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Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT – Thomas DeLauer

High intensity interval training is a whole different ball game than what most people think that it is, and in this video, I want to give you a breakdown of a) what high intensity interval training really is, but b) what kind of cardio you should be doing when you're intermittent fasting, or what you need to know to at least make an informed decision. The first thing I want to talk about before I even get into anything that has to do with fasting is truly give you the breakdown of what high intensity interval training should truly look like and what you're actually trying to accomplish. Most people look at high intensity interval training as just this way to get a crazy lung burner, just an awesome workout where you feel like you just torched a bunch of calories. That's all fine and dandy but it doesn't always elicit the best metabolic response and it doesn't always elicit the best body composition response. You don't always get the desired outcome. You may feel like you accomplished something, but that's not because high intensity interval training is bad, it's because most people are doing it wrong.

Here's the thing. When we're doing high intensity interval training, we are activating the anaerobic system of the body. So I want you to think of high intensity interval training cardio the same way that you would think of weight training. Weight training operates with the same metabolic business in your body that high intensity interval training does. It's utilizing carbohydrates as a source of fuel. What that means is you're in that rep range of maybe 6 reps all the way up to 15 reps in the weight room, well it's the same kind of thing that you're burning when you're doing a high intensity interval training workout.

Let me give you an example of what most people think HIIT looks like. Most people will go ahead and they'll do one minute of high intensity exercise and then one minute off, then they'll go back and they'll do one minute on and one minute off. This is great to [inaudible 00:01:45] a process, I understand that it makes it easy, but that's not how the body works. The body doesn't necessarily know what one minute is or what two minutes are. The body just knows when it's fully fatigued or not. The whole idea with high intensity interval training is you need to, 100%, be pushing it to the max, and then recovering for however long it takes, whether it's 30 seconds, one minute, two minutes, to be able to be fully recovered to give it 100% again.

So it varies from person to person on how long the rest period should be. It is absolutely not uniform. So for example, you should be doing your high intensity training all the way, pedal to the metal for like 15, 20 seconds, because quite honestly, that's about how much energy you have stored up in your body to really perform at 90 to 100%. If you're going longer than 20 or 25 seconds, then you're not pushing it at 90 or 100%. Plain and simple, period. You should be going all the way, then recovering as much as you possibly need to to be able to afford to push it 100% again. If you're going at one minute on, one minute off, you're probably going something like 50, 60% of your maximum and then just recovering for however long it takes. That doesn't really add up. We need to elicit the metabolic response that we get when we would normally weight train, where we're going all the way to failure.

Now let's talk about how this applies with fasting. When you are in a fasted state, your body is not utilizing carbohydrates as a source of fuel. When you are fasted, your body is using ketones. It's using fat. It turns fats into ketones. When you are doing high intensity interval training, you're utilizing carbs. Now I hear a lot of people talking about how high intensity interval training is going to help them get into a fasted state easier. Not really the case. You see, once you're already fasting, your body just stores the glycogen and puts it away. It's not like you have to burn through all your glycogen first before you start burning fat. It's really just how long you are going without eating before your body starts using fat. So it's not like you have to drain your tank and then start using fats. Doesn't quite work all the way like that, although it does in some cases, but high intensity interval training isn't gonna get you to the benefits of fasting any faster.

    47 replies to "Most People Do HIIT Cardio Wrong – How to Do HIIT"

    • Ug not Bug

      So do 100% for 15 seconds, then rest for a day or two. Gotcha.

      • Arl

        Lol 😂

      • nick junior

        @Raylyn Bechoo you guys don’t get he’s kidding??

      • Kronos camron

        Sound about right….

      • victoria

        great dad joke

      • Zaire Acquaah


    • Jaeden Brown

      This was a PHENOMENAL video brother.
      I really appreciate the fact that you offered perspective and backed it up with actual success principles that can be applied elsewhere in your life. Keep it up. Stay strong, and I know you’ll have the things you want out of life.

