HIIT the Hill Workout

I’ve got a HIIT treadmill workout for you today! It’s appropriately name “HIIT the Hill” because you’ll be changing up both your incline and speed on the treadmill. It’s a good, sweaty cardio!

Meanwhile, I’m still on a mission to find the best acai bowl in San Diego. πŸ˜‰

Acai bowl and smoothie

Nekter Juice Bar brought it strong with the fresh cashew milk and acai base, but the toppings at Tiki Port keep it at the #1 spot.

(PS. How cute is Livi’s little date nut smoothie??)

We had a great morning together. I took a Barre3 class, we grabbed a snack (above) and then hit up the playground.

Liv on the slide

I’m pretty sure that I’ll never get used to seagulls everywhere. They can’t be trusted.

Seagull at the park

HIIT Treadmill Workout Inspired by Orange Theory

In honor of Orange Theory day, which I look forward to every week, I figured I’d share a treadmill workout that’s similar to the types of drills we’ll do in class. I find that by constantly switching up the speeds and inclines (ok, and the “treat” of knowing a recovery is on the way), I’m never bored and can really push myself the entire time.

Another great thing about class: you go at YOUR pace. You start at your “base pace” (which can be a walk with the incline cranked up, a jog or a run) and alternate your speed intervals based on your own base pace (one that you could easily maintain for 30 minutes).

Here’s the little HIIT treadmill workout I crafted for ya:

Treadmill HIIT workout

It’s a combo of hills (which will utilize different muscles in your legs) and speed blasts to increase fitness and endurance.

For the “Maintain” sections, aim to maintain your base pace while you crank up the incline. If you need to drop the speed a little to account for the higher hills, do it! Prioritize incline over speed on those sections and maintain good posture and alignment – slightly hinging forward from your hips to make it up the hills. As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes.

Let me know if you give it a try!

What’s something you look forward to every week? I’d love to hear something fun about your day πŸ™‚



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  1. Jackie on May 7, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Awesome workout!

  2. Liz @ The Sixth Letter on May 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Definitely going to try that workout tomorrow, thanks for sharing!

    Every Wednesday, my husband and I go for a coffee and toast morning date before we head off to work, and I look forward to it every week for some time to check in with him. On top of that, I’ve always wanted to be a regular somewhere, and now our barista knows us and it makes me ridiculously happy!

  3. Amber Schumann on May 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Seagulls are the devil (exhibit A: the seagulls from Finding Nemo… “MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE”… that’s their way of life). Growing up in schools in the Bay Area, getting pooped on during lunch was pretty much a norm. Bastards.

  4. Caroline on May 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    That workout looks awesome, I’m definitely going to try it tomorrow morning!!

    • Fitnessista on May 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      let me know what you think πŸ™‚

      • Caroline on May 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

        I loved it!! The combo of hills and intervals was really challenging but it made the time fly by! I definitely pushed myself harder with this workout than I normally do on the treadmill and I felt great when I finished πŸ™‚ Makes me want to try an Orange Theory class!

        • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

          awesome! great job! so happy you got an awesome workout πŸ™‚

  5. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on May 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Great workout!! I look forward every week to a weekend with my husband. We are aways so busy during the week that as soon as the weekend hits it is so RELAXING!

  6. Tricia on May 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Have you tried Swami’s up in Encinitas? I hear they have good acai bowls..

  7. Christina on May 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    That acai bowl sounds amazing! I’ve only visited San Diego once and became addicted to the acai and pitaya bowls. I hit up Sea Side Smoothie in La Jolla during my trip, give that one a whirl if you have not yet!

  8. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on May 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I look forward to my swim days every week. I don’t know how to explain it except to say it relaxes me, calms me and centers me. I don’t yoga, but I am a swimi. πŸ™‚

  9. melissa on May 7, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    have you considered making your own acai bowls? They are super easy (way easier than plenty of stuff you do make) and much cheaper at home. I’m from SoCal but not SD, are they a really big thing there?

  10. Polly @ Tasty Food Project on May 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I still haven’t tried acai bowls yet!

