You've tried everything and now you're sure of it: sport is simply not made for you. But what if you weren't made for a single sport, but for a host of different exercises?


Short on exercises to justify your (nearly non-existent) physical fitness activities? Step right this way, please! No raps on the knuckles or dunce caps here, no siree! Today, or tomorrow, is the perfect day for channelling your inner dormant athlete who is just waiting for the opportunity to get out! How? With the HIIT. The what? Oh, the joys of curiosity!

Learn about Hiit: High Intensity Interval Training

OK, so what is HIIT?

No, that was not an inadvertent extra long press on the "i" key. Nor does it mark a return to the fashion of the 2010s with its double i engraved on notes passed around in class, with hearts taking the place of the dots on the i's, of course. HIIT is an acronym that means High Intensity Interval Training.

HIIT has only one rule: alternate between a period of intense effort (which can be unique to each person) followed by a period of recovery, at a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. Sound interesting? That's because HIIT is the twin of interval running. Yes, the famous 30/30.

Another important particularity is that you are free to choose the duration of the high intensity interval and thus the corresponding recovery time based on these famous ratios. Bear in mind that if you, for example, choose 30 seconds of activity for 10 seconds of recovery, you will need to stick to the same pattern for all the exercises in your circuit. Speaking of circuits, the latter are generally no longer than 30 minutes, and in fact are often much shorter. Not sure what a circuit is? No worries, we have you covered. Just read on.

Create your own Hiit!

And because we know that you like to experiment with a bit of everything, we are giving you the keys (or, the dice, more precisely, more on that later), to invent and reinvent your own HIIT programmes. For greater efficiency and to better complement other sports you might play, and especially to help you discover your hidden resources (we know they're there!), we recommend creating a circuit that will take you through the different parts of your body.

Maxence, Hiit coach

Maxence, sport coach at the Lille Domyos club

"Alternating the muscle zones that are exercised, such as your arms, helps you recover while you focus your efforts on your legs. You can also alternate between mobile exercises (press-ups) and static exercises (wall sits)."


A game? Yes, that's how you should look at it. Sports should be a fun time that delivers as much enjoyment as possible through the progress you see yourself make, and a variety of good times (a.k.a., exercises). So we suggest you start with a die. The principle is simple: roll a die for each of the four workout zones listed below.

This will give you four different exercises. If you decide to follow an 8-minute HIIT programme divided into 40 seconds of intense effort followed by 20 seconds of recovery, you would do each of the exercises selected by the roll of the die twice. In other words, you would work out the upper body twice, the lower body twice, the core twice and do a cardio routine twice. Let's get started!


1. Press-ups (do this if you roll a 1 or a 2)
2. Pulls using a Domyos Strap Training (if you roll a 3 or 4)
3. Diamond press-ups (if you roll a 5 or a 6)


1. Squats (if you roll a 1 or a 2)
2. Lunges (if you roll a 3 or a 4)
3. Hip thrust (if you roll a 5 or a 6)

Core exercises

1. Military press-up (if you roll a 1 or a 2)
2. Hollow hold (if you roll a 3 or a 4)
3. Crunches (if you roll a 5 or a 6)


1. Squat thrusts or burpees (if you roll a 1 or a 2)
2. Mountain climbers (if you roll a 3 or a 4)
3. Jumping jacks (if you roll a 5 or a 6)
Manon: tried and proven—for you!

Tried and proven—for you!

"I'm fairly new to this, and like you, I decided to play the game of HIIT. Together with three Decathlonians, Maxence, Mathieu and Virgile, we did DST strap pulls, squats, military press-ups, and mountain climbers. It was a total of 8 minutes (40 seconds of intense exercise followed by 20 seconds of recovery) that felt amazingly good!
The verdict: why didn't I start doing this sooner? It's the perfect complement to running!"

In practical terms, what do I get out of doing Hiit?

Besides maximum enjoyment, you mean? Well, for starters, your favourite, well-worn excuse, "I don't have time!" no longer holds water. Plus you can count on weight loss without losing muscle mass, since you'll actually build more! If you already play a sport, Hiit is a great complementary exercise that helps you make progress in your favourite sport by working out a variety of muscles. For example, a runner who also does HIIT can improve his or her posture and strengthen his/her core and therefore improve his/her endurance.

Plus, there aren't any particular counter-indications so long as your doctor has given you the green light during your annual check-up. In any case, it's important to start off gradually with a practical target of one to two times a week. Feel free to shoot for the stars of course, but best to keep your feet on the ground at the beginning. It will only make your progress that much more noticeable and motivating, which is great news!

It goes without saying that warming up, especially the joints (such as, with fingers of both hands intertwined and wrists touching, turn your arms to the left and then to the right), should not be neglected. The same is true of stretches, which should be practised with care after a HIIT session.  In short, when you feel your muscle pulling, don't push any further, because listening to your body is still the priority. Do what feels right, because your body is always right!

Plus, HIIT has its own variations, such as the Tabata method (heard of it)?