Workout of the Week: HIIT Like a Girl

This workout comes from Jen Sharp, who touts the benefits of HIIT training, specifically for older female athletes.

Female cyclist riding out of the saddle as she cycles through grassy hills
Photo: Pulka

Jen Sharp is an elite cyclist and coaches athletes with her husband at Sharp Coaching in Boulder, Colorado. As she told Fast Talk, she loves a good HIIT workout, especially for women to maintain fitness as they get older. 

“Right before menopause, maybe in their early 40s to late 40s to 50s, it’s really important to have that high intensity in there,” says Sharp. “As we age, we’re great at endurance, like, we’ve got that nailed. The aspect that we don’t have, that we’re losing as we age and what we’re fighting against is the higher intensity and the ability to go anaerobic and into your VO2max.” 

Sharp believes women will find benefit from incorporating a short HIIT effort into their training once or twice a week. “We need that high intensity right now in our cycles and where we are in life. If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it.” 

RELATED: Separating Fact from Fiction for Female Athletes—with Dr. Stacy Sims 

Workout of the Week: HIIT Like a Girl 


15 min. steady riding 

Main set 

3 sets: 
4 × 30 sec. all-out/90 sec. recovery 

2 min. set rest 


10 min. easy pedaling