Burn More Calories With This HIIT Sprint Interval Workout

Man running outside

Verywell / Ryan Kelly

This sprint interval workout is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It helps build endurance, increase your anaerobic threshold, and burn more calories and fat both during and after your workout.

For this workout, you'll have a longer warm-up (10 minutes) before going into four all-out sprints at a Level 9 on the perceived rate of exertion for 30 seconds each. Between each sprint, you'll recover at an easy pace for 4.5 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get ready for the next sprint.


You may need more warm-up time if your body doesn't feel ready for the first sprint. Take as much time as you need to get warm so you can avoid injury.

Keep in mind that all-out effort is very challenging. If you're an advanced exerciser, your sprints really should be all out, leaving nothing else in the gas tank. The recovery times allow you to refill your tank, pay back the oxygen debt, and do the next sprint.

If you're a beginner, start with a beginner interval workout to get used to how intervals feel. Then, gradually work your way up to this workout.

HIIT Sprints

HIIT sprints start with a warmup period, followed by four 30-second periods of going all out with 4 minutes 30 seconds of recovery at a comfortable pace. This workout is best for intermediate and advanced exercisers who really want a challenge.

Time Intensity/Speed Perceived Exertion
5 min. Warm up at an easy-moderate pace 4–5
5 min. Baseline: Increase speed gradually to a comfortable, moderate pace 5
30 seconds Sprint all out as fast as you can 9
4.5 min Reduce speed to a comfortable pace to fully recover 4–5
30 seconds Sprint all out as fast as you can 9
4.5 min Reduce speed to a comfortable pace to fully recover 4–5
30 seconds Sprint all out as fast as you can 9
4.5 min Reduce speed to a comfortable pace to fully recover 4–5
30 seconds Sprint all out as fast as you can 9
4.5 min Cool down at an easy pace 3–4

Total: 30 Minutes


What is Interval Training and Why Does It Work?


Note that HIIT sessions don't have to be running-based. You can do this workout on any machine, set to a manual mode, or with any outdoor activity such as walking, running, or cycling. This kind of workout is probably easiest outside or on a stationary bike.

Add a Dynamic Warm-Up

Try starting with a 10 to 15 minute warm-up of dynamic poses that move on every plane, such as:

  • Lateral lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Butt kicks
  • High kicks
  • Figure fours
  • Knee hugs
  • Arm circles

Treadmill Workout

If you are using a treadmill, you will want to build in more time around the sprint intervals, since it takes a bit for the treadmill to speed up and then slow down. Increase the treadmill speed about 10 to 15 seconds before the interval starts. It will take another 10 to 15 seconds to slow down at the end of the sprint.


Make sure you take the time to cool down and then do a thorough, relaxing stretch. This kind of workout is very challenging on the body. Don't do this workout two days in a row; follow up with recovery day exercise like light jogging, strength training, or some other type of easy cardio. If you really go all out, do this workout about twice a week, with lots of rest days in between to avoid overtraining.

1 Source
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  1. Jung ME, Bourne JE, Little JP. Where does HIT fit? An examination of the affective response to high-intensity intervals in comparison to continuous moderate- and continuous vigorous-intensity exercise in the exercise intensity-affect continuum. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(12):e114541. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114541

By Paige Waehner, CPT
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."