workout!

  13. Avatar Robin Vick says:

    Great workout! I’m looking forward to the rest of them!

  14. Avatar Linda says:

    Loved it…thanks!

  15. Avatar Aileen says:

    Wow! Great workout. Quick and simple. Thank you!

  16. Avatar Karen M says:

    Great routine! Clearly articulated, scaleable and fun. (Hi Peanut!)

  17. Avatar Inge Vink says:

    sure felt good, took a sneak peek at day 2 and that looks good too!

  18. Avatar Theresa Brown says:

    On day 2! Thanks for getting me started right in the new year. I did the video twice and used hand weights on the second go around since I’m more advanced but still sweating a lot!

  19. Avatar jane says:

    I am in it!!

  20. Avatar Heather says:

    Finished yesterday forgot to post

  21. Avatar Kathy Adams says:

    ok….so what is a “active rest day”? What would it look like for me?

    • Avatar jessicasmithtv says:

      Hi Kathy! Feel free to do any activity that helps keep you moving without having to necessarily add in another “workout..” Easy pace walking, light cycling, gardening, stretching, etc something that keeps your body in motion but isn’t too taxing on your system. Hope that helps 🙂

    • Avatar John B Gillis says:

      A rest day is a no exercise day. The muscles need to recover. This is important especially to avoid injury.

  22. Avatar jessicasmithtv says:

    Way to go everybody! Love reading your check-ins! Thanks so much for moving with me – please keep up the great work. Let’s get 2017 started off on the right foot together 🙂

  23. Avatar Maureen says:

    Liked the 4 minute intervals in-between the 3 minutes of steady work. Looking forward to the series! Thank you ☺

  24. Avatar Kathrin says:

    I love your workouts, Jessica, and hoped you would start a new challenge right away in 2017. And here it is! I just finished Day 2 (two rounds) and I’m looking forward for the Cardio-Session which I have to do tomorrow. My rest day will be Thursday.

  25. Avatar juli says:

    That was great. Thank you.

  26. Avatar Fran says:

    That was good! I had a little bit of trouble with that last interval, but in the end I menaged to pull it off! Great workout, I’m looking forward to more HIIT trainings in the future

  27. Avatar Amber says:

    She doesn’t mess around! I’m loving this even for an advanced exerciser. Just kick it up!

  28. Avatar Shelly D-W says:

    Yeah, the third interval had my heart rate way up in the peak zone!

  29. Avatar Pam says:

    I had a good time doing the walk. I did the strength today. Thanks

  30. Avatar grsiapco says:

    Done for Day 1.

  31. Avatar bonnie says:

    Am I supposed to do the walking one all week? There was no instructions for day 2

    • Avatar jessicasmithtv says:

      Hi Bonnie! Our suggested weekly schedule is listed above – we have recommendations for the rest of the week for you 🙂

  32. Avatar Ainslie Jones says:

    I really liked the workout and her style.

  33. Avatar grsiapco says:

    Just did Day 1.

  34. Avatar Sandy says:

    Just did Day 1 feels good

  35. Avatar Intercessor says:

    I just realized that day three is rest. Ahhh, not gonna work for me. LOL. I will have to find something to do for day three and meet you all on day four.

  36. Avatar MFT says:

    Loved it! So happy to do it at home and get my heart pumping. Its been awhile! I found you via “my fitness pal”. Will you have a HIIT for Beginners posted on my pal every week going forward?

    • Avatar jessicasmithtv says:

      Thanks for joining me today! We’re going to be posting a new HIIT for Beginners workout here on MyFitnessPal each week for the next 3 weeks 🙂

  37. Avatar CleoQoD says:

    Did two reps of the Day Two workout, wanted to throw up and I can’t lift my arms above my head now 😉 But I’m saying that as a good thing–totally loving these workouts–thank you.

  38. Avatar amanda says:

    just completed day 4, so happy to have found this plan… it’s snowing out and allowed me to skip the gym and still get a great workout!

  39. Avatar Elana says:

    Well *gulp* I just got back from my Christmas vacation, and stumbled upon this four week plan. I’ve never tried anything like this before, but I feel like this is my time. So *gulp* tomorrow, day 1 happens!! Oh yeah, and it appears that I am one of those odd ducks who had never heard of HIIT.

  40. Avatar Rachel Lane says:

    DONE – Day 1!! Not so bad, but boy did my knees hurt! Also did Day 2 immediately after, that was only 10 minutes long but I sure did struggle. Guess I need to work on that strength training?!

  41. Avatar Sandy says:

    Okay, yesterday I did Day 2 and it went by so quickly I was wishing the session was longer. However, this morning (my day off), I feeling a bit sore good thing the session yesterday didn’t last longer. 🙂 Will do a light yoga routine today just to keep things loose. I had a heck of a time finding this section on MyFitnessPal this morning, can I subscribe to this program? I haven’t found out how perhaps I am missing something. Any help would be really appreciated. Take care and have a great day!

    • Avatar jessicasmithtv says:

      Hi Sandy! So glad you are joining us for this plan! I’m not sure if you are viewing on a mobile or desktop, but you may want to bookmark this page for easy access to the weekly schedule. We’ll be posting week 2 next week on the blog and it will also be linked here (under the ‘weekly overview’ section): https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/4-week-hiit-plan-beginners/ Hope that helps 🙂

      • Avatar Sandy says:

        Thank you so very much Jessica. I have it bookmarked. I am ready for Day 4 workout. Thanks again and have a great day!