      Sincerely, some random dude who was looking for interval training and saw a short video 😁

    • Nen Nen

      Very informative! Ty! New subscriber. I use HIIT for muscular definition at home and without realizing it- it has helped me mentally as well. I like to do intermittent fasting once a month so it’s good to know how I should go about my HIIT workout during that period m. Thanks much! 😊

    • Nick M

      Hi Thomas, thanks this was extremely helpful and always appreciate the science/explanations. It is very cool that your business can thrive while being such a blessing to your audience. Thank you, means a lot to those of us who are trying to understand the details of combining a ketogenic state with fasting in an effort to become fat adapted for weight loss. Also appreciate the insights into applying a ketogenic lifestyle with fasting for long-term health and maintenance and how our body responds To exercise in these various conditions.

    • RaineyDaze86

      This was so helpful and explains so much! Thank you! I’ve been doing HIIT running for about 6 weeks now. I was very strict keto to help manage my hyperinsulinemia. Before I started training, Keto was managing my sugar well and stopped me from having hypo episodes. Once I started training, I felt like I was going to pass out half was through my run. My sugar was tanking. I started to carb cycle around my workouts and not only did I not feel like quitting half way, I increased speed, and endurance, and felt amazing after my workout, instead of shaky and starving. I had some oatmeal with peanut butter, and it fuels me for hours, where as before HIIT, a breakfast like that would be too many carbs and effect my sugar. Now I find I really need the carbs, where as before I couldn’t tolerate any. I keep them complex and high fiber, and it’s been great. HIIT has been amazing for my over all health and energy. Plus, my standing heart rate used to be around 80, and now it’s at about 64. I already feel such an improvement in my cardiovascular and respiratory health, as well as my endurance. You totally helped all this make sense, and just another reason for me to stay motivated! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sasha Milivojevich

      Thanks man. I really want to start with HIIT being that I find it the best way for me to stop forgetting to do exercises and find them interesting by doing them combined and all :3 I really love it, plus it gets me motivated for taekwondo on training days. Will try implementing your advices as I really wanna get ripped since im not fat but still shaky and wobbly hhhahahah 😀

    • Johnny Behealthy

      Great ideas as always. I kind of agree with you on the the “sole mental reward” but isn’t HIIT good to change up muscle and confuse muscle/body response so to avoid plateaus? Having said that, you can easily change up your 80% steady cardio routine every 3 months (I.e.. running to rowing to elliptical and back to running) this allows you to avoid body comfort zones, no? Which is better for muscle confusion in order to maximize fat loss?

    • Wu Tang

      That was very helpful. I was always trying to finish the exercise and rest at the same exact time every interval. But Just like with weights, all exercises executed at 100%. Thanks!

    • no user

      I can tell you’re super educated on this subject, it actually helped me a lot just watching this video. Props to you dude, you just earned a sub. 🙂

    • Monica Pula

      I went 30 seconds 100% then had a rest from the gym for 6 months. I feel good

      • rosako

        Loooool 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

      • Ron Nowlan

        I think I laughed at this comment more than I’ve ever laughed at one 🤣

      • Niharika Prinsloo

        Made my day! 😂

      • Sureyya EkincI

        I hate the gym

      • Antonio Paez


    • Moon Maiden

      I like doing hiit on an empty stomach. I feel heavy and lazy when I eat before and I get side stitches. And yes Ive tried waiting at least 30 mins after eating. Fasted cardio is the way to go for me, even if it’s not technically correct. Do what works for YOUR body.

      • xHeartHeartbreakx

        Same here. I get exhausted after cooking, eating and cleaning haha I rather just nail it when I’m empty. I feel like I push harder.

      • Randolph Pinkle

        @Aurora Of course, it depends on how long you have been fasting, but it’s also something that you can train your body to do over time.

