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High Intensity Interval Training Workout

Dear Dr. Bell,

I would like to attempt High Intensity Interval Training. I have a treadmill at home and would like to use the treadmill instead of a track. I’m in decent shape. I’m 35 years old. I can run a two mile in 16:30 (I know this is not a world record by any means) I train several days a week (dependent on my nursing ever changing work schedule). What should be the intervals on the treadmill? For example, Jog “x” / run “x.” How do I build on the time intervals? And finally, how long should the work last?

Thank you so much for your time! I greatly appreciate it!



Dear Chivonn,

The term HIIT is relatively new, but the concept it not. Without going into the history of HIIT, suffice it to say that not only have World Class Endurance Champions used HIIT to break records, but current research has shown that HIIT is the fastest and safest way to build aerobic endurance.

One effective Program Design for HIIT is as follows after we describe the required definitions:

Frequency: How many sessions/week.

Intensity: How hard you work or what percent of all out effort. 100% Sprint is ALL-OUT, Everything you got!

Time: Reps (for HIIT, this is going to refer to how many sprints are performed)

Type: W.I. (Work Interval) will refer to all out Sprint, or Running (track, treadmill, outdoor trail. etc.). R.I. (Rest Interval) will be a slow jog or walk as needed….Alternate: Sprint W.I. can be done on any piece of cardio equipment such as, Recumbent Bike (recommended for beginners), Elliptical. Stairs, Stepper, etc.

Work Interval (W.I.): for HIIT will be 15 seconds all out, 100%, sprint. Rest Interval will be a low level effort for recovery before the next Work Interval. The time of the R.I. will vary according to the Program Design depicted below.

Frequency: 2 Times / Week with 3 or 4 days rest between HIIT Sessions.

Intensity: 100% of MAX

Type: Sprinting (or your choice)


Week WorkOut Reps W.I. R.I.
1 1 4 15 seconds 4 minutes
1 2 5 15 seconds 3.5 minutes
2 3 6 15 seconds 3.0 minutes
2 4 7 15 seconds 2.5 minutes
3 5 8 15 seconds 2.0 minutes
3 6 9 15 seconds 2.0 minutes
4 7 10 15 seconds 2.0 minutes
4 8 10 15 seconds 1.5 minutes
5 9 10 15 seconds 1.0 minutes
5 10 10 20 seconds 2.0 minutes
6 11 10 20 seconds 1.5 minutes
6 12 10 20 seconds 1.0 minutes


Following your 12th workout use GPO Principle to continue to Gradually Progress Overload by increasing Reps or Work Interval or decreasing Rest Interval according to your goals. Never perform more than 2 HIIT Sessions/ Week.

Good Luck with your training!

Dr. Bell