  42. Avatar Bexeurasia7 says:

    I’m a day late but this is just what I was looking for to ease back into training after having my second baby with 1.4 stone to lose! I’m in!

  43. Avatar Karla Ghumm says:

    I’m finished with week 1

  44. Avatar Jennifer says:

    I started my new year doing some of your 1-mile and 20 minute cardio videos that I found on youtube. Yesterday came across your HIIT for Beginners and it felt great! Today I find this page and realize it was day 1 of a schedule… I’m in! I’m in my mid-40s, have had 6 children, and last year a hysterectomy. I have always weighed in the area of 130 pounds but have now gained 20 pounds that I have not been able to shed. It’s been so much easier to eat healthier this last week! I already feel better inside, can’t wait to see the physical change. Thank you!

  45. Avatar Jenny Barrett says:

    Should one should log any HIIT training as Calisthenics in MFP (unless it’s running or on some cardio counting cardio machine)?

  46. Avatar Krista Kirk says:

    Great 1st week HIIT/workout!! Ready for for my 2nd wk! 🙂

  47. Avatar adrienne says:

    i just started week 1 hoping to stick to it,i’m the type who starts exercise does it for a few days then gives up,except when it comes to walking 60 minutes on a treadmill every other day then biking on a exercise bike
    up to 16 miles every other day

  48. Avatar Sue says:

    OK, I’m in…scared not sure how much I can do but I will try… Love Jessica and her dig….it’s been a Looooooooog time.

  49. Avatar SJ says:

    Just started Week 1, Day 1. Hopefully I can finish the series!

  50. Avatar Carmen says:

    This is an excellent work out! I am a water aerobics instructor and I plan to incorporate this work out into my beginners/slower class. I think they will love this! Thank you for sharing!

  51. Avatar MFRANZ9 says:

    I’m in…starting late but better than never 🙂

  52. Avatar Amanda says:

    Week 1 day 1 completed!
    Loved it and planning to stick to schedule – not something I’m usually very good at!

  53. Avatar MFRANZ9 says:

    Done with week 1

  54. Avatar Michele says:

    Hi, all new to this I could nt find the video for the day 2… I downloaded the app but ther s nowhere to add videos..

  55. Avatar Esther says:

    Where is the link to the video for the first day? I can’t find it.

    • Avatar rebekah says:

      I can’t either. Do you think it was pulled after the first week?

      • Avatar Fallon says:

        I’m glad I’m not the only one, I can’t find it either! I was thinking that they may have pulled it after the first week too, but I also checked week 3 (which was just posted this week) and couldn’t find the link for that one either…

  56. Avatar Christine Clark says:

    Just getting back into exercise after foot reconstruction surgery in October. Tried this once last week but got side lined with some toe pain. Started again yesterday. These are great for me. I will probably do each week twice. Total body strength routine is good but doing planks causes too much toe pain at this point. Would really like to get back into a regular routine similar to my pre-op state. Thanks Jessica Smith!

  57. Avatar Audrey says:


  58. Avatar Katrin Tobing says:

    I’m in…better late than never

  59. Avatar Marcy Morgan says:
  60. Avatar Jessica Preston says:

    That felt great!!!!!

  61. Avatar Toni Racine says:

    Just finished my 1st week!

  62. Avatar JillyMac says:

    Awesome workout! I’m in!

  63. Avatar KVD says:

    This is just what I need to get started.

  64. Avatar Erin Noel Grennan says:

    Hi there. I’m not seeing estimated calories burned for each of these exercises. Any clue how to calculate these? Thanhs!

  65. Avatar BobbiM14 says:

    Just did day 1 of HIIT training! Awesome. Just the right amount of challenge for a couch potato so I don’t injure myself. Thank you!

  66. Avatar Mary Brown says:

    started tonight wow!!!!

  67. Avatar Sharon Logue says:

    Feeling amazing!!!!

  68. Avatar Chloe310 says:

    Finished day one. Had to take a few breaks but I did it!

  69. Avatar Lala J says:

    Started this today. It was challenging.

  70. Avatar Lea Fischer says:

    Just finished day 1 but am a tad bit confused. Is this a sample of week 1 for the 6 Week Walk Strong Program? If not, how do we get additional workout weeks?

  71. Avatar Francis Sarah Laws says:

    First day! Started at my own pace, finished strong and Loved it!

    Thank YOU!

  72. Avatar Jane McAvan says:

    Note to self : complete this course and help the jelly belly dissolve!

  73. Avatar Dawn says:

    Hi which day burns more fat ? Day 1 or day 4 ?

  74. Avatar Odel says:

    I’m in, just did my first workout

  75. Avatar Tammy Cook says:

    day one done! great start

  76. Avatar Sharub says:

    I am in… So how to start??

  77. Avatar Mantha Young says:

    I see this is an older post – but still so timely. Thanks! I’m joining!

  78. Avatar Jo Robinson says:

    Really enjoyed this. Makes being housebound feel good.

  79. Avatar Anne says:

    I’m in!

  80. Avatar Rachel says:

    I’m gonna try this out, kinda burnt out with my regular workouts

  81. Avatar Beverly Reavis says:

    Day 1 week 1 in the books!

  82. Avatar Sami says:

    How many calories do you think each day burns? I need it for the My Fitness Pal app

  83. Avatar Sami says:

    About how many calories does each day burn? I need to know for the My Fitness Pal app cause they don’t have their HIIT in their list of work outs.

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