Best HIIT Workouts for Women Over 50 | Fat Burning

What are the best HIIT workouts for women over 50? Lisa B. asked this question inside our Flipping 50 Insider’s Community – I’ll link to the group in the show notes. She asked for recommendations on intervals and so this quick answer is full of a few key things you want to remember if you’re wondering what are the best HIIT workouts for women over 50.

Should You Be Doing HIIT Now?

If you’re not sure you should be doing HIIT, you may want to watch my TEDx talk. I’ll link to that. For hormone balance, HIIT is one of the best things you can do, as long as you’re not already exhausted or dealing with adrenal fatigue.

You’ll get there, but before you choose an exercise like HIIT that definitely will help you use cortisol optimally, you’ve got to have an ample supply of it. Watch the 14-minute TEDx talk (and I’d so appreciate you sharing it) when you can. 

  • No more than 45 minutes a week of intervals.

The total interval cycle being both the work and the recovery time. So 10 minutes would be 5 sets of 1:00 work interval and 1:00 recovery, as an example. At 45 minutes a week injury rates seem to skyrocket. The micro-tearing that occurs with high intensity exercise is greater than that of low to moderate exercise. So more isn’t better. This looks like 2 20-25 minute sessions a week or 3 15-minute sessions a week.

  • Choose your mode thoughtfully.

High impact running for speed or for hill or incline training is harder on the body that say swimming intervals or rowing machine intervals. You can create intervals from any mode of exercise. We do it twice a week live right now with the Flipping 50 member’s group with zero equipment and often little to no impact.

  • Get breathless.

    If you haven’t earned the desire to stop and catch your breath you haven’t truly done the high intensity intervals or sprint interval training that boosts fat burning and supports hormone balance (mainly cortisol and followed closely by testosterone and growth hormone).
  • Samples of the best HIIT workouts for women over 50

    1. one I’ve shared in a prior post I’ll link to is Sprint Interval Training and a 2019 study featuring post-menopausal women showed it decreased body fat and increased lean muscle tissue. Performed on an exercise bike (or your bike on a trainer- I’ll link to how you do that from a prior blog post too) you warm up and cool down for 8 minutes each, and perform 20 minutes of 8 seconds hard, 12 seconds recovery.
    2. Another is a simple 1:00/1:00 work/recovery ratio. If you’re doing a hill workout outdoors, you’ll need twice as long to recover and walk back down. It doesn’t matter if you walk or you run, as long as you get breathless. This one too can be done on a bike. The beauty of bike is less injury risk.

I give you some examples the 5 Day Flip video series –I’ve taken it from random to organized to get results. If you’re not already doing a program that includes intervals and strength training, or if it’s not working for you, this is the perfect start. 

What the best HIIT workouts for women over 50 are NOT:

Remember you’re not after “AMRAP” as many reps as possible in a short amount of time. A term made popular by Crossfitters, your form will easily fall apart, putting you at risk for injury. Find modes of exercise and moves that are safe and effective.

There you have it, best HIIT workouts for women over 50.

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Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:


Sprints for Healthy Body Composition After 50  

How to Do Intervals 

Home Exercise Equipment

Do you have a question? Leave it below the show link at or better yet, share it with me in the new Flipping 50 Insider’s group on Facebook, I love hearing from you! If this episode was helpful, please leave a rating in iTunes and then share it with a friend! Surround yourself with a supportive community of women on the same journey.

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6 thoughts on “Best HIIT Workouts for Women Over 50 | Fat Burning”

  1. Hi Debra, my question is, If I’m doing strength training on Monday and Thursday, how would I fit in 2 HIIT, without doing the two back to back, not seeing results.

  2. Hi Cindy,
    You can do intervals Tues and Friday… for example. You can do strength and intervals back to back. How long have you been doing this schedule? You could shorten and do 3 a week, you could cut intervals and walk. Check in with your hormone status.. fatigue? or not? high energy? if good energy – I’d try 3x. if not, eliminate them and walk short, more frequently without intervals.

  3. I’m currently reading your book YSGIG and it shows a 9 day workout schedule that combines HIIT and heavy weight training on the same day a couple of times during the week. Is this outdated? I noticed one of your blog posts (I think it was the blog) that said you get lesser results when you combine the two. If it isn’t recommended anymore, what would an effective/efficient 9 day schedule look like? Thanks! You’re very inspirational.

  4. HI Traci,
    Done on the same day we call this concurrent training, or back-to-back. Combining your HIIT and weight training in the SAME workout.. provides lesser results. Make sense? Good clarification to make. E.g. if you go back and forth between say jumprope and a chest press, jump squats and a row… you will minimize benefits of the HIIT, and of the strength. Up to date and spot on. If you need or want weight loss or belly fat loss you want to optimize your metabolism and do both full out, which doesn’t happen in shifting back and forth.

  5. Hello, I am really trying to grasp this HIIT work out information, and I do believe I am making it more difficult than it needs to be. With that being said, I was reading above about the best examples of HIIT workouts for women over 50. Sample #2 States to do an 8 min Warm up and cool down, and then a 20 minute interval. That equals 36 minutes. I thought that the workout should be no more than 20 to 25 minutes with the warm-up and cooldown included. Could you please clarify? Thank you! You are a wealth of information!

  6. Yes! More difficult… but not entirely! the INTERVALS are what cause injury if over done. The warm up and cool down prevent injury. Make sense?

    SO 45 minutes is the time we look at for intervals. We absolutely need warm ups and cool downs for optimal exercise results. But we would never call them “intervals.” Help?
    When you start…. 10 minutes once or twice a week is smart. Add a second time a week or add a few minutes to that… over weeks you can increase. But progression should be a part of every exercise program so that you’re destine for improvement not injury! What doesn’t change… is the warm up and cool down!

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