    Thanks for sharing the treadmill workout! I’m always looking for new HIIT exercises!

  11. Simi on May 8, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Best Acai Bowl is Sprouts in Eastlake or Cafe 976 in PB.

  12. Leah on May 8, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for the great post!
    I love Nektar & Sambazon’s Acai bowls πŸ™‚ Soooo good!

  13. lucie on May 8, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Oh the Acai bowls look so good there!!

    I look forward to my Crossfit Classes every week. I go with my friend/neighbour and it’s always such a great feeling after!!

  14. Stephanie Clark on May 8, 2014 at 4:16 am

    This looks super tough! In a good way- I can’t wait to try it!! I love HIIT!!!!

  15. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on May 8, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Thanks for the HIIT workout! I’ll look forward to trying it out when I’m more fully recovered (PF) and can really push myself! I love a good HIIT workout–like you said, keeps you guessing and makes it go by so quickly!
    Okay, so you have me intrigued with these acai bowls. I hadn’t heard of them until you posted about them (and on Insta). Now I’m going to need to search the Boston area so I can try one!

  16. Kelly on May 8, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I look forward to my Friday morning body pump class. I had to let the class slide when I was half marathon training. But now that’s over I can get back into it. Love it!

  17. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on May 8, 2014 at 7:39 am

    This is a really dumb question but what exactly is an acai bowl? Josh and I are heading to Hawaii this weekend and are starting our trip in a more remote part of North Shore. When I look up food options that we’ll like, and are veggie friendly, everything is recommending this acai bowl place. I’m excited to try it, but also not sure what to expect!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      it’s an acai smoothie topped with granola and fruit. you will love it!

  18. Courtney Bentley on May 8, 2014 at 7:58 am

    http://sambazon.com/cafe/ <–the best acai bowl I have ever had in San Diego! You must check it out πŸ™‚

    Lots of Love C

  19. Kim on May 8, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Hi Gina! The best acai bowl I’ve had so far is from Beach City Smoothies in Carlsbad Village… you have to try it. They use an acai sorbet (instead of smoothie) and it is amazing! I’ve been on a quest up here in North County to find the best bowl as well πŸ™‚

  20. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on May 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Anytime there are masses of birds around, I don’t feel safe! Especially when they turn their heads way too far to the side and stare at you.

  21. Carly on May 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Awesome! I’m always looking for HIIT workouts, and I love the hill+speed combo. Going to try it on the weekend.
    Seagulls are the worst. They steal your food – beware!

  22. Stephanie on May 8, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Hey random question, I was trying to find it on your family page but couldn’t find it. Do you give Livi milk? Or a milk substitute? My daughter is a year old and we’re weaning her from the bottle but I’m not 100% sold on milk. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

      i don’t love giving her milk, but we do. it’s 2% or whole organic.

      • Stephanie on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

        Okay, thanks for answering. We’re feeling the same way but other options seem more questionable. I tried goats milk and she HATED it. I think we might do it until she’s two and then just give her water and Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil which I’ve heard super great things about.

    • Erika on May 8, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Sorry to jump in here – but wanted to offer an alternative if you’re hesitant about cow’s milk. My son (22 months) is allergic to dairy protein, and we make hemp milk for him and mix it with almond milk. The hemp milk has the highest percentage of healthy fats and protein of non-animal milks (aside from fortified soy milk), and we mix with almond milk to add calcium.

  23. Amanda on May 8, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I just started at a new gym (fitness classes are my motivation–love them), and I took the BEST Zumba class last night! I’m still pumped from it! I’ll be looking forward to that every week, along with trying out the Les Mills classes offered at the gym!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

      that’s THE BEST when that happens!

  24. Maria on May 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Looks like a good treadmill workout! I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself on the treadmill. An orange theory fitness just opened up a few minutes from our house. I will have to check it out!

  25. Maria on May 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Looks like a good treadmill workout! I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself on the treadmill. An orange theory fitness just opened up a few minutes from our house. I will have to check it out!