      • Lavender Mclindon

        Same. But i do drink me some pedialyte throughout

      • HIIT the GROUND

        great words

      • Nightwalker

        Me too, im a slow digester as well 😂

    • Mason Johnson

      •HIIT – go 100% effort for around 20 seconds, rest until recovered then repeat
      •If looking for fat burning, do steady state cardio instead at 60-70% effort
      •If you wanna do HIIT as a workout for mental benefit, do it after eating as carbs will be better utilised

      • yunem yılmaz

        You are wrong he says do hit ıf you get carb büt ıf ü fast he says dö statıonary cardıo

      • Hasnain Shah

        thanks. this guy never shuts up

      • Luke Hopton

        check out what Dr. Berg says about sprint HIITs

      • Assassin Legend

        @Nihad any type of walking is the best

    • Max Baugh

      Once I was in a group workout where the coach said “Sprint everything: 4 x 100, 4 x 50, 4 x 200, 4 x 400”, with minimal breaks. I did the 100s and first two 50s at full 100% power, but by the 3rd I was realizing I had made a mistake. On the first or second 200 my legs basically turned to lead, I couldn’t run faster than a jog if my life depended on it. It took like a week for my legs to fully recover.

    • Shelby

      I tried doing this this morning. I hadn’t realized that it’s normal to only be able to give a true 100% effort for only about 15 seconds or so before needing a recovery minute, and I was afraid I was horribly out of shape or something. Feeling a lot better about it now haha. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than my other cardio workouts.

      • DVO

        Yup, mammals do 100% for hunting or running away from death, so think of that when you’re in the mid of your 100%

      • Peaceful Music

        I do four 20 second sprints. Just right for me. 90 second rest.

      • Randolph Pinkle

        People starting out shouldn’t start at 100% no matter what this coach says. Even if they’re in great shape. Start at 70% and work up to 100% over time. As long as you know how much effort you’re exerting, you’ll be able to progress. If you give 100% from the start, chances are you’ll never want to do HIIT again.

      • mdd1963

        We do longer runs of 35-40 seconds, but, a full 4 min recovery walk is needed before heart rate lowers back to about 150 before can do another run…(6 years ago, we’d do a run every 3 min (1 min run, 2 min off), but, that no longer feels possible at my 58 year age…)

    • InTheLandOf MoreThanSmall

      This has always worked for me. Even before I knew there was a NAME for it.
      All the crunches I can handle then jumping jacks or running in place until I’m outta breath, then plank for 10 seconds
      Rest until I feel like I could do it again.
      Walk or squats or whatever…
      And I would do this off and on throughout the day.
      Maybe walk to the end of my driveway or run to the stop sign… Sometimes (if ground is dry) I’d run around my house as FAST as I could…
      Rest until I wanna do more or stop for the day or just whatever.
      ANY movement is better than NO MOVEMENT…

    • Angelica Addo

      Thanks for providing knowledge, we need more people like this on Internet!!
      Great explanation, simple, physiologic, cool

    • Thomas DeLauer

      Free Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (downloadable):
      Free Keto Diet Meal Plan (downloadable):

      • 331zizzy


      • Vinny Tess

        What’s your height and weight? Thanks for the informative videos

      • David Kim

        how bout single 20 sec HIITs throughout the day, with each HIIT separated by few hours.
        I’m specifically focusing on mitochondria

      • Ryan Mac

        @Thomas DeLauer, big bro how is it you like to warm-up for a few before getting into Your HIIT WOD.? I see the bike and the sled on turf going🚲, how do you like to lead up to the hiit wod, and what’s the favorite workouts 🤔😉. Much appreciated amigo

    • Mark Rivera

      This was so informative in terms of HIIT, LISS, and also their relationship to keto, fasting, and fat loss. Thank you for being so transparent. I learned so much!

    • Inka Leuschner

      I’m so happy about your explanation! I’m a beginner with the idea if HIIT (not with workoouts in general). It came to my mind that I should do it intuitively, like my body shows it to me. That’s how I do it most of the time with eating. Eat when I’m hungry and stop when my tummy is happy.

    • Deboozi

      Thank you. This was very informative and straight to the point.

Comments are closed.