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 10:43 am

      ohhh let me know if you try it! such a blast

  26. Amanda on May 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Clayton’s Coffee Shop on Coronado has amaze Acai bowls, topped with coconut! =)

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      STOP. that’s happening πŸ™‚

  27. Tracy on May 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I’m so intrigued by your acai bowls…need to try soon!

    I look forward to yoga almost every morning and date night with my husband on Friday (and Saturday if we’re lucky!)!

    Have a great almost Friday πŸ˜‰

  28. Alex @ Kenzie Life on May 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    I usually look forward to stretching after Pure Barre, taking a bath before I go to bed, reading when I’m in bed, and hearing the owl that lives on top of my apartment hoot as I fall asleep πŸ™‚ This week the highlight was finishing my last exam on Monday night and treating myself to a vegan BBQ burger and a lot of salty french fries. It was the most glorious end to exam period πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  29. jodie on May 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    So what exactly is in an acai bowl? San Diego looks just beautiful. It s on my bucket list.

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      it’s like an acai smoothie with granola and fresh fruit

  30. Andrea on May 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Gina, for the “recover” portions of this, how fast should the treadmill speed be? My base pace is 5.5

    • Fitnessista on May 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      recovering from the hills, i’d try to keep it at base pace and decrease your incline to recover
      in between speed, you can drop it to an easy walk (3.5-4)

  31. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit on May 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I hear and see these acai bowls all over the internet — we don’t have anything cool like that (that I’ve discovered anyway), but I hope to try one soon! Maybe next month when I’m in FL!

  32. Michelle on May 8, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Did the hill workout this morning and it was perfect because I was running late all morning and could get a killer workout in during a short time. Yesterday was rest and had planned on a long steady run this am, but didn’t get to the treadmill as early as planned (always and only happens when I have an appointment I have to get to) so this was perfect.

    • Fitnessista on May 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

      awesome!!! πŸ™‚

  33. Runner Girl Eats on May 9, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I love workouts like this. The treadmill can get super boring and this is a perfect way to switch it up. Will def try this on my next treadmill workout.

    • Fitnessista on May 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

      let me know what you think πŸ™‚

  34. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on May 9, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Looks like a killer workout!! Love it!!!

  35. Annie B on May 11, 2014 at 2:28 am

    The pic of the acai bowl made me miss seeing more of your daily eats! Would love another WIAW-style post since it’s been awhile! πŸ™‚

  36. brittney on May 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for the HIIT Hill workout, G$!

    I cranked that one out on the treadmill yesterday and felt my metabolism revved up for the rest of the day. It’s a doozy. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on May 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      BOOM. awesome job, friend

  37. Mackenzie on May 13, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Tried this workout this morning and it sped by… I was a sweaty mess afterwards πŸ™‚ Perfect way to get in a quick but challenging workout before work!

  38. Mary on May 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    My friend and I loved this workout! Great workout – not too hard, not too easy. Just the right amount of time, and not boring at all!! Thank you!

  39. Ashley @ Sweet carolina belle on May 13, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    What a great interval workout. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Ashley on May 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    The best Acai bowl in San Diego is definitely located at Sawami’s. Amazing! I definitely recommend it. I have tried several acai bowls and this one still remains at the top.

    • Fitnessista on May 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      i’ll have to try that one!

  41. Sarah on May 27, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I have been doing Orange for 2.5 years now. I LOVE it. I really feel like it works all of my body instead of just focusing on “leg day” or “arm day” ect. We did a running interval the other day mixed in with rowing sprints during our cardio block, and I died, but felt magical afterwards. I highly recommend it to anyone. Definitely more benign that CrossFit, and you get to see how many calories you burn.

  42. KB on June 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I just did the HIIT workout – THANK YOU! I procrastinated going to the gym tonight and then didn’t have much time but I knew if I checked the fitnessista workouts I’d find something that would be quick & effective. This workout was exactly that – challenging but the time went by fast. Thank you so much.

  43. wenghonn on June 7, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Awesome workout, i have been doing HIIT for quite some times now,it really works.If you are looking for something that is short and sweet ,a good 30 minutes of HIIT workout is same as the 1 hour jogging.NIce article πŸ™‚

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